I wrote this morning about Ricky Romero pointing to a lack of run support after last night’s loss dropped him to 6-7 despite a 2.98 ERA and this afternoon Romero tweeted that he wasn’t calling out the Blue Jays’ lineup:
Wanna clear up that I did NOT call out any of my teammates. Never been that guy. I go about my business and that’s it. I respect everyone on my team. And my team knows what I’m all about. Some people try and make something outta nothing. My team is my Family.
I guess I’m “some people” in that scenario and Romero’s postgame quotes certainly didn’t qualify as harsh criticism or fighting words, but at the very least he was clearly letting off some steam about repeatedly taking tough losses. Longtime columnist Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star wrote about Romero’s comments under the headline: “Frustrated Ricky Romero speaks out on Jays’ lack of offence.”
Romero is absolutely right about the lack of run support he’s received, but he’s wrong about Toronto’s lineup struggling in general and has now learned the hard way that there’s really nothing to gain by pointing out teammates’ struggles whether you intended to “call them out” or simply discuss facts. Sad but true.
Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.
Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.
Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.
Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.
Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.