Bailey Stephens of MLB.com has an update from our baseball friends overseas.
The Chibba Lotte Marines defeated the Chunichi Dragons 8-7 on Sunday to win the Japan Series — a series that featured the longest game in the league’s history.
The Marines and Dragons battled to a 2-2 tie* after six hours and 43 minutes in Game 6 Saturday.
That led to Sunday’s decisive Game 7, whenYoshifumi Okada knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI triple in the top of the 12th to lead the Marines to the club’s first Japan Series title since 2005. Current ESPN analyst and active managerial candidate Bobby Valentine was that 2005 team’s manager.
The Marines finished third place in the Pacific League regular season standings, but had a Giants-like run through the playoffs.
*Bud Selig was not spotted in the stands. No word yet on whether he called for the cease in action from another locale.
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.