Yesterday’s report of hard feelings between Jason Marquis and the Rockies is being denied by both parties. Dan O’Dowd: “There was no falling out. He was extremely professional about it. It wasn’t an issue at all.” Marquis says that not getting a start in the NLDS was no big deal: “I was prepared to pitch Game 4, but when you have a
guy throwing 97 with devastating stuff coming back on normal rest, I
can see why they would come back with him.”
Marquis says he’d come back to Colorado if it were in the cards, but that given the Rockies lowball offer — one piddlin’ non-guaranteed year — it’s not in the cards.
Heyman had the report of the bad blood, passing it along in a tweet with no background. Rosenthal’s debunking comes with quotes from both parties involved. It’s not unheard of for people to be less than honest in these situations — “professionalism” often means denying your true feelings — but unless Heyman’s got something else to back him up here, I’m going to assume he got some bad information.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.