Happy Anniversary Hal McRae “put that in your pipe and smoke it” rant

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It’s my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary today. To my knowledge, neither of them have every thrown things at each other while in their underwear. The same can’t be said for someone else celebrating an anniversary today: Hal McRae.

As Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes, it’s the 20th anniversary of then-Royals manager McRae going absolutely gonzo when a reporter asked him if he had considered pinch-hitting George Brett for Keith Miller late in a 5-3 loss to the Tigers.  The best part of it is the rant seemed to come out of friggin’ nowhere:

The most amazing thing about it, as Jaffe notes, is that the rant didn’t get McCrae fired. Indeed, he led the Royals to a winning record that year and the next year.  If that kind of rant — which actually injured a reporter who was hit with a phone — had gone down today I think he’d be fired within two hours. Even if he was right not to bat Brett for Miller. I mean, jeez, Brett only hit .246 with a .299 OBP against lefties that year.

But 1993 was a simpler time. It wasn’t spread all over the Internet and talked about nonstop like every little thing today. And as a result, a temporarily crazy man hurling objects at the media while wearing long underwear was allowed to continue in his high-profile job.

The Blue Jays are allergic to .500

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The Blue Jays dropped Thursday afternoon’s game to the Rangers 11-4, splitting the four-game home series. And, impressively, the Blue Jays failed for the ninth time to get back to .500. The club is now 35-37.

Here’s a look at all the times the Blue Jays could’ve evened out their won-lost record and what happened:

  • April 5 (0-1): Lost 3-1 to the Orioles
  • April 7 (1-2): Lost 10-8 to the Rays
  • June 1 (26-27): Lost 12-2 to the Yankees
  • June 3 (27-28): Lost 7-0 to the Yankees
  • June 5 (28-29): Lost 5-3 to the Athletics
  • June 13 (31-32): Lost 8-1 to the Rays
  • June 16 (32-33): Lost 11-4 to the White Sox
  • June 20 (34-35): Lost 6-1 to the Rangers
  • June 22 (35-36): Lost 11-4 to the Rangers

The Blue Jays are now a half-game behind the Orioles for fifth place in the AL East, but they’re only 5.5 games behind the first-place Yankees. Interestingly, if the Blue Jays played in the NL East and had the same record, they would be in second place. But even the Phillies — baseball’s worst team — have been at .500 or better for a few days: after winning Opening Day and after game Nos. 6, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Report: Marlins expected to trade Adeiny Hechavarria

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Marlins are expected to trade shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria in the next few days.

Hechavarria, 28, is currently on a rehab assignment for a strained left oblique. It’s the second time this season he’s hit the sidelines with an oblique injury. Hechavarria is also hitting a disappointing .277/.288/.385 over 67 plate appearances, which is marginally better than his career averages.

While the Marlins are shopping Hechavarria at depressed value, there are two factors that give him value: he still plays good defense, and he’s under team control through the 2018 season. Passan does estimate that Hechavarria will see a pay raise from $4.3 million this season to $6-7 million next season in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

Passan adds that while the Marlins aren’t yet willing to shop outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, relievers A.J. Ramos, David Phelps, and Kyle Barraclough are being made available.