Here’s an odd turn of events.
Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was suspended one game by Major League Baseball in mid-September for celebrating a walkoff win despite being ejected earlier in the contest. Kinsler appealed, and a report came out last week that suspected MLB would simply drop the punishment.
Now Kinsler has dropped his appeal, according to ESPN Dallas, choosing to take the day off Sunday in the wake of the Rangers clinching the American League West. Some in the industry call it “hangover day,” and he probably wouldn’t have played anyway.
So that’s where we sit. The Rangers are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and Kinsler will take in Sunday’s series finale against the A’s from a skybox.
Kinsler, 28, has hit .275/.376/.438 this month with three home runs, seven RBI, 12 walks and four stolen bases. He’s getting hot at exactly the right time.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.