Independent league baseball is awesome

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A story in the Chicago Sun-Times a couple of days ago — just coming to my attention via a fun thread over at Baseball Think Factory — is seven shades of awesome. I’ll let you read it for yourself, but the critical components are as follows:

  • Former Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson quitting before a game and having half of his roster quit with him;
  • Pitchers playing as position players;
  • Position players pitching;
  • One of those position players being 47-year-old Jose Canseco;
  • Kevin Costner: cheapskate?
  • Everyone being released or traded the next day and, presumably, Bugs Bunny or an elephant or something covering the rest of the season’s games.

Make sure you go over to the BTF thread too, as the sharpshooters over there offer lots of good random information about players in the story and the independent leagues in general.

And Dodgers fans: this probably puts your team’s financial difficulties into a more comfy perspective.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.