Scenes From Spring Training: Rainpocalypse

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I awake to light rain and slightly cool temperatures this morning.  Yesterday, multiple people Phoenix residents apologized to me in advance for this weather, trying to explain it away as though it were some personal failing.  Many locals are having the “will we get the game in?” conversation that most of us have when violent weather systems pass through at game time.  For a day with this forecast:

Gee, I hope I survive.

But don’t worry about me. I’ll try to tough it out.  After all, today I’m going to Goodyear to see the Indians and the Reds, and that’s coverage that has to happen, my friends, because I can think of nothing more fun than an Ohio writer taunting people back in Ohio by texting and tweeting them pictures of Ohio-based ballplayers frolicking in the desert.

Even if there’s a threat of sub-60 temperatures and a chance of torrential cloudiness.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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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.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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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.