Jim Leyland, Joe West

Joe West’s crew strikes again

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning there were ejections a-plenty in the Tigers-Angels game. In fact, there was one more than I had mentioned. Rick Porcello’s ejection wasn’t listed in the notes to the box score, seeing as though he wasn’t in the game at the time.  All in all:

  • Jim Leyland got ejected by Joe West after the final out in sixth inning, likely arguing about how Angel Hernandez made Justin Verlander get rid of a baseball he rubbed up behind the mound prior to a pitch. Which is not something I believe I’ve ever seen;
  • Verlander was ejected when he yelled at Angel Hernandez when he was leaving the mound in the eighth. Leaving the mound because he was leaving the game, having been lifted for a reliever.  Why an umpire feels it necessary to eject a guy who is heading to the showers is an open question;
  • As mentioned above, Rick Porcello was ejected in the ninth inning for yelling something from the dugout; and
  • On the Angels’ side, Bobby Abreu was ejected in the first inning for arguing a called strike.

Whenever I bring up this kind of thing someone comments that players and managers shouldn’t be disrespectful to umpires, going crazy arguing and all of that.  And that’s true.  But it’s also true that, as an official, an umpire needs to be a bigger man and not get all bent out of shape when the people he’s officiating offend his sensibilities.

This stuff happens with Joe West and Angel Hernandez way more than it happens with anyone else.  Someone should probably tell them that no one comes out to the ballpark see them run people, and no one likes it when games are decided in part because players and coaches are absent due to being ejected.

UPDATE: And don’t forget to check out the Joe West ejection counter over at The Platoon Advantage. It’s actually a pretty eye-opening look at what West and Co. are really up to.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.

 

David Ross to compete on “Dancing with the Stars”

David Ross
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Do you miss David Ross? I miss David Ross. The season hasn’t even started yet and I miss David Ross. There’s something comforting about having a likable graybeard catcher in the game with bonus points for being bald. His loss will be felt.

But while we won’t have David Ross in baseball all this year — at least on the field; he’s a special assistant with the Cubs — we’ll still have David Ross someplace:

Johnny Damon did “Celebrity Apprentice” — Trump fired him, sadly — but we’ve never had a ballplayer on “Dancing With The Stars.” There have been several football players and some Olympians, but no baseball guys. Which makes some amount of sense as, outside of the middle infielders and first basemen, footwork isn’t necessarily the most important tool.

Catchers are particularly plodding for athletes, so good luck, David. Unless you have some moves you haven’t flashed in the past, you’ll probably need it.