This is why players practice

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Nasty winds swirled in Lakeland yesterday for the Tigers’ exhibition against Florida Southern:

The Tigers scored more runs than their traditional local opponent, but it was the wind that actually won Tuesday. Because it was the wind that blew a fly ball into Brennan Boesch’s face, causing a
nasty laceration that required stitches above the outfield prospect’s
left eye.

“It opened him up pretty good,” said starting pitcher Phil Coke, who saw Boesch in the trainer’s room.

Eleven stitches, according to Tom Gage, which is not a good thing to have happen on your first day of competitive baseball of the year.  Still, there was something cool from yesterday’s game, as Al Kaline’s grandson Colin Kaline hit two singles and a walk.  He’s a junior at Florida Southern.

Which means that he’s probably a year or two older than Kaline was when he won the 1955 batting title.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.