Francona: Good manager, poor prankster

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Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona tried to pull a prank on veteran pitcher Tim Wakefield on Sunday.

The 42-year-old pitcher had just been named an All-Star for the first
time in his 17-year career, but Francona called him into his office as
if to deliver bad news. As Wakefield described it …

“It was pretty funny. I was actually in the weight room doing my
work and (pitching coach John) Ferrell had come in and said, ‘Tito
wants to see you after he talks to the other guys.’ I didn’t know what
other guys. Then I got to his office and the office was closed. When it
opened, he called me into the office and I saw all the other guys
walking out with their all-star packages. He sat me down and tried to
play it off like it wasn’t good news. He couldn’t hold the laughter.”

Francona seems like a nice guy. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t pull it
off. Or maybe he didn’t have the heart to do that to Wakefield, a guy
who’s been around forever, pitched in any role asked, and never
complained. Regardless, Francona should avoid the poker table at all
costs.

Jeff Mathis has an avulsion fracture in his right hand

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Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis has an avulsion fracture in his right hand, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. As Piecoro explains, an avulsion fracture is when a ligament comes off of the bone and pulls fragments of bone with it.

Mathis is likely done for the season, but he wants to see hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan, per Piecoro. He suffered the injury on Monday when he was hit in the hand with a foul tip.

Mathis, 34, hit an uninspiring .213/.276/.322 in 200 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks, but was a plus defensively. Chris Iannetta and Chris Herrmann will handle catching duties with Mathis out for at least a while.

Dodgers place Cody Bellinger and Alex Wood on the 10-day disabled list

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The Dodgers announced on Tuesday that first baseman Cody Bellinger and starter Alex Wood were placed on the 10-day disabled list. Bellinger has a sprained right ankle and Wood is dealing with left SC joint inflammation. To take their spots on the roster, the Dodgers recalled pitchers Brock Stewart and Josh Ravin from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Bellinger, 22, has had an outstanding rookie season, batting .274/.356/.612 with 34 home runs and 79 RBI in 419 plate appearances. Fortunately, the Dodgers just got Adrian Gonzalez back from the DL, so their first base situation is already handled.

Wood, 26, has had a career year. He’s 14-1 with a 2.41 ERA and a 127/30 K/BB ratio over 123 1/3 innings. He’s been successful despite his velocity declining more and more with every passing month this season. The Dodgers’ rotation is already in disarray, so losing Wood hurts even more. On the bright side, Clayton Kershaw should be returning from the disabled list soon.