Major League Baseball and the MLBPA just announced that the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals will play a special regular season game during the 2017 Little League World Series on Sunday, August 2. It will be called “The Little League Classic” and will be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Pirates will be the home team.
The game, which takes place during the Little League World Series, will air nationally on ESPN at 7pm that night. ESPN, of course, broadcasts the Little League World Series. This is what they call “synergy.”
The game will, sadly, not be played with pitching rubber 46 feet from home plate or a 225-foot outfield fence. Rather, it will be played at BB&T Ballpark — which you may know better as Bowman Field — which is home of the Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters of the NY-Penn League. They will be renovating the park for the big leaguers. On the day of the game, the Major Leaguers will attend Little League World Series games and then, later that night, the Little Leaguers and their families will go to the Pirates-Cards game.
This is pretty cool. It’d be cooler if they mic’d up Clint Hurdle, Little League World Series manager-style, so we could hear him when he visits Gerrit Cole or whoever on the mound. Maybe Cole will be a bit teary and Hurdle can say “hey kiddo, I’m proud of you,” as the camera pans to Cole’s mom and dad and stuff.
As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.
Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.
Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.
Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.
Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:
Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.
Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.