Miller Park in Milwaukee is poised to be the 12th big league stadium where the use of smokeless tobacco will be banned. This after a Tuesday city council vote which bans the use of the stuff in all sports facilities and parks. Those who violate the ban would be subject to a $100 to $250 fine.
Which is probably a deterrent for someone dipping and spitting while watching their kid at a playground or while playing rec league softball, but it will do nothing to stop big league players from using smokeless tobacco. That’s even assuming city officials would try to enforce it against big leaguers. It’s never happened in any of the other cities with tobacco bans which extend to major league facilities, and there is no reason to suggest that such enforcement will begin at Miller Park.
The ordinances are welcome and noble, but the only way you’re going to get ballplayers to stop using smokeless tobacco is if Major League Baseball gets serious about enforcing its own rules against players using the stuff on the field. They seem to have no intention of doing that whatsoever.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.