HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I had an excuse for missing baseball news this weekend: I got a new phone that is perhaps the scariest bit of technology I have ever encountered. I’m still traumatized, frankly, and all I’ve done is figure out how to change the ring tone. You guys who spent all weekend watching football have way less of an excuse. That’s just a sad sport, frankly, and if you can’t get everything you need from Florio, Rosenthal and the rest, God help you. You don’t need to actually watch it.

OK, sorry. That was hostile. I’m just a bit phone-shocked. I’ll be better as the morning wears on.  The weekend wrap:

  • Sticking with the Mets, the kabuki theater they are going through in order to satisfy the rabid portions of their fan base that they’re really considering Wally Backman for the job when they totally don’t plan on hiring him is something to behold.
  • Bad news: an elbow injury has likely ended Jamie Moyer’s career. Good news: He can get some simple surgery to fix it now, but if he had suffered this injury during the early part of his career they would have shot him to ease his suffering. See, because medical science has advanced so much in the past . . . oh, just forget it. I’m just sad that this may be my last chance to make a Jamie Moyer is old joke.
  • Derek Jeter and the Giants? Nah, but you know, even though I’m 100% certain Jeter goes back to the Yankees, a Giants uniform is the one non-Yankees uniform I can imagine him looking the least out-of-place in. Just aesthetically speaking. It’s the one uni that looks good and classic enough so that it wouldn’t diminish his historical stature, while at the same time not breaking some rivalry or cultural taboo like the Red Sox or Dodgers would. OK, maybe the Tigers, but I’d prefer it if Alan Trammell remained the most famous Tiger shortstop of all time, thank you.
  • Edgar Renteria wants to come back in 2011. The one guy who could have gotten around the old “all things end badly or else they’d never end” maxim is gonna blow it. Oh well. And hey: another Tiger shortstop.

Hey, I think I figured out how to make my phone make fart noises!  Progress.

Rougned Odor didn’t technically steal home, but he basically did

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Just saw this from last night’s Tigers-Rangers game. It was pretty wild.

Rougned Odor walked in the seventh inning. He broke for second on a steal and was safe due to the throw going wild, allowing him to reach third base. The Tigers called on reliever Daniel Stumpf and he was effective in retiring the next two batters, leaving Odor on third with two out.

Stumpf, a lefty, was paying no attention whatsoever to Odor, so Odor just took off for home, attempting a straight steal. Stumpf was so surprised that he tried to throw home to nail Odor, and in so doing, he balked. That technically means that Odor scored on the balk, but I think it’s safe to say he would’ve scored on the strait steal regardless. Watch:

 

He definitely gets points for style.

 

Aroldis Chapman is pitching himself out of a job

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Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman looked shaky again last night, coming in to the game with a three-run lead before allowing a two-run homer to the Mets’ Amed Rosario. He would nail down the save eventually, giving Sonny Gray his first win as a Yankee, but Chapman’s struggles were the talk of the game afterward.

It was the third appearance in a row in which Chapman has given up at least one run, allowing five runs on three hits — two of them homers — and walking four in his last three and a third innings pitched. He’s also hit a batter. That’s just the most acute portion of a long slide, however. He posted a 0.79 ERA in his first 12 appearances this year, before getting shelled twice and then going on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, missing over a month. Since returning he’s allowed 12 runs — ten earned — in 23 appearances, breaking out to a 4.09 ERA. He’s also walked ten batters in that time. At present, his strikeout rate is the worst he’s featured since 2010. His walk rate is up and he’s allowing more hits per nine innings than he ever has.

It’s possible that he’s still suffering from shoulder problems. Whether or not that’s an issue, he looks to have a new health concern as he appeared to tweak his hamstring on the game’s final play last night when he ran over to cover first base. Chapman told reporters after the game that “it’s nothing to worry about,” and Joe Girardi said that Chapman would not undergo an MRI or anything, but he was clearly grimacing as he came off the mound and it’s something worth watching.

Also worth watching: Dellin Betances and David Robertson, Chapman’s setup men who have each shined as Yankees closers in the past and who may very soon find themselves closing once again if Chapman can’t figure it out. And Chapman seems to know it. He was asked if he still deserves to be the closer after the game. His answer:

“My job is to be ready to pitch everyday. As far as where I pitch, that’s not up to me. If at some point they need to remove me from the closer’s position, I’m always going to be ready to pitch.”

That’s a team-first answer, and for that Chapman should be lauded. But it’s also one that suggests Chapman himself knows he’s going to be out of a closer’s job soon if he doesn’t turn things around.