It was a bad weekend for appendicitis in major league baseball

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Andres Torres’ appendix attack* is far more consequential for our purposes, but the Giants’ outfielder wasn’t the only baseball person to go under the knife this weekend:

Umpire Angel Campos underwent an emergency appendectomy after being scratched from the Cleveland Indians game on Saturday night.

Campos was replaced on the crew Sunday for the Cleveland Indians’ game against the Minnesota Twins by D.J. Reyburn.

The 37-year-old Campos, in his first year of working major league
games, was scheduled to work home plate Saturday, but became ill during a
1-hour, 50-minute rain delay that postponed the start. He was taken to
Lutheran Hospital and had the emergency surgery.

Campos is OK. And the fans in Cleveland were treated to the always fun two-umps-covering-the-basepaths setup for the game.

*I’m a big fan of ratcheting-up the rhetoric when it comes to health issues. One of the neatest things I’ve heard in recent years is how the health care industry is starting to call strokes “brain attacks” so as to emphasize just how serious they are to the public. I think we should do it with everything. Appendix attack. Tooth attack. Nose attack. I may have gone to (and subsequently flunked out of) medical school if there were more action-packed terms associated with it 15 or 20 years ago.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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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.