Reggie Billy

And That Happened: Classic!

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Note: due to the All-Star break, we now bring you a special “Classic” version of “And That Happened.” The following originally ran on July 10, 1977

Orioles 6, Yankees 5:  Reggie Jackson went 1 for 3 with an RBI double, but that wasn’t good enough for manager Billy Martin, who tried to physically attack Jackson after the game was over. That keeps a seventeen-game assaulting-Reggie Jackson-streak alive for the Yankee skipper.

Indians 3, Blue Jays 2: This game was delayed for nearly an hour when the home plate umpire’s CB radio malfunctioned. I suppose they could have tried to play without it, but in this day and age, modern technology is just a part of the game and those anti-citizen band people are just trying to deny progress.

Mets 7, Expos 5: This game went 17 innings and ended when Lenny Randle hit a game ending homer. It was only the second most notable hit he’s had all year.

Athletics 7, Royals 1: The game was pretty dismal for Kansas City, but shortstop Freddie Patek did have a great play at short. We have no means of showing you a videotaped recreation of the play, but check out the frame-by-frame photo of it.

Brewers 3, Red Sox 2: The winning run scored when Steve Dillard booted one at second base in the eighth inning. He later explained that the “demons” in his neighbor’s dog that “made him do it,” and has re-christened himself “the Son of Steve.”

White Sox 5, Tigers 2Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: One Chicago team wins and the other loses, but they both remain atop their respective divisions. At this point — exactly 81 games into the season — I think it’s safe to say that the long suffering of Chicago baseball fans is going to end this year, be it from a championship by the Cubs or the Sox.

Mariners 5, Twins 2: Dick Pole gets the win over David Goltz. Jeez, what a name. “Goltz.” I mean, really.

Rangers 7, Angels 2: With the loss, the Angels fall nine and a half back of the division leading White Sox. And there is no future, In California’s dreaming. No future, no future, No future for you, No future, no future, No future for me,  No future, no future, No future for you, No future, no future, For youuuuuuuuu.

Reds 3, Astros 1: Tom Seaver gets the win, allowing only one run in this complete game. It’s been less than a month since the Mets traded him to Cincinnati, but one can already tell that this is going to be the worst personnel move since Larry Linville left M*A*S*H.

Padres 2, Dodgers 1: A beautiful night in Southern California. From the game story:

It’s so clean out here. That’s because they don’t throw their garbage away, they turn it into television shows. I don’t want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light.

Giants 5, Braves 4: This loss puts the Braves 25 and a half games back in the NL West. Look, I’ve argued this one to death, but at the risk of continuing to do it, I will simply once again note that when Ted Turner managed the team back on May 11, they were only 15 and a half back. You can’t argue the numbers. Bring Ted back!

Pirates 9, Phillies 8: Davey Johnson went 3 for 5 and drove in five. He was hotter than the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire out there! Ooh, sorry. Too soon?

Dexter Fowler: “I didn’t say anything wrong.”

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Dexter Fowler #81 poses for a portrait during St Louis Cardinals Photo Day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2017 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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New Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler was recently asked by ESPN’s Mark Saxon how President Trump’s efforts to institute a travel ban affected him and his family. Fowler’s wife is from Iran and Fowler said that he had reconsidered traveling with his daughter to Iran to visit her family. His wife’s sister also delayed her return from a business trip to Qatar as a result of Trump’s executive order. “It’s huge,” Fowler said. “Especially anytime you’re not able to see family, it’s unfortunate.”

Fowler’s statement was pretty bland as far as athletes wading into political waters go. He didn’t criticize Trump or conservatives, nor did he espouse support for liberals or Democrats. It was a simple statement that his life had been adversely impacted by an executive order.

The responses to Fowler’s comment were mostly awful. The @BestFansStLouis Twitter account highlighted this, as did Jeff Passan for Yahoo Sports and Will Leitch for Sports on Earth. Fans suggested that Fowler “shut up and play” because “nobody cares” and that Fowler is “property” of the Cardinals. The responses were so negative that Fowler tweeted about it:

Fowler, however, isn’t backing down. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Fowler said. “I think it was taken out of context [by other outlets]. I don’t think people read the article. I think people made their own [headlines]. The question was asked out of empathy to my family, and I appreciate that. If anybody is asking about my family, then I’m going to let them know that, ‘Yeah, obviously it affected my family. My wife is Iranian.’ … I think it’s kind of ignorant of people to just come at me like that and not read the article.”

[…]

“I’m always going to care for my family,” Fowler said. “And if a question is asked out of concern, I’m going to answer the question. And I’m going to answer it truthfully. It’s not to hurt anybody. It’s unfortunate that people think of things that way. I believe they’re sensitive. I’m not the sensitive one. I appreciate the ones that understood.”

Manager Mike Matheny has Fowler’s back. He said, “I think he handled it correctly. He was very clear that he was trying to make a statement about his family [and it] ended up becoming a political statement.”

Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA, also expressed support for Fowler:

“Baseball players are a microcosm of society, and I was a grown man before I was a baseball player,” Clark said. “If I have a view, I should be willing to share it, while understanding what I’m a part of and what my responsibilities are. Any player understands that when they take a particular position, it may not be a popular one.

“There may be pushback. That shouldn’t be a reason not to have an opinion. In this instance, it’s a very personal one to Dex. I respect the commentators that responded. I respect their freedom to respond to it.”

Indeed, Fowler had every right to say what he said and it’s good to see that both his manager and the head of the MLBPA support him fully. It would have been easy and politically safe to allow Fowler to hang out to dry.

Report: Extension talks between Mets, Neil Walker are “probably dead”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.

The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.