Sources tell Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that Bengie Molina was told that he was traded to the Rangers by teammates upon arriving to Denver on Wednesday. Molina basically implied as much in his comments to reporters in Dallas.
“It was kind of weird,” he said. “Teammates were all coming up to me and saying goodbye. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I guess I’ve been released. I’ve never been in that situation before.”
As Schulman notes, a team official usually informs a player of an impending trade, however it looks like they weren’t able to get in contact with him before it actually went down. Odd, but maybe not entirely surprising. As Buster Olney informed us this week, Brian Sabean apparently doesn’t know how to use a phone.
By the way, Molina was 1-for-4 with a single in his Rangers debut against the White Sox on Friday night.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.