Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles

Wait, the Tigers complained about an opponent hustling?

14 Comments

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”).

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.