Daily Dose: When celebrations go wrong

Leave a comment

Ryan Dempster was put on the disabled list Tuesday with a broken toe suffered while celebrating Sunday’s victory. Seriously.
Dempster was attempting to jump over the dugout fence and onto the
field after the final out when he stumbled and slammed into the ground.
His teammates laughed at the time, but X-rays showed a non-displaced
fracture and he’ll also soon be missing a toenail.

Dempster has pitched very well since a poor April, posting a 3.57
ERA and 64/30 K/BB ratio in 75.2 innings spread over a dozen starts
since May 1, but he’ll likely miss at least three weeks and could be
sidelined for more than a month. For now at least Kevin Hart has been
tabbed to replace him in the rotation, but giving Jeff Samardzija a
chance to start in the majors for the first time is also an option.

While the Cubs add to this season’s extensive list of woes, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Picking up Mark DeRosa two weeks ago looked like a solid deal for
St. Louis at the time, but he went hitless in nine at-bats before
suffering a wrist injury that put him on the disabled list Tuesday.
General manager John Mozeliak called the DL stint a “precautionary
move,” but there are reports that DeRosa may be out for a long time
after being diagnosed with a torn tendon sheath.

While admitting Tuesday that he doesn’t “know all the jargon” DeRosa
explained: “There’s definitely something wrong with it. There’s
definitely a partial tear of the sheath. It’s one of those things where
you hope time allows it to heal itself.” Now it’s back to Joe Thurston
and Brian Barden at third base for the Cardinals, who’re in the same
spot as two weeks ago except without Chris Perez in the bullpen.

* Despite being out for six weeks with a shoulder injury Erik Bedard
didn’t miss a beat returning from the disabled list Tuesday, striking
out eight and giving up just two hits in an abbreviated four-inning
start. Despite multiple injuries Bedard has yet to stop being a
dominant pitcher in between DL stints and the impending free agent is
now 5-2 with a 2.58 ERA and 73/23 K/BB ratio in 69.2 innings this year.

* Adam Wainwright was two outs short of a shutout Tuesday and Colby
Rasmus backed him by going 3-for-5 with a homer as the Cardinals
extended their lead in the NL Central with a 5-0 win against the
Brewers. Rasmus’ overall numbers are plenty strong, but the 22-year-old
rookie has been fantastic since a slow first two months and is now
39-for-106 (.368) with 17 extra-base hits since June 1.

AL Quick Hits: General manager J.P. Ricciardi said Tuesday that the Blue Jays are willing to listen to offers for Roy Halladay, but was vague about the likelihood of a trade … Chicago has reportedly acquired
reliever Tony Pena from Arizona for first-base prospect Brandon Allen …
Scott Rolen extended his hitting streak to 24 games with an
eighth-inning single Tuesday … Alfredo Aceves has joined the rotation
in place of the Chien-Ming Wang and has AL-only upside … Shaun Marcum
is said to be on track for an August comeback from Tommy John elbow
surgery … Scott Hairston started in center field Tuesday and blasted
his first A’s homer … Justin Verlander allowed five runs Tuesday, but
picked up his ninth win and struck out 11 … Grady Sizemore went deep
twice Tuesday and has 15 RBIs since coming off the disabled list on
June 23 … Jeremy Bonderman played catch from 60 feet Tuesday and said
afterward that his shoulder “feels pretty good.”

NL Quick Hits: Carlos Beltran (knee) has yet to begin
high-impact workouts and likely isn’t close to coming off the disabled
list … ESPN reports that the Phillies are “more interested” in Pedro
Martinez “than they’re letting on” … Jose Reyes (hamstring) received a
cortisone shot Tuesday, pushing his return timetable back even further
… Kyle Lohse (forearm) gave up two hits over six innings in a rehab
start Tuesday at Triple-A … Chipper Jones was scratched from Tuesday’s
lineup with a sore groin … Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight
game Tuesday with a hip strain … Clayton Kershaw tossed six scoreless
innings Tuesday, allowing two runs or fewer in his fifth straight start
… Manny Ramirez was ejected from Tuesday’s game for arguing a called
third strike, but drove in three runs before leaving … Javier Vazquez
tossed seven innings of one-run ball Tuesday, cutting his ERA to 2.95 …
Freddy Sanchez (back) missed a fifth straight game Tuesday.

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus asks for fired DJ to be reinstated

SAN DIEGO - APRIL 06:  The grounds crew works on the field before the start of the game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres during Opening Night at Petco Park on April 6, 2007 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
2 Comments

OK, I lied. Earlier I said we had the final word on the National Anthem dustup in San Diego from over the weekend. The final word, it seemed, was the Padres apologizing, the revelation that the screwed up Anthem thing was a mistake by a DJ hired to run the music and the DJ then being fired. Oh, and then the DJ apologizing.

Now a new twist! The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus said today that they’d like to see the DJ rehired by the Padres! Their statement, in relevant part:

We also would like to publicly accept the sincere apology of DJ ARTFORM and recognize his support for the LGBT community and equality for all people. We do not wish to see him lose his job with the San Diego Padres and kindly ask the Padres to reinstate him. Everyone deserves a second chance.”

That’s quite a shift in the past few days, as all of this was came into the public eye via a Facebook post by a Gay Men’s Chorus official saying that this whole thing was part of a pattern of troublesome homophobia. Now we’ve come full circle. Or maybe around the circle a few times and back again. I don’t know. I’m dizzy.

Whatever the case: everyone’s all happy now, and that’s way better than everyone being all mad.

Great Moments in Dealing with Hecklers: Bartolo Colon edition

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 7:  Bartolo Colon #40 of the New York Mets pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on May 7, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
8 Comments

Last week the news broke that a lawsuit was filed against Bartolo Colon for back child support for two children he apparently fathered out of wedlock. As we noted repeatedly at the time, the case was sealed and the facts were mostly unknown. Still, the possibility at least exists that Colon has been a deadbeat dad to some degree. And the underlying facts are no doubt a sensitive matter to his family, right? I hope we can all agree on that.

As we’ve all seen in the past, this sort of stuff is what hecklers thrive on. Ask Chipper Jones or any other athlete who have been caught up in scandal, especially sexual scandal, in the past. Fans of the opposition are going to pounce on it. And the fans in Washington for the Mets-Nationals series are no different in that regard:

I wish fans didn’t use stuff about the personal lives of ballplayers like this, especially when it involves their families, but I suppose it’s inevitable. And hey, Colon got him back right? Quickly showed the heckler that he couldn’t be gotten to. The first impulse in reading this is to laugh for just that reason. Indeed, the first impulse in reading a lot of things dealing with Colon these days is to laugh because he’s become a pretty popular and affable figure.

But I also wish Colon, even if this was meant flippantly in order to deflect a jerk, didn’t respond this way in this situation. Why? Because it seems to diminish what, for his family and the woman with whom he fathered a couple of children out of wedlock, is a pretty serious and personal situation. And possibly one with some negative legal consequences in the offing. At the very least Colon’s comment will bring him an extra question or two at a deposition from the lawyer for the mother of his children, putatively to probe him for any other similar situations but, in reality, just to get under his skin. For that reason it was kind of a dumb comment.

More broadly, however, it just doesn’t look great to treat this whole situation flippantly. Maybe Bartolo Colon gets away with this way easier than someone else might because of his current popularity, but how would we feel if another, less popular player were accused of something unseemly and he treated it as a joke like this? I feel like the knives would be out for him in ways they’ll likely never be out for Bartolo Colon based solely on how we feel about the player in question.

It all goes back to what I wrote about all of this last week: we have a sliding scale for behavior for certain athletes and public figures based on their preexisting popularity. We shouldn’t have such a sliding scale. Personally, I think we should be far more hands-off and lenient when it comes to judging these men than we currently are because there is so little we truly know and so little of it is truly the business of fans. But if we do get in the business of judging these guys, we need to be fair about it.

I don’t think we should have the knives out for Colon over this, especially given how little is known about his case and his situation. But I feel like we’d treat someone who was not Bartolo Colon very differently under the same exact facts and that it would do us well to contend with that some.

Report: James Loney’s representatives to contact the Mets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MARCH 14:  James Loney #21 of the Tampa Bay Rays swings at a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium on March 14, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
2 Comments

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that representatives of Padres first baseman James Loney are expected to contact the Mets, who are in need of first base help after losing Lucas Duda to a back injury on Monday.

Loney, 32, has spent the season with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate in El Paso. In 155 plate appearances, he’s hitting .333/.368/.417 with a pair of home runs and 23 RBI. Loney hit slightly below the league average last year with the Rays and has generally played a solid first base defensively. He wouldn’t begin to replace Duda’s power, but he would be a good stopgap on short notice.

Loney has the privilege of opting out of his deal with the Padres if he can find a major league job elsewhere. The Rays are paying the balance of his $8 million salary, so the Mets would only need to pay the prorated major league minimum.

Duda is dealing with stress fractures in his lower back and said “it will be a while” before he returns. The Mets had Eric Campbell start at first base on Monday, and he figures to be the club’s short-term solution.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20:  Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees watches batting practice before a game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on May 20, 2016 in Oakland, California.  The Yankees won 8-3.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
2 Comments

Last Wednesday night, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gave a vote of confidence for manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees entered the day 16-22 in last place in the AL East. They beat the Diamondbacks that night to salvage the series. Starting on Thursday, the Yankees would go on to complete a four-game sweep of the Athletics in Oakland and enter tonight’s action in third place at 21-22, on a five-game winning streak.

The Yankees have been hitting well lately, but it’s the pitching that’s responsible for the turnaround. The starting pitcher in four of those five wins went at least six innings and yielded exactly one run, which gave the Yankees the privilege of handing the game off to Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman for the final three innings. That’s exactly the way the Yankees want to win ballgames — play to their strengths.

Nathan Eovaldi will toe the rubber for the Yankees tonight, opposing Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey at Yankee Stadium starting at 7:05 PM EDT.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Mets (Matt Harvey) @ Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg), 7:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 7:10 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa) @ Boston Red Sox (David Price), 7:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran), 7:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin) @ Texas Rangers (Martin Perez), 8:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman) @ Houston Astros (Doug Fister), 8:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin) @ Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale), 8:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana), 8:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Daniel Wright) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Mike Bolsinger), 10:10 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman) @ Seattle Mariners (Nathan Karns), 10:10 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner) @ San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija), 10:15 PM EDT