I have, like, 50 industrial-sized barrels full of Frank McCourt ire sitting in my basement, so don’t you worry at all about me running out any time soon. But I just real Bill Plaschke’s latest column about how McCourt has had little or no contact with the season ticket holders over the years, and I’ve decided that I’m really not going to dig deep into my ire stash for them:
“I caught the [bankruptcy] story about three minutes after it hit, and followed it all day while wondering whether I would receive an email or some kind of communication from Frank McCourt,” said Michael Roth, a Westside lawyer. “I never received anything … My family still loves going to the games, but not hearing from McCourt underscores the disconnect between the owner and the fans.”
I’m sure P.R. professionals would say that someone at the Dodgers should have constant communications with season ticket holders, but I really have to classify “not receiving emails full of bloodless, cheerleading corporate-speak” as a particularly unimportant brand of first world problems. And what purpose would it serve anyway? Is this the conversation that will ensue?
“Look, honey, Mr. McCourt says here that the bankruptcy was the fault of Major League Baseball and that he fully intends to prevail and lead the Dodgers into a bright future! Those liars at the Los Angeles Times had him all wrong! Let’s re-up our club seats for another five years!”
In a flurry of roster moves, the Dodgers placed Yu Darvish on the 10-day disabled list with back tightness, the team announced Saturday. Darvish was removed from his start on Wednesday after experiencing back pain and is expected to skip his scheduled start in Pittsburgh next Tuesday before returning to the roster. Left-hander Edward Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City in a corresponding move.
This is the first disabled list stint of the year for the 31-year-old right-hander, who exited Wednesday’s outing with a 3.83 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 9.9 SO/9 over 155 innings for the Dodgers and Rangers in 2017. Darvish told reporters that he felt comfortable continuing to pitch even after the diagnosis, but wanted to respect the team’s decision going forward.
The Dodgers have not officially announced Darvish’s replacement, but will likely turn to right-hander Brock Stewart for a spot start when they polish off their seven-game road trip next week. It’s been a rough weekend for the NL West leaders, who are still waiting on Clayton Kershaw‘s return and lost lefty reliever Grant Dayton to elbow discomfort on Friday.
The writing was on the wall, but the Yankees made it official on Saturday: Aroldis Chapman is no longer closing games for the Bronx Bombers. Comments from manager Joe Girardi suggested that the move is a temporary one, however, and he told reporters that Chapman will be utilized at “different points” in the game as the Yankees try to pinpoint the source of the left-hander’s struggles.
There’s no question that the flame-throwing southpaw has been off his game for a while, and his season 4.29 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 12.6 SO/9 hints at some of the issues he’s been facing. He imploded in each of his last three appearances, issuing a cumulative five hits, six runs and five strikeouts over just 3 1/3 innings. It seems plausible that the left rotator cuff inflammation that sidelined him several months ago has resurfaced, but the veteran lefty said Friday that he doesn’t believe any physical issues have caused his decline.
While Chapman works out the kinks in his mechanics, the Yankees will look to some combination of Dellin Betances and David Robertson to cover the ninth inning. Girardi wouldn’t commit to either reliever in the closer’s spot, however, and said he’d take it on a case-by-case basis depending on the match-ups in any given game. The long-term plan is still to reinstate Chapman, whenever that might make sense for the team.
“He’s been scuffling over the past 10 days, two weeks,” Girardi said. “I just thought for us to get him back on track, maybe the best way would be to move him around a little bit until he gets going. When we get him going like I believe he’ll get going, there’s a good chance I’ll put him right back in that closer’s role.”