The Diamondbacks were back home last night for the first time since 19 firefighters lost their lives while battling a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona last Sunday. For their game against the Rockies, the team paid tribute to the fallen firefighters by wearing special black jerseys with a “19” patch on the front. They also had a No. 19 behind the plate.
Below is a video of the pre-game ceremony honoring those who lost their lives:
Both teams also wore Prescott Fire Department hats during batting practice. Tyler Emerick of MLB.com notes that the Diamondbacks have petitioned to wear the hats during this weekend’s series. It’s unclear whether MLB will allow them to do it.
The Diamondbacks are already involved in a number of fundraising efforts for the families of the victims. They recently matched $100,000 in contributions from fans via Diamondbacks.com and pledge to match $100,000 more. They are also auctioning off autographed black jerseys from this weekend and signed nameplates from the team’s clubhouse. You can check that out here.
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.