Just in time for Baseball’s Civil Rights Weekend celebrations in Atlanta, Roger McDowell, the Braves’ gay-slurring pitching coach, returns from his suspension today:
An emotional Roger McDowell has returned from his two-week suspension and is vowing he won’t repeat the inappropriate comments and crude gestures he made to fans that led to his punishment by Major League Baseball. McDowell’s eyes were red as he apologized Friday “to anyone who was offended by my actions.” He struggled to remain composed while he talked about his return as the Braves’ pitching coach.
In other news, the Braves record and team ERA was better in McDowell’s absence than it was before his suspension. But let us not equate correlation and causation.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.