On one level I’m happy that Ozzie Guillen is now backtracking from his controversial comments over the weekend, saying that his stuff about baseball treating Asian players better than Latinos was taken out of context, misinterpreted and so on. I mean, we have a pretty decent pennant race shaping up here in the AL Central, and I’d hate for some silly off-the-field distraction to unduly impact it.
On the other hand, Guillen’s moonwalking from controversy disrupts a pet theory I have: that Ozzie is going to try to get himself fired so that he can take over the Marlins job next season. No, I have no reason other than my own deranged mind to support such a theory (well, almost no other reason), but I think that’s what Kat Von D did on Miami Ink before taking over her own show in L.A., and this totally fits the pattern.
Um, forget I said that. I have no idea what any of that meant. Anyway.
In other news, you will officially win the Internet for the day if you can find me a single recent example of public figure trying to get out from under the heat of controversial comments without playing the “my words were taken out of context” card. Indeed, it’s gotten so bad on that score that whenever I hear it, I instantly translate it to “since I was on tape and thus can’t pretend I didn’t say it, I am now trying to the next best thing.”
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.