Ron Washington and Derek Holland provided two of my favorite moments from last night’s game.
The first came when Washington took Holland by the shoulders and gave him a dugout pep talk moments before taking the mound in the first inning, trying to motivate the young left-hander who’d struggled in his previous two starts.
Holland shared some of the pep talk details with Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas:
The big thing was he was talking to me, motivating me more than anything. He said, “I know what your game plan is and you’re going to go in to hitters. Just don’t be hitting anybody.” He was telling me to stay in control, be relaxed and I’d be fine.
Injured reliever Darren O’Day noted afterward that Washington “does that a lot with Holland” and last night it certainly worked, as the second caught-on-camera moment came when the manager went out to the mound in the ninth inning to chat with Holland before eventually deciding to end his bid for a complete-game shutout in favor of Neftali Feliz.
Holland recapped that chat as well:
He’s like, “Nope, you ain’t going out there son.” I said, “Come on, Wash. You got to let me go. I can get this. I’m going to try to get a double play and do everything I can.” He said, “Nope, you ain’t getting out there. Just watch the crowd reaction when you get out of here, son.” I said, “All right, I’ll see you later Wash. Thanks.”
That’s a lot of “son” mentions in a relatively short chat and if Holland really ended things with “I’ll see you later Wash” he’s my new favorite player.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.