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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The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.