Rocco Baldelli rejoins the Rays and homers in his first at-bat

1 Comment

Rocco Baldelli began this season as a minor-league coach in the Rays’ system and then officially started his comeback as a player in mid-July, playing 23 games between high Single-A and Triple-A before a call-up to Tampa Bay when rosters expanded last week.
And yesterday his second stint with the Rays kicked off with a two-run homer on the first swing of his first at-bat. Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times notes that Baldelli also homered in his last at-bat for the Rays, going deep in Game 5 of the World Series in 2008.
Because of his various injuries and health problems Baldelli is no longer capable of being an everyday player even if his skills warranted it, but he’s also still just 28 years old and could thrive as a backup outfielder or platoon starter against left-handed pitching. He’s definitely someone to root for.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

Getty Images
3 Comments

Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.

Bumgarner: dirt bike adventure was “definitely not the most responsible decision”

MLB.com
8 Comments

Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.

While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”

As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.

Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.