Indians' Josh Tomlin just the latest to shut down Yanks in debut

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I haven’t done the research, but it’s always seemed to me that patient offenses struggle when facing a pitcher they’ve never seen before. It’s a small sample size for sure, but for what it’s worth, the Yankees have been pretty miserable in facing pitchers making their major league debuts.
That’s not how it should work, right? The Yankees’ lineup has been loaded for 15 years now, and pitchers making their debuts can be overwhelmed by the experience. However, the 11 pitchers since 2000 to make their major league debuts in starts against the Yankees are 7-3. Seven of the pitchers allowed zero or one earned runs and only one allowed more than three. Here’s the list:
Paul Rigdon (Indians, 2000) – 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 K – Indians win 6-1
John Parrish (Orioles, 2000) – 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 9 K – Yankees win 4-3
Brian Sikorski (Rangers, 2000) – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 5 K – Rangers win 5-0
Jake Peavy (Padres, 2002) – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 K – Yankees win 1-0
Eduardo Villacis (Royals, 2004) – 3 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 0 K – Yankees win 12-4
Gustavo Chacin (Blue Jays, 2004) – 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 K – Blue Jays win 6-3
Anibal Sanchez (Marlins, 2006) – 5 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 2 K – Marlins win 5-0
Daryl Thompson (Reds, 2008) – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 K – Reds win 6-0 (no-decision)
Koji Uehara (Orioles, 2009) – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 K – Orioles win 7-5
Jake Arrieta (Orioles, 2010) – 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 6 K – Orioles win 4-3
Josh Tomlin (Indians, 2010) – 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 K – Indians win 4-1
Outside of Peavy, it’s not exactly the most illustrious group. Sanchez is the only other pitcher to have a prolonged career as a major league starter, though Arrieta should as well. Villacis, the lone pitcher to struggle, was a bizarre callup in the first place and he never made another appearance in the majors.
Tomlin was a surprise choice to get the ball for the Indians. A 19th-round pick in 2006, he had a record of 51-24 in the minors, with a 3.20 ERA in 87 starts and 57 relief appearances, but he was never taken very seriously as a prospect because he doesn’t throw hard. Next time the Yankees see him — if he does in fact stick around that long — the Yankees could well have his measure and knock him around. However, with nothing but some printouts and maybe some grainy video to go on, they couldn’t do much of anything against him tonight.

Tigers activate James McCann

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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The Tigers have activated catcher James McCann from the 15-day disabled list. He’s been out since April 11 with a sprained ankle.

Whether he has a position is an open question. In his absence Jarrod Saltalamacchia has put up a .947 OPS. That’s weighted somewhat heavily by slugging and some fluky power, but he’s done a good job. At the very least it will cause Brad Ausmus to ease McCann back into the lineup more slowly, possibly in a split role as opposed to a backup/starter relationship.

Catching up with Professor Ben Cherington

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 12:  Ben Cherington, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, leaves the field before a game with the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on June 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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There is a general consensus that the bad free agent signings of the later Ben Cherington years in Boston were ownership diktats, not things that were Ben Cherington’s idea. Whether that consensus is accurate is hard to say, but that’s how it sort of felt to most outside observers. The reality was probably messier. Where ideas start and where they end up in organizations involve a lot of weird passive-aggressive dancing, with power being exercised in some cases and merely anticipated in others, causing people to do things in such a way that blame is a nebulous matter. I’m sure baseball teams are no different.

Whatever actually happened in Boston will likely always be somewhat murky, but Cherington is the one who took the fall. Where he ended up after all of it went down, however, is an interesting story. The place: on the faculty of the sports management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. The story about it is told by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. It’s an interesting one.

Cherington is still a young man with a lot of undisputed accomplishments under his belt. It would not surprise me at all to see him have a second act as the head of a baseball operations department some day. For now, though, he’s doing his own interesting thing.

It’s OK to not like someone on the team you root for

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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There were a series of interesting comments to the Yadier Molina story this morning. The first commenter, a Cardinals fan, said he’s never really cared for Molina. Other Cardinals fans took issue with that, wondering how on Earth a Cardinals fan could not like Yadi.

While I’ll grant that Molina is a particularly popular member of the Cardinals, while I personally like his game and his overall persona, and while I can’t recall ever meeting a Cards fan who didn’t like him, why is it inconceivable that someone may not?

Whether you “like” a player is an inherently subjective thing. You can like players who aren’t good at baseball. You can dislike ones who are. You can like a player’s game who, as a person, seems like a not great guy. You can dislike a player’s game or his personality for any reason as well. It’s no different than liking a type of music or food or a type of clothing. Baseball players, to the fans anyway, are something of an aesthetic package. They can please us or not. We can choose to separate the art from the artist, as it were, and ignore off-the-field stuff or give extra credit for the off-the-field stuff. Dowhatchalike.

No matter what the basis is, “liking” a player on your favorite team is up to one person: you. And, as I’ve written elsewhere recently, someone not liking something you like does not give you license to be a jackass about it.

A-Rod’s mansion is featured in Architectural Digest

Alex Rodriguez
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For a couple of years people worried if A-Rod would sully the Yankees Superior Brand. Given how they’re playing these days I wonder if A-Rod should be more worried about the Yankees sullying his brand.

He resurrected his baseball career last year. He’s cultivated a successful corporate identity. He’s in a relationship with a leading Silicon Valley figure. It’s all aces. And now it’s total class, as his home is featured in the latest issue of Architectural Digest:

Erected over the course of a year, the 11,000-square-foot retreat is a showstopper, with sleek forms and striking overhangs that riff on midcentury modernism, in particular the iconic villas found at Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills. Unlike Rodriguez’s previous Florida home, the Coral Gables house is laid out on just one story so the interiors would connect directly to the grounds. Says Choeff, “Alex wanted to accentuate the indoor-outdoor feel.”

There are a lot of photos there.

I don’t think I have much in common with Alex Rodriguez on any conceivable level, but I do like his taste in architecture and design. I’m all about the midcentury modernism. Just wish I had the paycheck to be more about it like my man A-Rod here.