HBT Weekend Wrapup

16 Comments

I think half the time I write that as “Weekend Wrapup” and half the time I write it as “Weekend Wrap.”  Eh, consistency is overrated.

  • That A.J. Burnett-Joe Girardi business from Saturday night.  True Fact: I landed in New York at about 9:30 AM yesterday morning. My cab driver, however, already had detailed inside information about all of this from “a guy who knows a guy who [he] used to work for who works for the Yankees now.” From nine hours earlier. When the Yankees were in Minnesota. He says the media got it all wrong and that “there’s a whole f**kin’ bigger story there that the Yankees ain’t gonna tell nobody.” But my cab driver knew it. OK.
  • Chipper Jones is coming back next year. Bloggers: set your macros for “day-to-day with ____ soreness.”
  • K-Rod is open to returning to the Mets next year. The Mets could not be reached for comment because they knocked their phones off the hook while convulsing from the most violent laughing fit in recorded history.
  • Brian Cashman doesn’t want to be the Cubs’ GM.  Or the Orioles or anyone else’s for that matter. Because while he appreciates that folks like to write stories about him going various places, he is not, in fact, certifiably insane.
  • The Yankees could maybe be interested in Rich Harden. I suppose “Harden beating the Red Sox in Game four of the ALCS after the Sox passed on him due to his medicals back in July” would make for interesting off-season fodder in Boston.
  • I can’t decide if 2011 will be known as the “The Year of Appendectomies” or “The Year of Oblique Strains.”
  • Give ’em enough rope
  • Jeff Jered Weaver signed a big contract extension. Some folks are saying that he cost himself many millions by signing now instead of when he hits free agency after 2012. That’s probably true. It’s also true that to get those extra millions he’d likely have to at least entertain the notion of going to New York, the city that helped chew up and spit out his older brother, and to bypass the chance to stay in beautiful Southern California and the pitcher-friendly AL West for a sum that will set him and his descendants up for several generations. So no, I’m not gonna get on the guy for this.
  • The Pirates locked up young talent. Kind of a new approach for them. No, not the spending money part. The having young talent part.

Into the week we go. And if I seem more chipper than usual this week, realize that my kids go back to school tomorrow. And, for the first time they’re both gone all day, five days a week.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my kids and love havin’ ’em around — but now I can blog pants-free while listening to The Dead Kennedys cranked up to 11. At least until about 3:45pm when they get off the bus.

The kids I mean. Not the Dead Kennedys. They would have no business riding a school bus in my neighborhood.

Bruce Maxwell is the first MLB player to take a knee during the National Anthem

Getty Images
42 Comments

Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

Getty Images
2 Comments

This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.