The play that ended the Tigers-Rays game last night was weird. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a would-be putout at second with two down fail, thus allowing the guy from from third to score. Neat.
But more interesting to me were Joe Maddon’s comments after the game in which he praised Sean Rodriguez — the guy that beat the force at second — for his hustle on the play:
As odd as the ending to Wednesday’s game was, manager Joe Maddon said it couldn’t have been more fitting that Sean Rodriguez’s extreme hustle was the key to the Rays’ win. That’s because Tuesday, Rodriguez was getting yelled at by Detroit starter Brad Penny and possibly some other Tigers for hustling too much running hard on an infield pop out.
“For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,’’ Maddon said. “And if Sean had just charged the mound, I’d have been fine with that at that particular moment. I think that’s ridiculous, and then he shows them (Wednesday) what that means to play hard. So any time a guy gets on another guy because he’s going to show him up by playing too hard, I have a hard time with that myself, personally.”
I hadn’t heard anything about Penny barking at Rodriguez over actually running out a pop fly on Tuesday and can’t find any reference to it. Did that actually happen? Is Brad Penny so much of a yutz that he’s going to yell at players from the other team for hustling?
Please tell me that this is Joe Maddon being dramatic. If not, whoa, we’ve taken the unwritten rules to a whole new stupid level.
UPDATE: Yeah, we are at whole new stupid level. Rays Index has a post on it, complete with video of Penny yelling at Rodriguez for, apparently, running. Fantastic work there Penny. Idiot of the Year was a pretty wide open race until now, but you have made yourself the front runner in epic fashion.
UPDATE II: Penny says he was yelling at Rodriguez for cussing. I guess, if true, that would take him out of singularly idiotic territory and merely put him down on Chris Carpenter level (“thou shalt not be mad at thineself for failing when facing me”).
Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.
Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.
The big item, though, is this one:
It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.
Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.
Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.
[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.
He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.
Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.