I wish I had taken a screen cap of it last night, but believe me, the first version of the AP game story from the Red Sox-Royals game called Billy Butler “the Royals’ portly designated hitter.” Sometime overnight it was amended:
The lumbering designated hitter’s three-run shot in the eighth inning Tuesday night boosted the Kansas City Royals a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox …
Not sure how I feel about that. “Portly” isn’t the kindest thing to call a guy, but there is a weird dignity to it. Winston Churchill was portly, after all. He owned that look. The young Orson Welles had a bit of portly heft to him but looked like a million bucks. A portly man, properly attired, can be quite a nice package of goods assuming he is likewise charming, confident, funny and kind of spirit.
But “lumbering?” Ah. Denotes more than a physical shortcoming, suggesting a laziness in one’s character. A lumbering man all but requires a tuba soundtrack as he attempts to run. A portly man can still be sneaky-fast.
I think I’d rather be called portly, if I had to choose, not lumbering. I’m not sure I’m in the majority here. I think more people would pick “lumbering” due to the suggestion of movement. But I gotta go with my, well, gut here.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.