Franklin Gutierrez batted twice in the Mariners’ five-run second inning last night, but then left the game after reportedly hyperventilating in the dugout. Here’s more from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:
Gutierrez said he was “obviously” frightened because he’d never experienced something like that. He wasn’t sure whether his troubles catching his breath were related to a stomach ailment that knocked him from a pair of games over the weekend.
“I feel better right now,” he said. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow.” The A’s team doctor examined Gutierrez on-site and told the player there didn’t appear to be anything seriously wrong.
I’m not doctor, but the weekend stomach ailment sure seems like the most probable explanation. After all, why would anyone get that worked up over a meaningless early September game between a 55-84 team and a 68-70 team? It’s not like Gutierrez was in a pressure-packed situation, like a junior-high dance or something. Not that I’d know anything about that either.
Also, apparently the whole “breathe-into-a-paper-bag” thing is a myth. Based on my experience, the only cure is to stop going to dances.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.