Driving in South Florida with his wife on the Marlins’ off day Thursday, catcher Brett Hayes got one of the scares of his life, as a man with a handgun approached his car from the median.
Traffic had stopped because of an incident further up the road. Unbeknownst to Hayes at the time, the man approaching him had already shot and wounded two South Florida law enforcement offices.
”The guy was walking by our car, and I made eye contact with him,” Hayes said. ”I looked away nonchalantly and told my wife, ‘Don’t look at him,’ because it looked like he was obviously up to no good. Later I found out he had already shot two police officers.”
An officer carrying a handgun and wearing a bulletproof vest soon passed Hayes’ car in pursuit. A short time later, the gunman killed himself, something Hayes only found out while listening to the radio later.
”The creepy thing about it was that the guy looked like he was walking down the street to go to the supermarket,” Hayes said. ”He was very nonchalant.
You look back and you’re like, ‘I can’t believe that just happened.”’
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.