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”).
Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera, playing in his second game since being benched for a lack of hustle, hit a three-run home run to extend his team’s lead to 5-1 in the fourth inning on Wednesday afternoon. After putting a sweet swing on an Anibal Sanchez 2-1 slider, Herrera flipped his bat in grand fashion. It wasn’t quite as emphatic as Jose Bautista‘s from last year’s ALDS, but it was glorious nonetheless.
To the Tigers’ credit, Herrera’s bat flip didn’t result in any shouting or fighting or throwing intentionally at hitters. So that’s nice.
Herrera is now batting .327/.440/.461 with five home runs and 17 RBI on the year. The Phillies selected him in the Rule 5 draft from the Rangers ahead of the 2015 season and he’s proven to be the lifeblood of the offense thus far.
Someone on Reddit’s /r/baseball page linked to this New York Times article from June 1986.
Dave Kingman, then with the Athletics, was 37 years old and playing in what would be his final season. He was fined $3,500, which is a little over $7,600 in 2016 dollars, for sending a live rat in a pink box to a female reporter, Susan Fornoff of The Sacramento Bee. The rat wore a tag that said “my name is Sue.”
Kingman refused to apologize, saying, “I’ve pulled practical jokes on other people and I didn’t apologize to them.”
According to Fornoff, Kingman had said to her that women don’t belong in the clubhouse, and Kingman had been harassing her since she began covering the team in ’85. The Athletics didn’t keep Kingman around after the season, and he ended up hanging up the spikes.
Pete Dexter wrote in more detail about the incident at Deadspin a few years ago. It’s a good read.
I wasn’t familiar with this story as I was still more than two years from being born when it happened. Sports media has made strides towards being more inclusive of non-white cisgender straight men, especially compared to 30 years ago. But, of course, we’re still a long ways away from an ideal world in which everyone is treated equally and everyone has equal access. Some of the best baseball reporting and analysis these days is being done by women and it’s nice to see sites, especially FanGraphs recently, make a concerted effort towards diversification.
Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller continued to struggle on Tuesday, serving up six runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts over five innings against the Pirates. His ERA, in 10 starts this season, stands at an unsightly 7.09 with 30 strikeouts and 29 walks in 45 2/3 innings.
The D-Backs acquired him from the Braves over the winter, sending 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson to Atlanta along with pitching prospect Aaron Blair and outfielder Ender Inciarte. It’s a trade they’d most likely take back if they had the luxury.
Instead, GM Dave Stewart is considering optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Reno to figure things out, Jack Magruder reports for Today’s Knuckleball. Stewart said, “We want to get him on track the best way we can. We will figure it out and do what’s needed.”
Miller is currently slated to start against the Padres on Sunday, so the club has a few more days to consider what to do. Josh Collmenter will likely be activated over the weekend, which would create a convenient way to put him back on the roster and deal with Miller.
Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and shortstop Xander Bogaerts both extended their hitting streaks on Wednesday night against the Rockies, and both did it in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Bogaerts led off the inning with a solo home run to left-center off of Chad Bettis. After David Ortiz walked and Hanley Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, Bradley laced a single to left field. Bogaerts’ streak now stands at 18 games and Bradley’s is at 29. Bradley is tied with Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. He trails Tris Speaker and Nomar Garciaparra at 30 and Dom DiMaggio at 34.
The Red Sox entered Wednesday’s action averaging 5.87 runs per game, the best mark in baseball. The major league average is 4.28. Bogaerts and Bradley, unsurprisingly, have been a big part of the offense’s success thus far.