Don't even try to censor Ozzie Guillen

Leave a comment

Baseball is investigating some comments made by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen over the weekend.

On Sunday, Guillen was upset after watching three of his players get hit by pitches in a victory over the Cleveland Indians. Guillen acknowledged that he believed the plunkings were accidental, but nonetheless spouted off after the game, saying this:

“I have Konerko bruised all over the place,” he said. “Around the league, be careful because we’re going to hit people. I don’t care if I get suspended because I need to protect my players.”

It was a warning. If you hit my players on purpose, I’ll hit yours. Simple as that. So what is there to investigate exactly?

This isn’t the airport, where mentioning about how you got “bombed” the night before can get you tossed from the premises.

No, this is baseball, where Leo Durocher once said he wanted some “scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you,” and didn’t have to worry about being locked up for recruiting murderers.

Guillen, not surprisingly, isn’t about to back down.

“I can say whatever I want to say – as long as I’m not saying it about them,” the outspoken manager said. “I know the integrity of this game better than anybody. I’m very professional. But meanwhile, enough was enough.

While the idea of Guillen espousing his own professionalism might send Chicago media members into uncontrolled bouts of giggling, his basic argument is sound. You can’t punish someone for something that hasn’t happened.

Guillen is as entertaining as most major league managers are dry. They spout clichés, while he takes the pulpit and acts as if he’s running a longshoremen’s meeting. He says what he thinks, often in colorful language. And sometimes, he says too much. Big deal.

So don’t try to censor Ozzie Guillen. It’s not going to work anyway.

******

If you Twitter, and aren’t afraid of the occasional brushback pitch, you can follow me at @bharks.

Angel Pagan body-slammed a fan on the field

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Angel Pagan #16 of the San Francisco Giants argues with umpire Jerry Meals #41 after a called third strike during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park on September 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Don’t interrupt Angel Pagan in the middle of a wild card race. Better yet, don’t interrupt him at all.

A fan learned that the hard way during Friday’s Giants-Dodgers game. In the fourth inning, a group of fans ran onto the field with white flowers in their hands, presumably to hand to Giants players. According to eyewitness accounts, one player was reprimanded by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, while Buster Posey fended off another.

Angel Pagan, however, took more extreme and inventive measures.

On-field security started closing in on the fan as he approached Pagan, but didn’t appear to pick up the pace until the outfielder dropped him on the field.

Vin Scully, who was wrapping up the third-to-last game of his career, provided play-by-play of the incident.

A couple of kids, trying to steal a moment, slow down the game, running on the field and just taking a big moment on the big stage. They’ve got one of them in right field, and the other one is nailed down by Pagan in left field. And the crowd loved that! They went up to do something with Angel Pagan, but [Pagan] grabbed him and slammed him to the ground, and they’re taking him off the field. […] Doesn’t that bring you back to the ’60s, and the flower children? Oh what, you don’t remember the ’60s? Okay.

The next time you want to send a message to a player, maybe try a tweet (throw in a flower emoji or two if you feel so inclined). Just don’t make a showy display of affection in the middle of a game. It’s bound to go badly, at least where Angel Pagan is concerned.

The Rangers have home-field advantage through postseason

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30:  Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Thanks to Yu Darvish, the Rangers will enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the American League.

Darvish was outstanding on Friday night, pegging the Rays with a 3-1 loss on three hits, a run, and 12 strikeouts over six innings. It was the crown jewel of performances for the right-hander, who is carrying a 3.53 ERA and 2.3 fWARP in his first season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2015.

The Rangers, who have gone 1-5 on days when they’ve offered Darvish fewer than four runs of support, eked out a two-run lead against Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese. Adrian Beltre roped an RBI single in the first inning, followed by a pair of solo shots from Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor in the third and sixth innings.

With the win, the Rangers clinched home-field advantage through the World Series, thanks to a 4-2 win in the All-Star Game back in July. Getting to the World Series will present another challenge entirely, though Darvish figures to stay in the mix with Cole Hamels as the Rangers build toward the Division Series on Thursday. If they advance against the wild card winner in the ALDS, they’ll face either the Indians or the Red Sox in the Championship Series.