The Red Sox have announced that they will have a moment of silence in honor of George Steinbrenner’s passing before Thursday night’s game in Fenway Park.
Highly appropriate. For as much as we get caught up in The Rivalry, it’s long been a mutually-beneficial one. Neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees would be the same without the other, and George Steinbrenner’s passion for winning did more than anything to animate the arms race which has made both the Sox and the Yankees the juggernauts that they are. The bad blood, to the extent any exists in this rivalry, are highest on the part of the fans, far less so on the part of the players and probably fairly minimal on the part of the front offices. I would be shocked if there was anything but mutual, professional respect on the executives’ part, and I totally see why they’re doing this.
Now, I’m not saying I’d bet more than a nickel on every single Sox fan in Fenway remaining silent and composed for the moment of silence, but the gesture itself is a very classy and very welcome one on behalf of the team.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.