Come Monday morning, folks tend not to scroll back too far into Sunday afternoon posts, but D.J. and Aaron weighed in on three pretty interesting stories that hit the wires before yesterday’s Yankees’ clincher:
The Indians name Manny Acta their next manager. Makes sense: he was the only candidate who can plausibly say that the Cleveland situation is an improvement over his last gig;
Tony La Russa agrees to come back to St. Louis, and he’s bringing in an intriguing name as his new hitting coach. Question: how can you improve guys’ hitting techniques if you never wanna talk about the past?; and
Three nights of bad judgment as a playa does for Steve Phillips what five years of bad judgment as an analyst couldn’t do: get him fired from ESPN.
I’ll probably have a bit more on McGwire later this morning, as that story is all kinds of interesting in my mind.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.