Gerald Laird's arrest involved NBA player's wife

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Last month Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and his 22-year-old Yankees prospect brother Brandon Laird were arrested while attending a Phoenix Suns game, with initial reports describing their “loud behavior” and how “the Laird brothers allegedly assaulted the security guards” who tried to calm them down.
Gerald Laird insisted afterward that the whole thing was just a misunderstanding, but now the Arizona Republic has some further details. Chief among them is that the entire incident started when the Laird brothers’ 70-year-old grandfather allegedly touched the wife of Celtics player Eddie House “inappropriately” while they were all in the arena’s “lounge” area.
According to the police report Brandon Laird then “shouted derogatory remarks toward House and other women at the lounge before taking a swing at one of the women.” He was charged with suspicion of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, while Gerald Laird was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor assault for allegedly “striking a security guard in the head from behind during the brawl.”
Not surprisingly, the police report notes that the Laird contingent–which also included their father and uncle–were “cautioned by security when they arrived because they appeared intoxicated” before even stepping inside the arena. And naturally Gerald Laird explained afterward that he just wanted to “watch the game and have some fun” and “didn’t try to hurt anyone or strike anyone.”
So, to recap: Just about everyone in the entire Laird family showed up to a Suns-Celtics game drunk and then made their way to an in-arena bar for some more drinking, Grandpa tried to get fresh with an NBA player’s wife, Brandon got angry and turned the harassment level up a few notches, and Gerald sucker-punched a security officer once things got out of hand. Awesome.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.