Orioles’ pitcher Tommy Hunter didn’t have a great outing last night. But unlike some guys, he was not content to either hide from the media or to hide behind cliches about “not making my pitches.”
Nope, he had a pretty specific opinion of one of the pitches he left out over the plate for A.J. Pierzynski:
“Well, the one today was just a horsesh*t pitch in a horsesh*t spot. It was just horsesh*t. I don’t know how else to say it. It was a ball right down the middle of the plate that any big league hitter would be able to do that. I’m not taking anything away from Pierzynski. He put a good swing on it. Good for him. Tip your cap. But it was horsesh*t on my part.”
Some things in baseball change a lot. But then some things don’t. Guys have been calling stuff “horse sh**” in the game forever, even though you don’t often hear that term spoken by civilians. I’m kind of glad they still do, because it’s a great term.
But it’s a vexing one for me as a writer. Every fiber of my being wants to make it two words rather than a compound, but when I consulted Twitter on the matter the majority sentiment was that it should be one word (two if referring to actual equine feces as opposed to using it in the adjective form). The strongest dissenter was Old Hoss Radbourn, who has good reasons for making it two words, but he does the same thing to “base ball” and that’s troubling for me.
Oh well. I’ll let you guys decide. Henceforth, is it “horsesh*t” or “horse sh*t?” I will let the majority of the readership rule. Because, after all, I write this horsesh*t for you guys.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.