willingham getty

Pirates, Athletics considering a Josh Willingham trade


The contending Pirates could use a bat, and one bat that always seems to be available at trade deadline time is Josh Willingham.  According to  Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Athletics and Pirates are talking about him. In such a deal, Willingham and Craig Breslow would come to Pittsburgh, with Garrett Jones going to Oakland. It’s unclear if anyone else would head west.

Willingham is having a bit of a down year, hitting .244/.321/.434 with 12 homers.  Breslow has likewise taken a step back this season, sporting a 1.530 WHIP, which is way up from career norms. Jones — hitting .237/.325/.415 has been no great shakes either, though it seems more and more obvious as time goes on that these are, in fact, his legitimate shakes and that the brilliant half-season he put up in 2009 was something of a fluke.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.