If it could even be considered a taunt.
The New York Post reports that Steve Lazarus, who has been serving beer at Yankee Stadiums for 35 years, was suspended for the first two games of the ALDS as the result of an exchange with former Yankee and current Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves.
According to Lazarus, the vendor was with co-workers near a freight elevator when he spotted Aceves, started walking over and called out “Hey, you got ID?”
Aceves responded by grabbing his crotch and saying “I got your ID right here.”
Lazarus says it was a playful exchange that led to laughter all around, but that Yankees brass got wind of it and he was summoned by his supervisor during the game and escorted from the ballpark for harrassing a player.
“They take my badge — this is only my 35th year, by the way — and they escort me out like a common criminal,” he told The Post. “To suspend me, when I did nothing?”
Although Lazarus is fuming, it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in walking away. He’ll be eligible to return if there’s a Game 5 in the ALDS or if the Yankees advance.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.