Curtis Granderson took to Twitter last night in the wake of T.J. Simers’ low-rent hatchet job on Marcus Thames the other day. Granderson:
I don’t like to criticize media. They have a job to do & sometimes have to be the bad guy. But @LATimesTJSimers should be ashamed of himself … Marcus Thames is one of the best teammates/ friends I’ve ever had. He brings 100% to every team he is with. I love him like a brother.
@LATimesTJSimers is Simers’ Twitter handle.
Like I said the other day, Simers’ shtick is his shtick and he’s welcome to it. But it’s pathetic and hacky even when directed at a big star he’s trying to cut down to size, and simply reprehensible when he’s taking on an unassuming role-player like Thames. Good for Granderson to call Simers out on it.
For Simers’ part, he tried his best to rehabilitate himself in a portion of yesterday’s column, catching up with Thames again, who was prepared for Simers this time. To Thames’ credit he seemed to be gracious and he engaged Simers on the subject of his defense. Simers continued to be a jerk, of course, describing Thames behavior the day before as “walking away in a snit” and “running away” from his questions, it apparently never occurring to him that his act is rude, bordering on the sociopathic.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.