Tyler Kepner of the New York Times has a wonderful story today about one of the longest games in baseball history. The absolute longest if you by actual game time instead of mere innings. It occurred on May 8-9, 1984. Yes, both days, as the Brewers and White Sox started on the 8th, hit curfew on early on the 9th and resumed the game the following day after it was suspended. All-in-all it was 25 innings and lasted over eight hours. The White Sox won.
The winning pitcher? Tom Seaver, who came on in relief once the game resumed the next day. The winning pitcher for the next game, played the same day: Tom Seaver, who was the scheduled starter. He just used that 25-inning affair as warmup.
The story is great beyond those odd facts of a bygone era. Kepner talks to many of the principles and it all rolls out like a wonderful baseball yarn. This is the kind of baseball writing that is most enjoyable. And it’s a great read.
Now, if someone can tell my old butt how a game I remember being talked about at the time as current news can be 30-years-old, I’d greatly appreciate it.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.