We had a tense three and a half hour playoff elimination game last night. Some of baseball’s biggest names coming to bat and hurling pitches in clutch situations. Drama. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. And the subject that took up the most real estate in our live chat last night? That thing on Joaquin Benoit’s face.
For those who missed it, Benoit came into the game in the seventh inning. On his left cheek: a bandage the size of a pool tarp. Joe Girardi came out of the dugout and complained about it to the home plate umpire who then made Benoit remove it. Underneath the bandage was either a giant boil or a zit or Kuato or something. It was quite the scene, man.
On Twitter, in the chat and around the blogosphere this morning I’ve seen references to this being one of Joe Girardi’s mind games. I’m not buying it. I could see the bandage from here in Ohio, even when I turned my TV off. It interfered with the landing pattern at LaGuardia. While the thing under the bandage wasn’t pretty, with the bandage on, Benoit looked like Darkman.
I guess what I’m saying is, no, that wasn’t an instance of Joe Girardi playing mind games. The only thing that would have made the bandage more distracting would be if it was lit with neon. It had to go.
Best part: He somehow found an even bigger one for the postgame celebration!
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.