Yesterday the Giants faced the half of the Brewers squad that wasn’t facing the Cubs over at HoHoKam. In that game, a nearly two-year old grudge continued to play out as Prince Fielder and Barry Zito jawed at one another after Zito walked Fielder.
The grudge, of course, is based on Fielder’s infamous “bowling ball” celebration after he hit a walkoff homer against the Giants in 2009. In response, Zito plunked Fielder in a spring training game last March. Yesterday’s little back and forth came after Zito walked toward home plate following his walk to Fielder to ask the ump what was wrong with the pitch that was called ball four.
Like any rivalry, however, this one has gotten more refined and enjoyable over time. For evidence, just look at what they said to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel about the incident after the game yesterday:
“I asked the umpire if it was a ball or a strike and Prince was letting me know it was a ball,” said Zito. “We talked a little bit. Asked how his off-season went. How’s the family? No new tats (tattoos).”
Fielder had a different recollection of the chat though equally fictional.
“We have the same agent (Scott Boras) so we were talking about going out to dinner. I don’t think I’m going to make it.”
After which they shared some tea.
Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Padres have announced that interim manager Pat Murphy won’t return as the team’s manager in 2016. Haudricourt adds that Brewres manager Craig Counsell tried to get Murphy on his staff, and says to look for Murphy to join the Brewers for the 2016 season.
Murphy led the Padres to a 42-53 record after Bud Black was fired in June. He had previously managed for two years with Single-A Eugene in 2011-12, and at Triple-A Tucson and El Paso in 2013-14.
Former major leaguer Phil Nevin is a candidate for the Padres’ vacant managing position, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.