Ken Rosenthal tackles the Ozzie Guillen/Fidel Castro dustup and, early on, says this:
I normally cringe at politically correct overreactions, particularly in response to mindless, preposterous remarks from people who are just spouting off. But …
So you can guess where that’s going: a politically correct overreaction.
Rosenthal calls Guillen’s Castro comments “about as extreme and insensitive as it gets,” and then says that the Marlins should suspend him for 30 days.* Which is frankly crazy. Even just the first part, because I can think of A LOT of things that would be more extreme and insensitive than what Guillen said. I mean, really, has anyone asked Luke Scott about the Trayvon Martin shooting yet? That could be fun.
Seriously, though, two of the longest suspensions in major league history were 30 days each. They were handed out to Pete Rose and Lenny Randle. You probably remember Rose’s — he shoved an umpire — but you may not remember Randle. He was an infielder for the Rangers. In 1977 he approached Rangers’ manager Frank Lucchesi before a spring training game and punched Lucchesi in the face, fracturing his cheekbone in three places. Lucchesi required plastic surgery to repair the damage. Thirty days.
In 2004, reliever Frank Francisco assaulted a fan with a chair and broke her nose. He got a 16 game suspension. Kenny Rogers once assaulted a cameraman. He got 20 games. There have been countless players and managers who have (a) gotten DUIs; or (b) gotten in fights; or in some cases even (c) assaulted their wives or girlfriends, and they didn’t get 30 days, even if they got a suspension at all.
Against that backdrop, is it really reasonable to think that Ozzie Guillen should be suspended for 30 days simply because he voiced an unpopular and rather dumb political opinion? Isn’t that … a bit of an overreaction?
*It wasn’t noted when this first went up, but should have been: Rosenthal doesn’t think Guillen will get 30 days. He says a week is more realistic.
Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.
Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:
The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a FanGraphs.com metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.
In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.
This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.
Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.
Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:
We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP