Rob Bradford of WEEI apparently didn’t read Pete Abraham’s column from yesterday in which Pete made a great case for chilling out about the Red Sox’ recent troubles. About how this stuff happens on lots of teams and that, because of that, it makes little sense to make this into some sort of high and harrowing drama.
We know he didn’t read it because rather than agree with such a sensible take and say “eh, things went bad but let’s not blow it out of proportion,” Bradford decided to equate the 2011 Red Sox with the most famous story of hubris and avoidable disaster in the history of Western Civilization.
Jason Varitek is the Sox’ captain, see. Do you know who else was the captain of a doomed ship?
The 39-year-old was the captain of the fastest sinking ship in baseball history, thereby surfacing his name among the others. Edward Smith, the captain of the Titantic, wasn’t the one who was supposed to spot the iceberg, yet he is front and center of the boat’s Wikipedia page. When the historical documents are drawn up regarding the 2011 Red Sox, expect Varitek’s name to get similar billing … At least we knew what Smith was supposed to do. Occasionally help steer the ship. Make sure the crew is properly delegated. Keep in communication with other boats. And occasionally have dinner with Kate Winslet. But, to this day, nobody can identify what Varitek was — and is — supposed to do as a result of his title.
Well, at least we aren’t getting carried away with this anymore.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.