Remember those lame titanium necklaces that everyone was wearing during the playoffs? Seems that the umpires had them too. This according to Paul Lukas’ latest, in which he spoke to the woman who makes them from her little shop in Seattle:
At least a dozen players, including the entire Texas Rangers bullpen, wore Johnson’s handiwork during the Series. And in what may have been a World Series first, the umpires were titanium-clad as well. “I got a call asking could I meet with the umpires, so I went to their hotel,” she said. “I was sitting there waiting, and here comes John Hirschbeck. He said, ‘I want all the umpires to wear them,’ so I made six necklaces for them.”
So, to review: the umpires are against implementation of technology to ensure that the correct outcomes are reached on a baseball diamond, but they’re all for wearing jewelry that “enhances circulation” and “stabilizes energy flow.”
For those of you who are in favor of the “human element,” just remember: humans are outrageously irrational beasts who will believe just about anything.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.