The Yankees protest last night's game

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Beckett back.jpgUPDATE:  It appears I misinterpreted the use of the term “indication of injury” in the AP story.  The beef was not that Girardi thought there was no evidence that Beckett was injured.  Rather, he was protesting the fact that Delcarmen was called for before the umpires were informed that Beckett was injured (i.e. it was “indicated’ that he was injured).  My bad on misinterpreting that.

That said, it hardly matters. If the focus of the protest is the exact order of the switch — that the umps should have been told before the signal went down to the pen — we’re in the land of overly-legalistic b.s.  Technically wrong to do things in that order? Sure. But everyone knew what the situation was within the about 10 seconds, it was right to give Delcarmen as many pitches he needed because there was an injury, and there was ultimately no harm done to anyone as a result.

8:43 A.M.: One last bit from the Yankees-Red Sox game:  Joe Girardi finished the game under protest.  That never works, but it’s fun all the same.

The basis of the protest: Josh Beckett gave up a two-run double to Robinson Cano, after which Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell went out to the mound. Beckett and Farrell talked things over, but then Farrell motioned to the bullpen for Manny Delcarmen to come into the game.  Beckett then left with the trainer, as he was suffering from back tightness.  Because it’s an injury situation, Delcarmen got as many warmup pitches as he wanted.

The Yankees protested this because, according to the AP story, “there was no indication of an
injury to Beckett by that point.”

To which I ask, what “indication” is necessary?  Must Beckett hop around holding his toe as if a cartoon anvil fell on it?  Does Joe Girardi need to to see little animated lighting bolts and ouchy marks flashing around Beckett’s lower back?  The guy left with the trainer, and I’m sure someone on the field said something about an injury, if not immediately, then as soon as Girardi asked about it. While I suppose it’s possible that this was all a big conspiracy to cover for the fact that Francona didn’t get Delcarmen up in the pen fast enough, it’s not like Beckett hasn’t had back issues already this season.

The chances of this protest being upheld are virtually nill so who cares, but even as far as unsuccessful protests go, this one seems rather weak.  

Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio

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In something of a surprising move, the Chicago Cubs fired their pitching coach, Chris Bosio on Saturday. Bosio had held the job since the 2011-12 offseason.

The Cubs made the NLCS this year, but were nowhere as near the formidable as their 2016 World Series champion iteration. While there were several reasons for that, one was that the pitching staff, which featured multiple, better-than-expected performances in 2016, but took a step back in 2017. Some of that was personnel — Joe Maddon did not have Aroldis Chapman to call on in the postseason like he did last year — and a lot of that was mere regression from veterans like Jon Lester and John Lackey. A lot of it had to do with a much higher walk rate this year than in the past.

Still, there was no chatter during the season or at the time of the Cubs’ playoff exit the other day that Bosio might be a fall guy. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was Joe Maddon’s call and that he had grown displeased with Bosio. The Tribune report suggests that Cubs pitchers will be displeased with the move as they were devoted to Bosio. Coaches, of course, come and go, so I suspect they’ll get over it.

Whatever the case, Bosio likely won’t say unemployed for long. He is widely credited with helping Jake Arrieta transform from a project to an ace and for the considerable and the somewhat unexpectedly successful development of Kyle Hendricks. The Tribune suggests that he’d be a good fit in Minnesota, where his former teammate Paul Molitor is in search of a new pitching coach.

There are several intriguing coaches available at the moment, most notably Mike Maddux, who has been the Nationals pitching coach but whose status is now in flux given the firing of Dusty Baker. Maddux’s brother Greg, of course, is a spring training pitching instructor for the Cubs. The Tribune adds that Maddon may look to his old Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey or, possibly, even recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell, who made his bones as a pitching coach.