I guess it’s “meddling.” I mean, it is a situation in which the front office decided which pitcher would handle the day part of the yesterday’s doubleheader (Jose Fernandez) and which would handle the night (Ricky Nolasco). Not that it was capricious or anything. It was done in an effort to give Fernandez the start in warmer temperatures while pushing the veteran Nolasco to the evening hours.
But apparently it is tradition in doubleheader situations that the more senior pitcher usually gets to choose whether he wants the first game or the second. Nolasco wasn’t asked, however. What’s more, he was originally listed as the daytime starter and wasn’t notified that he was bumped late until a couple hours before game time. This ruffled some feathers, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
“Not a smart move,” said a member of the Marlins’ uniformed contingent. “It’s a slap in the face to Ricky.”
After notching his first win of the season, it was clear Nolasco was biting his tongue.
“I’m not going to talk about that situation,” Nolasco said following only the Marlins’ fifth win of the season. “Still go to go out there and pitch, happy or not, whatever the situation is. You got to go out there and do my job. It wasn’t fun, but just grinded it out.”
Asked if he was unhappy about the late change, Nolasco replied: “No comment.”
I’ll take their word for it. Personally I had never before heard of this tradition. If it is something that’s done in baseball, however, and the Marlins ignored it, well, that’s the Marlins for you.
UPDATE: (11:36 AM EDT, Wednesday): The deal has been announced by both clubs. The A’s will be receiving left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes. Hynes is 31. He’s pitches seven games in the big leagues and has spent ten years in the minors with a 3.62 ERA in 456 games, almost all in relief.
Update (7:49 AM EDT, Wednesday): Susan Slusser hears word that, yes, the deal is official.
Update (7:20 PM EDT): John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that Crisp has indeed been traded, but there won’t be an official announcement until Wednesday. Crisp has already left the Athletics’ clubhouse.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Athletics and Indians are making progress on a trade that would send outfielder Coco Crisp to Cleveland. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms Adams’ report. Crisp, who has 10-and-5 rights, has waived them in order to facilitate a deal.
Crisp, 36, is owed the remainder of his $11 million salary for the 2016 season and has a $13 million option for the 2017 season that vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances or plays in 130 games this season. He has already played in 102 games and logged 434 PA, batting .234/.299/.399 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
The Indians are still looking to bolster the outfield. Michael Brantley is expected to miss the rest of the season, Bradley Zimmer may not yet be ready for the majors, and Abraham Almonte is not eligible to play in the postseason after testing positive for boldenone in February.
I met some guy on a hike a couple of months ago who used to be married to a close friend or a cousin or something of Indians pitcher Zach McAllister. I forget the details but it was some tenuous relationship like that. No different than a lot of brush-with-fame stories you get from Triple-A towns like Columbus, where McAllister spent some time.
Anyway, the guy met McAllister a couple of times. They didn’t really talk about much but the guy said he remembers McAllister talking about just how hard baseball was. In terms of the skills required and the mastery of it even if you are blessed with those skills. And, of course, the mental strain of it all when you’re at that place, as McAllister was at the time, when your career can either be made or broken by what the big club thinks of you. He was 22 or 23 then, and if he hadn’t been called up soon, he might’ve gone from prospect to organizational guy and that’s a lot of money left on the table.
Anyway, the point of it all was that this guy I was hiking with — not a big baseball fan — was super impressed with McAllister and said he hadn’t thought about just how hard professional sports were to even the guys who are insanely gifted at playing professional sports. I don’t think most of us think about that as much as we probably should.
Then again, sometimes players make it look easy. Like McAllister did last night when he threw a pitch to Kurt Suzuki, kicked the line drive that was hit back to him into the air and caught it on the fly: