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.
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.