Cameron Maybin discusses his Panda Express tweets

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I missed this yesterday, but apparently someone asked Cameron Maybin about that whole mess withe the Panda Express tweets:

“I’m on Twitter probation,” Maybin said through a big smile Thursday morning at the Padres complex. “I’m hoping we can sweep that one under the rug. I would like to say I love Panda Express. I have been going there since I was in high school. It’s the best cuisine around.”

He went to talk about how remarkable it was how quickly the fun little controversy spread.*  As someone who tweets a lot, I think about that stuff more and more.  Really, anyone who has any amount of readership on there is an exclamation away from infamy.  I think that’s simultaneously thrilling and scary.  Part of the deal, really. The immediacy is a two-way street.

*I don’t like the word “controversy” here because it implies some sort of legitimate question as to the propriety of the act when, in this case, it’s really not anything any reasonable person would really get mad about. It was funny.  At the same time, it was something that causes a stir, neutrally speaking, so it’s not sufficient to say “it was nothing.”

What we really need here is a single word that captures the following concept: “an incident that is harmless and fun and only superficially and comically troublesome yet that one that is still worthy of note for people who traffic in such silliness on a regular basis.”  I’m blanking.  Maybe we just need to make up one.  I’ll accept all suggestions in the comments.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.