HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I threw my back out this weekend. No idea how I did it. When I sat down on Saturday morning I felt fine. When I stood up to get out of the chair none of my lower back muscles worked. These are the sorts of things that happen to you when you’re slothful and are pushing 40. Silver lining: given that standing up was quite painful and doing any actual housework or active parenting was out of the question, I sat in a comfy leather chair for two days and read two books. Well, finished a long one I had been reading and read another.

Something I already knew but which was underscored in a major, major way: Edward Hopper and James Ellroy would be the worst wingmen in history.  If you asked Hopper to talk to the friend of the girl you’re scoping out, he’d say nothing for five minutes, then say something witheringly cutting and then paint a picture of her as a figure of stark loneliness.  Ellroy would go motormouth on her about how she looked a lot like his dead mother. You know, the one whose murder he caused by invoking a curse back in 1958?  Either way, you’re not going home with the girl you were scoping out.

Anyway, this is what you may have missed if, like me, you spent the weekend reading about two fantastic artists with serious psycho-sexual issues:

Oh, and if you care: “Rooms by the Sea” and “American Tabloid” are probably my favorites, though those change quite frequently depending on mood.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.