Joe Smith took over for Ernesto Frieri as the Angels’ closer a couple weeks ago, but last night it was Frieri coming in to convert a save against the Yankees. So has manager Mike Scioscia changed his mind again on the closer role?
Nope, it turns out Smith was just puking in the bullpen at the time.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Smith went to warm up for the ninth-inning save opportunity per usual, but then “started feeling sick” and “disgorged his lunch.” So the Angels scrambled and had Frieri warm up again after he’d already done so in the eighth inning without actually coming into the game for starter Jered Weaver.
Frieri pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the save, striking out Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury in the process. Presumably, however, if Smith can keep his lunch down he’ll still get the next save chance that … well, comes up, for the Angels.
Professional athletes: They’re just like us! (If you throw up at your job, I guess.)
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Update (7:00 PM ET): The MLBPA announces that the deadline has been extended 24 hours while MLB and NPB continue to negotiate a new agreement for the posting system. The new deadline is 8 PM ET on Tuesday.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.