As you know by now, Chase Utley did not get hit by Aroldis Chapman last night. That’s what happens when someone throws 105 mph and we don’t have instant replay. And yeah, Utley was probably out at second base too, as evidenced by this picture here.
One thing that we can clear up, though, is that Utley did touch third base before scoring the tying run. It’s a little tough to tell from the screen grab to the right, but Scott Rolen confirmed as much to Bill Singer of MLB.com.
“I saw him touch the bag. I take a look when someone comes around third,
and he touched it, Just the corner. But that’s all you need.”
I can understand that some are asking why Utley isn’t facing the same criticism that Derek Jeter did last month, but there is one significant difference between the two events. Utley didn’t even need to state his case on the hit-by-pitch, because home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman did all the work for him. Utley just put his head down and kept going. Nothing we haven’t seen before.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.