OK, so "Omar Infante, All-Star" isn't quite as funny now

15 Comments

I was among the many people who mocked Omar Infante’s presence on the All-Star team and I’ll stand by that mockery, because at the time he was a 28-year-old career-long utility man who wasn’t even playing every day for the Braves.
However, he’s been on fire since the All-Star break and after going 4-for-6 with two homers yesterday to help give Lou Piniella a horrible send off Infante is now hitting .378/.422/.546 in 33 second-half games (including 27 starts).
That works out to a nifty .968 OPS, which is 206 points higher than the .762 OPS that got him picked for the All-Star game in the first place. Atlanta needs Infante more than ever in the wake of Chipper Jones’ season-ending knee injury and he’s responding by actually, you know, playing like an All-Star.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

Brian Blanco/Getty Images
3 Comments

Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
8 Comments

Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.