You’ll recall the little controversy in the 12th inning of Game 163 between the Twins and Tigers last year? The one in which home plate umpire Randy Marsh missed the fact that Brandon Inge got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded that would have given the Tigers at least a one-run lead and, possibly, the division title? Well, Marsh lived with it for a few weeks after the season but then he unburdened his conscience:
Not that it does much good now, but they got it wrong — and they know it.
In an interview last Friday before a charity roast for Don Zimmer in Connecticut, Jim Leyland said he got a call from umpire Randy Marsh “three weeks into the offseason” to apologize
for missing the one-out pitch with the bases loaded that hit Brandon
Inge in the playoff game against Minnesota.
I suppose the first impulse of a Tigers fan would be to moan and complain about this. The second impulse, however, should be to reflect on the facts that (a) the Tigers were still unable to get a run home from third with one out; and (b) they wouldn’t have even been in the game if they hadn’t blown a seven game lead in September in the first place.
But hey, apology accepted.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.