Cholly on the Cliff Lee trade:
“Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Lee is a tad
behind him. Of course it would’ve been nice to have both of them. It’d be good to have Halladay, Lee, Hamels. I’d be looking good. I might even be buying more expensive
furniture than the Mrs. has been buying me lately.”
“The Mrs.” Though I can’t stand the Phillies, I really love Manuel. Partially because he’s a West Virgina boy, but mostly because every time he talks I get the sense that he’s been sent here from the mid 20th Century to teach us all to just chill out and to speak and act more plainly. There’s a reason this Onion piece was so damn funny. It’s really hard to explain in words. Anyway, Manuel goes on:
“Baseball is a business and I understand a lot of things. I have my own opinion and suggestions, but like everybody else I have
a boss. From a business standpoint, the last two or three years they’ve
definitely made good decisions. I trust them.”
I suppose it’d be much more interesting if If I’m Manuel had talked about how much better the team is without Cliff Lee — “that sonofabitch, good riddance!” — but I’ll accept this story too. I’d want Lee around if I was Charlie Manuel. I’d want Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum and a nice frosty Ballantine’s ale, a new pair of Florsheims and some Burma Shave too, I imagine. That’s just the kind of guy Manuel is.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.