It’s fairly irritating when retired baseball players give the whole “Back in my day, things were different” spiel (I’m look at YOU, Tom Seaver). But when someone plays that card and says something totally asinine and illogical, the only medicine is to turn off the TV.
This is Dave Winfield a few minutes ago on Baseball Tonight, giving his take in a discussion about whether baseball needs better helmets to protect batters:
“Well I came from a different era, so to speak. Essentially, we didn’t wear the flaps, I didn’t like them. I grew up, uh, you knew how to move away from the ball, from the plate. And there was a different law in baseball, essentially, where, um, when it came down to it, they would throw at batters, and you just had to learn how to come back. Are you man enough …” (Gets cut off by a befuddled Karl Ravetch)
You hear that, David Wright? If only you played 20 years ago, you’d know how to get out of the way of that 94 mph Matt Cain fastball and not allow it to hit you in the head. Kids these days.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.
Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. Jaso’s cycle is the first to be hit at PNC Park. It’s also the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.
Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.
Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.