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Derek Norris has learned nothing from his domestic violence suspension


Last year, then-Tampa Bay Ray catcher Derek Norris’ ex-fiancee alleged that Norris assaulted her. Her claim: after she found Norris on the phone with another woman, Norris approached her from behind and put her in a choke hold. When she tried to get away, he grabbed her by the back of her hair to pull her back to him and then held her by her upper arms.

Norris denied the assault took place, but Major League Baseball interviewed his fiancee and, on September 1, suspended Norris for the remainder of the season. Since he had already been released by then and was a free agent, the suspension was more symbolic than substantive, but you’d think it would at least be cause for reflection for the guy. Nah: Norris continued to stand by his denial even after his suspension.

It seems he’s still of that attitude, because this is what Norris, who now plays for the Tigers, had to say about it this morning:

In addition to Norris’ apparent belief that he is the victim in all of this — the guy who has to overcome adversity and misguided public opinion — “whatever doesn’t kill you” is quite a turn of phrase from a man who was credibly accused of choking a woman.

What’s more, his whole attitude is kind of odd given that, I am certain, his new employer, the Tigers, had a heart-to-heart about all of this when the signed him, making sure that their new catcher understood the gravity of his situation and appreciated the fresh start he received:

Or, I guess not.

You know, the Tigers lost 98 games last year, got substantially worse in the offseason and are clear that they are not in contention mode. You’d think if there ever was a time to make a point of not signing a guy because of character reasons, now would be a good time. Instead, at least if Norris is to be believed, they glossed right over the biggest item on his CV and are now trotting out a guy who has no apparent remorse or even reflection about what he did and what has happened to him in the past year.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.