This morning’s New York Times article starts out as if this was something everyone knew about, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it:
What first raised suspicion among the 2001 A’s was an early May series in Toronto. Tejada and Blue Jays third baseman Tony Batista,
friends from the Dominican Republic, each put up terrific numbers. In
the three-game series, Batista went 6 for 13 with a home run and 5 runs
batted in, and Tejada was 4 for 10 with 9 R.B.I., including a home run in each game.
More significant in the eyes of some of the players was an incident in
the second game of the series. Tejada did not get to an easy ground
ball Batista hit off reliever Mark Guthrie with the Athletics leading,
8-2. When the inning was over, A’s players fumed on the bench.
Tejada, now 35, said his teammates were skeptical because Batista dropped a foul pop-up he hit in the previous game.
“I would never do that,” Tejada said. “I want to win. If my brother was on the other team, I would never help him.”
These incidents, and others, led to a supremely contentious closed-door meeting in the A’s clubhouse, and some of the guys from that team tell the tale. Contrast this to the anonymous accusations against A-Rod this past spring, and you have some great reading.
The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.
The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.
The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.
Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.
Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.
Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.
Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.
Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.