Brent Mayne's pants are on fire

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Brent Mayne.jpgUPDATE: Mayne has corrected the record.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was lovin’ former catcher Brent Mayne’s blog. And I still am, but I just discovered that he’s tellin’ lies.

In his latest entry he decides to come clean and admit that he once told a hitter what pitch was coming. It was J.T. Snow.  Here’s Mayne’s story:

It was my second year in the Bigs and we were playing the Yankees in
Kansas City towards the end of the season. Neither team had much to
play for and JT was one of the expanded roster call-ups for the Yanks . . . I wandered out to talk to the pitcher (I can’t remember who it was.) On
my way back, as I past JT to squat down, I mumbled at him “fastball
outside.” He promptly drilled a double to left field and that was that.
Like I said, that’s probably not why he got his first hit, he may have
been too nervous to even hear me. Then again, maybe that IS how he got his first hit and maybe I’M responsible for his whole career.

I love stories like that!  Sadly, however, it appears to be a complete and total fabrication.  Well, maybe that’s overstating things. J.T. Snow did make his major league debut with the Yankees against the Royals at the end of a season.  It’s just everything after that which is wrong.

  • Snow did hit three doubles against the Royals in his career, but none of those fit Mayne’s descriptions either. The first one came in 1993 while he was with the Angels. But Mayne
    didn’t catch in that game
    , Mike MacFarlane did. The second came in 1996, but Mayne wasn’t on the Royals anymore. He was on the Mets.


  • Snow did eventually hit a double against the Royals while Mayne was catching. It happened during an interleague game in 2003 while Snow was with the Giants.  Sadly, it doesn’t fit Mayne’s description either. The double came on the third pitch, not the first, and it was pulled down the right field line, not hit the opposite way like he says.


  • Snow’s first hit of any kind against the Royals with Mayne behind the plate came on June 24, 1993. It was a single on 2-0 count with the Angels down 6 runs in the 9th inning. Given the score I suppose that could have been a tipped pitch, but we’re getting pretty far afield from Mayne’s story here.

Look, I’m not trying to embarrass Mayne here. His blog is a blast, and this particular post is almost 100% redeemed by the reference to “The Jerk” at the end.  But still, one of the things that makes it hard to make any progress in analyzing and commenting on baseball is that there’s 150 years of accumulated baloney floating around that everyone takes as gospel.

Stuff like Mayne’s story is harmless, but how much of the rest of it isn’t, and how much history and insight have we lost because people have chosen to believe the myths instead of the facts, even if it’s understandable that they’ve done so?

Sean Doolittle: “Refugees aren’t stealing a slice of the pie from Americans.”

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 25:  Sean Doolittle #62 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 25, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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In the past, we’ve commented on Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan’s community service. In 2015, the pair hosted Syrian refugee families for Thanksgiving and their other charitable efforts have included LGBTQ outreach and help for veterans.

Athletes and their significant others have typically avoided stepping into political waters, but Doolittle and Dolan have shown that it’s clearly no concern to them. In the time since, the Syrian refugee issue has become even more of a hot-button issue and Doolittle recently discussed it with Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

I think America is the best country in the world because we’ve been able to attract the best and brightest people from all over the world. We have the smartest doctors and scientists, the most creative and innovative thinkers. A travel ban like this puts that in serious jeopardy.

I’ve always thought that all boats rise with the tide. Refugees aren’t stealing a slice of the pie from Americans. But if we include them, we can make the pie that much bigger, thus ensuring more opportunities for everyone.

Doolittle, of course, is referring to Executive Order 13769 signed by President Trump which sought to limit incoming travel to the United States from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. A temporary restraining order on the executive order was placed on February 3, a result of State of Washington v. Trump.

Doolittle spoke more about the plight refugees face:

These are people fleeing civil wars, violence and oppression that we can’t even begin to relate to. I think people think refugees just kind of decide to come over. They might not realize it takes 18-24 months while they wait in a refugee camp. They go through more than 20 background checks and meetings with immigration officers. They are being vetted.

They come here, and they want to contribute to society. They’re so grateful to be out of a war zone or whatever they were running from in their country that they get jobs, their kids go to our schools, they’re paying taxes, and in a lot of cases, they join our military.

Around this time last year, Craig wrote about Doolittle and Dolan not sticking to baseball. They’re still not, nor should they be. Hopefully, the duo’s outspokenness inspires other players and their loved ones to speak up for what’s right.

[Hat tip: Deadspin’s Hannah Keyser]

Russell Martin is not a fan of the automatic intentional walk

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 15:  Russell Martin #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after being struck out in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game two of the American League Championship Series at Progressive Field on October 15, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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On Tuesday, it was announced that Major League Baseball instituted a new rule allowing for a dugout signal in order to issue an intentional walk rather than having the pitcher throw four pitches wide of the strike zone. It’s commissioner Rob Manfred’s attempt to help improve the game’s pace of play.

As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin is certainly not a fan of the change.

My thing is, if they really want to speed up the game, then when a guy hits a home run, to speed up the game should a guy, just like in softball, when he hits it, should he just walk to the dugout? It’d be quicker. I’m just wondering, at what point do we just keep the game, the game? Or, how about this calculation: take all the intentional walks that were made in the last couple years and calculate – or maybe just ask to see if they have that information, to see if they really did their homework. Is it really that important to speed up the game (with this rule)? Because how many games did we play last year where we didn’t have one intentional walk? That’s something I’d like to know.

Martin also expressed concern that eliminating the four-pitch intentional walk will hurt teams’ ability to buy time for their relievers to warm up.

It’s called getting your bullpen ready so the guy doesn’t blow out his arm on the mound. Speed up the game, speed up the game.’ How about we just give guys – the human being – time to warm up on the mound after maybe something’s happened in the game? I’m not a manager, but I’m just trying to put myself in the position of a manager. OK, we’re up by one run or two runs and our bullpen’s been taxed and we’re trying to save their arms, and then the other team walks, ball gets away, guy gets to second base. When the coach visits the mound to talk to his player, it’s not like the player necessarily needs somebody to talk to him.

It’s because the guy (in the bullpen) needs time to warm up, man. It’s the same thing when you throw over to first base, like, eight times in a row. It’s not like we’re trying to keep the guy close. The guy maybe has two stolen bases in 18 years. It’s because the guy needs time to warm up. At what point does that become a problem with guys warming up in the bullpen? Sometimes it’s just strategy to give guys a little bit of time to warm up.

The Jays’ backstop then said he’d prefer if Manfred were honest about the intent behind this rule change and others which have been proposed. Martin said, “Save it. I’m tired of hearing that same lame excuse all the time. Just be honest. If they’re honest about it, we’ll get over it. But don’t hide behind the fans.”

We should be hearing from a handful of players about the new intentional walk rule in the coming days. I can’t imagine the rule is very popular among the players.