Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles reported to the spring training complex last night but, instead of the expected team meeting, Buck Showalter loaded them on buses, took them to a movie theater and showed them a movie of motivational Orioles highlights including great plays and bench-clearing brawls and stuff. Britt Ghiroli tweets that the movie “went over very well.” She says that players said that “they were ready to play a game right then and there.”
I don’t know how effective this sort of thing is. But there’s no denying that it will be a better motivator than that time Dave Trembley took everyone to see “The Other Boleyn Girl” before spring training in 2008. Word on the street at the time was that the implausible juxtaposition of historical drama and exploitive girl-fights between Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson led directly to Radhames Liz sever control problems. True story.
You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.
In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.
Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.
The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery. Surgery would end Miller’s 2017 season and would cut into a significant portion — if not all — of his 2018 season as well.
Miller sent his MRI results to Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews for second and third opinions, respectively. He could choose to rehab his elbow rather than undergo surgery, but that comes with its own set of positives and negatives.
Miller lasted only four-plus innings in his most recent start on Sunday and carries a 4.09 ERA on the season, his second with the Diamondbacks. His time in Arizona has not gone well.