Stuff that happened this week in Hardball History: novelties!
The oldest pitcher to win a game for the Red Sox did so with the help of the flutterball, a Hall of Fame closer ended a career built on the then-novel split-fingered fastball and an innovator — with a potential conflict of interest — made efforts to protect players’ melons.
The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.
Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.
Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.