P.R. professionals like to use the term “optics” to refer to how things look (as opposed to what is really going on). You could have just given $100,000 to an orphanage, but if you are seen berating your assistant for sloppy writing on the big oversized check that will be paraded before the media, those are “bad optics.”
Maybe that’s all superficial stuff. But sometimes the optics of a given situation tell some fundamental truth about that situation. And while I’m not a P.R. professional, I do wonder if Frank McCourt has thought through the optics of this day. A day on which (a) he’ll be in New York meeting with MLB executives to plead his case about keeping control of the Dodgers; while (b) the new man in control of the Dodgers, Tom Schieffer, will hold a press conference in Los Angeles where he’ll no doubt talk about how deeply he cares about restoring the Dodgers to financial sanity.
Is there no one in Frank McCourt’s circle of advisors who told him that it may be a good idea for him to be seen showing an equal amount of concern for the Dodgers on this day, at least publicly, and then going to New York next week in order to restore his personal control over the team?
Because when the narrative of his reign in Los Angeles is “the man ran the team into the ground while extracting a hundred million bucks or more from it for his own personal use,” looking like a bit more of a team player seems important.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.