Normally the release of a thirty-year-old minor leaguer wouldn’t rate a mention here, but it does when it’s Dirk Hayhurst. He announced that the Rays released him yesterday and writes about it over at his blog this morning. As is befitting the guy who, just yesterday, explained his relationship with baseball in a pretty nuanced fashion, his take on the release was pretty damn balanced and reasonable.
I’d certainly like to see Hayhurst catch on elsewhere because the game needs smart individuals, even if they’re so rarely rewarded for their brains and individuality (often the contrary, I think).
But if he doesn’t, I don’t worry too much about the guy. There is always a place in the world for people who walk through it with their eyes open, their minds functioning and their spirits unbroken.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.