As I mentioned, last night I made my debut as a talking head on NBC SportsTalk, our new studio show on Versus (which, as of the first year, will be known as the NBC Sports Network). I didn’t barf, drop any F-bombs or ruin any equipment, so I assume that they’ll have me back on from time to time.
We covered all kinds of ground on the show last night, so I figured I’d share some of the segments today as little video posts a la HBT Daily. Only differences: (a) I wasn’t in my basement; and (b) no Tiffany. Don’t worry, though: I’m taping some stuff with her later this morning, so you’ll get your fix today and tomorrow.
First up: some chatter about the NL Cy Young race. We taped this before Halladay’s ridiculous start yesterday and before Kershaw’s aborted-yet-still-awesome game against the Dbacks. Still, given that Cliff Lee is likely to go out there and toss a near perfect game or something, I believe the point I make about this being the tightest awards race in recent memory stands. Today Halladay has an edge, but it’s goin’ down to the wire.
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The Mariners have announced that on August 15, the first event in their “Beyond the Baselines” series will be held at Safeco Field. This one is called “Celebrating Women in Baseball.” Those who purchase tickets will receive a Mariners Women in Baseball t-shirt and a voucher for a drink. The event will include a pregame panel discussion in which the members of the panel discuss women’s contributions to the game and much more.
The panel includes moderator Meg Rowley of Baseball Prospectus, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle, Orioles director of analytics and major league contracts Sarah Gelles, Mariners scout Amanda Hopkins, and Mariners manager of baseball information Kelly Munro. The panel discussion will be streamed on Facebook Live, starting at 5:10 PM PT.
This is how you hold an event designed for women. There is no patronizing “101” class that treats all women as if they have no knowledge of the game. Women directly from the industry are invited to speak, not men speaking about “what if”s. Hopefully, the event goes swimmingly and it becomes something all the other teams in baseball adopt until women holding positions in baseball becomes so normal we don’t even notice it.
As we wrote this morning, Indians manager Terry Francona left last night’s game against the Rangers after falling ill. Specifically, he was said to be experiencing a rapid heart rate and dizziness, just as he did back on June 13 when he left an Indians-Dodgers game.
According to a release from the team, Francona was evaluated by doctors at Cleveland Clinic last night. The tests, thankfully, have ruled out any major health concerns, but Francona will not manage tonight’s game against the Rangers and was advised to stay at home rather than come to the ballpark. He will continue to be monitored.
Francona experienced some chest pains and had an elevated heart rate that caused him to leave a game early last season. In 2005 a similar episode caused him to miss three games while managing the Red Sox. He also has a history of embolisms and blood clots, some of which have hospitalized him in the past, so caution is certainly in order.
Bench coach Brad Mills will manage the team tonight.