When you wear ridiculously flamboyant clothing into a baseball clubhouse where the players are celebrating an ALDS victory by spraying each other with champagne, ginger ale, and beer … well, you run the risk of catching some liquid shrapnel.
And as Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com writes, that’s exactly what happened to TBS sideline reporter Craig Sager after the Rangers’ win over the Rays last night:
[Tommy Hunter] grabs several cans of Bud Light from the neatly stacked coolers on wheels stationed around the clubhouse for easy access. Then Hunter made his move. He stalked Sager, and once he got within firing range, he shook and fired. Like a fire hose of barley and hops, Hunter doused Sager, spraying him from his neatly brushed hair down to his some-sort-of-animal-skin loafers.
Sager, at a total loss, took the soaking without saying much of anything, seemingly stunned with a look on his face that said, “Hey, what’d I do?” Then came the kicker. Hunter, his beer barrage finally over and Sager literally drenched, gave a whoop as he turned away from Sager and then shouted: “I don’t even know who you are!”
On one hand that wasn’t very nice of Tommy Hunter. On the other hand, anyone going into the clubhouse mid-celebration has to expect to be doused in something and presumably a big part of the reason Sager dresses like he does is to be noticed when he walks into a room. He got his wish.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.