Four games? That’s it? Blimey.
Sox 6, Rays 1: Clay Buchholz continues Boston’s string of nice
starts as the Sox (a) beat the Rays for the first time in five tries;
and (b) move to four games over .500 for the first time all season.
David Ortiz homered for the fifth time in his last nine games.
White Sox 7, Indians 2: John Danks allowed two runs and six hits in five innings for the Sox. Justin Masterson lost his 11th straight start dating back to last August. Cleveland: you may want to go with another plan. Omar Vizquel tied Luis Aparicio for second on the all-time hit list for shortstops. I’ll have more on that later this morning.
Blue Jays 6, Angels 0: Brett Cecil allows zippo on two hits in seven and a third as the Jays shut out the Angels. Cecil is 4-1 on the road with a 2.67 ERA. He’s 0-1 at home with a 10.13 ERA at home. Which raises the question: why does Brett Cecil hate Canada?
Reds 7, Pirates 5: Aaron Harang scored from first on an Orlando Cabrera double. That is, 6’7″ 260 pound — officially anyway — Aaron Harang lumbered in from first. Watching the video of it is much improved if you do a bunch of Curly “whoop whoops!” as he’s running. Yeah, that’s kind of Chris Bermany, but it really does work here. The Reds are once again tied for first place.
A real slate of ballgames tonight, thank goodness.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.