Buster Posey was plunked twice yesterday and he wasn’t happy about it. Nor would I be, of course. It has to hurt. And if it’s not accidental it’s just lame. I hate plunkings and beanball wars. It’s dangerous stuff and, though it always has been and always will be part of baseball, I wish it wasn’t.
But I find this take on it from Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury-News to be a bit odd:
Am I the only one who remembered the display from Monday’s game, when players from both sides stood together and decried senseless acts of violence? Apparently, the Dodgers forgot the message … If Lilly was taking aim at Posey, then the Dodgers were dumb to be seeking revenge. And worse, they were deaf to the tone these two clubs attempted to set just two days earlier.
It seems to me that you either think it’s OK to plunk guys or you don’t. If you don’t, there are no circumstances under which you’d approve of Posey getting hit intentionally, so Baggarly’s extended explanation of why this particular plunking was wrong is beside the point.
If you do think that it’s OK to throw at someone — and Baggarly’s explanation of the circumstances suggests that he thinks that there is a time and a place for it, just not here — I’m not sure how the Bryan Stow stuff and the anti-violence message enters into it, because that seems to be a totally different thing altogether. That business is about fan behavior and not taking the rivalry outside-the-lines. It’s not about in-game tactics and aggression.
If it was, then we probably need to revisit a lot of other stuff. Like takeout slides at second and plowing into the catcher at home. Baggarly isn’t suggesting we do that, is he?
The Mets acquired right-handed reliever Jacob Rhame from the Dodgers, the team announced on Sunday. Rhame is the player to be named later in the trade that sent outfielder Curtis Granderson to Los Angeles on Friday night. He’s expected to report to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.
Rhame, 24, pitched through his second Triple-A campaign with the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2017, collecting two saves in 41 appearances and logging a 4.31 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 48 innings. While his ERA saw a sharp spike from its modest 3.29 mark in 2016 (perhaps thanks in part to a midseason DL stint due to an undisclosed injury), he’s controlling the ball better than he has in several years and has drawn some attention with a fastball that occasionally touches 98 MPH on the radar gun.
The Mets’ bullpen hasn’t been at its finest over the last few weeks, ranking 16th among its major league competitors with a collective 4.50 ERA and 2.4 fWAR, but likely isn’t looking to add an extreme fly ball pitcher to its staff just yet. Until he gets his big league break, Rhame will beef up Triple-A Vegas’ relief corps alongside fellow right-handers Yaisel Sierra, Joe Broussard and Josh Ravin.
The Pirates and Cardinals will switch things up for Sunday’s series finale, moving from the spacious PNC Park to the renovated Minor League confines of BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. Normally the home stadium for the Phillies’ Short-Season Single-A Williamsport Crosscutters, Historic Bowman Field will set the stage for an unusual — and unprecedented — matchup between the NL Central rivals as they take the field for the first-ever MLB Little League Baseball Classic.
The game will cap a packed day for Major League and Little League participants alike, as four Little League double-elimination games will be played in the morning and afternoon before the Pirates’ Ivan Nova and Cardinals’ Mike Leake face off at 7:00 PM ET. Despite drawing national attention, the Classic will be invitation-only, and its projected 2,366 attendees will comprise the lowest capacity attendance figure in Major League history.
The event is designed to spark more interest in the sport, especially among young players, and Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny called it “grassroots marketing at its finest.” “We all fell in love with the game and started dreaming about playing on a field like this at the age of these kids we’re going to go see in Williamsport,” he told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. “I hope there are some kids that we can encourage and maybe give a different look of the game and create some lifelong baseball fans that might not have been there otherwise.”
Judging by the excitement that infused the pregame festivities among the players, it looks like they’re already on the right track.