The Sox and Royals were not exactly fundamentally sound last night

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I mentioned this in the recaps, but the video makes it funnier.

The Royals won the game last night on one of the uglier “squeeze plays” you’ll ever see.  I quote “squeeze play” because it ended up functioning like one even though it wasn’t called. At least not as the runners-go-first suicide squeeze it ended up being.  Seemed that baserunners Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur missed the sign and both took off running. Since Francoeur is the superior officer, I believe he should take the fall.  And for that big popup bunt, Mike Aviles should be taken out and shot.

OK, maybe not. It worked, so we’ll forgive them all.

No such forgiveness for Boston who, unlike the Royals, did have the squeeze play on last night in the bottom of the 12th. And everyone knew about it except the guy who was supposed to lay it down, Marco Scutaro. He simply missed the sign leaving baserunner Josh Reddick hung up between third and home, the winning run that never was. I suppose that pitch was so far inside that it would have been difficult to do anything with it anyway, but you figure that he’d at least foul it off.

Oh well. At least Scutaro atoned for it by immediately singling to left … and then getting thrown out at second.

Bad night for the Sox.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.