Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes celebrated news of Adam Wainwright’s elbow injury

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Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News was in the Reds’ clubhouse when news of Adam Wainwright’s injury broke this morning and described the scene, which included outfielder Jonny Gomes celebrating with a song:

Jonny Gomes walked into the Cincinnati Reds spring training clubhouse early Wednesday morning singing at the top of his warbly voice. The melody was not recognizable, but the words were plaintive: “Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone,” he sang joyously.

Wow.

It’s tough to tell the mood or tone of something based strictly on a written report, but McCoy’s article seemingly also paints Reds manager Dusty Baker’s reaction as … well, let’s just say something Cardinals fans would probably be upset by (although admittedly that likely wouldn’t take much given the bad blood between the two teams stemming from last season’s brawl).

If nothing else, Gomes has probably earned himself a few extra hit by pitches this season.

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UPDATE: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com spoke to Gomes, who attempted to clarify what he feels is a misrepresented situation and said: “From the bottom of my heart, I would never wish anyone an injury.”

UPDATE II: McCoy has now pulled the story about Gomes celebrating Wainwright’s injury from his column because he feels bad about the negative attention that is heading the outfielder’s way.

I thought the Gomes thing was humorous, with no malice intended by Gomes. That isn’t Jonny Gomes. He is one of my favorite people and I would not do anything to hurt him. It seemed it was Jonny’s way of saying the Reds wouldn’t have to face one of the best pitchers in baseball and he’d never wish injury on any player.

McCoy, however, is not retracting the fact that he heard Gomes singing about the unfortunate Wainwright news. He heard it. Others in the clubhouse heard it too, including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Gomes might not have meant for his song to come off as mean-spirited, but it’s out there now and ever-loyal Cardinals manager Tony La Russa tends to enjoy responding to such things.

The Cardinals and Reds begin their first series of the year on April 22 in St. Louis. Mark your calendars.

The Japanese playoffs are super unfair

Hiroshima Carp
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I know a little about Japanese baseball. Not a lot, mind you. Like, I couldn’t hold my own with people who actually watch it or report on it or whatever, but I could explain some of the broad differences and similarities between the NPB and the U.S. majors.  I can say a few things about how the two leagues compare competitively speaking. I can name some stars and (I think) all the clubs. But there’s, quite obviously, a ton I don’t know.

A thing I did not know until today: the NPB playoffs are really messed up.

The NPB is divided into two leagues, the Central and the Pacific, with the winner of each league facing off in the Japan Series. Like the U.S. majors, they have preliminary playoff rounds in each league. Each league has three playoff teams, with the second and third seed teams playing a series first, and the winner of that series playing the top seed — the team with the best record in the league — in what is called the Climax Series.

Here’s the weird part: the higher-seeded team in the Climax Series — the team which won the league in the regular season — gets every single playoff game at home. What’s more, that team begins the Climax Series with an automatic 1-0 advantage. So, yes, it’s a seven-game series on paper, but one of the teams only has to win three games to advance to the Japan Series.

Oh, in Japan, they also have no problems ending a playoff game early if it rains. That’s what happened in the Central League Climax Series last night, where the lower-seeded Yokohama BayStars took on the league champ Hiroshima Carp. Here’s the report from Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times:

The rainy conditions in Hiroshima caused the umpires to stop play for over 30 minutes and ultimately call the game after five innings, minutes after the Carp put three runs on the board. Just like that, it was over. The Carp won 3-0, with Yokohama robbed of the four innings (at least) it would’ve had to try and rally.

Even better: as Coskrey notes, there are five days in between the end of the Climax Series and the beginning of the Japan Series, so there is no reason they could not suspend a game and resume it the next day. They just choose not to. The upshot: the Carp were staked to a 2-0 series lead despite the fact that they had only played five innings of baseball. UPDATE: they played a full game today, the BayStars won, so now it’s 2-1 Hiroshima.

Imagine if that happened in the NLCS. Imagine if the Dodgers began the series with a 1-0 lead over the Cubs and played all of their games in Los Angeles. Imagine there was a freak L.A. storm and it ended one of the game in the fifth inning, right after Justin Turner hit a homer. I’m pretty sure people would riot.

Kinda makes our complaints about the replay system seem rather quaint, eh?