Craig Calcaterra

Jose Iglesias

Video: Jose Iglesias made a ridiculous play last night

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The Tigers missed Jose Iglesias last year. If you doubt that for a second, watch this nasty play he made last night and ask yourself how many steak dinners Tiger pitchers are gonna buy him this year.

The thing about it is the mustard he got on that throw. Bend over and run in the opposite direction like that and try to throw anything across your body. Does it even go five feet? And even if it does, do you get a fast runner like Brett Gardner like Iglesias did here?

Mercy.

What Bryan Price’s rant was really all about

Getty Bryan Price
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Hearing the manager of a major league baseball team drop 77 f-bombs in five minutes is pretty hilarious. And if you were on Twitter last night when the Bryan Price rant broke, you were party to all manner of great jokes about Price’s unhinged moment. But now that the dust and excrement (both bovine and equine) has settled, let us note that Price’s rant was more telling than it was profane.

Telling in that it shows that the manager of a major league baseball team thinks the media works for him and is outraged that it’s not doing what he wants it to do.

Let’s scrub the hilarious profanity and slightly edit for clarity and see what Price is really saying:

I don’t get why it’s got to be this way. Has it always been this way where the media just reports everything? It’s nobody’s business. It’s certainly not the opponent’s business . . . The media’s job is not to sniff out everything about the Reds and put it out there for everyone to hear. It’s not your job. I’ve been candid with you. I tell you what is going on with the team, and you write about it? I have to read tweets about the things I told you? How does that benefit the Reds? It doesn’t benefit us. We try to go out there and win games and I have to deal with you guys telling everyone what players we have available?

I don’t think the media needs to know everything. How do the Reds benefit from the opponent knowing we don’t have Devin Mesoraco? How do we benefit from that? They benefit from it. I just want to know how we benefit from that. Can you answer that? How is that good for the Reds?

Setting aside the fact that Price does not, apparently, realize that it is the media’s job to tell readers and viewers what on-the-record, relevant information it learns, I am struck by the larger framing of Price’s rant: that it’s the media’s job to do things to benefit the Reds somehow. To do their bidding or, at the very least, to not say anything harmful.

It’s possible to conclude that this is just an instance of a manager who is overwhelmed, out of his depth and starting to lose his composure in a season that has started poorly and could only get worse. But it’s also possible — and I suspect probable — that Price’s mindset here is informed by the way professional sports teams, large businesses and governments approach media these days. As something to be manipulated. A mere outgrowth of public relations.

Price, unlike a lot of managers, was not a major league player, and in his playing career didn’t likely have to deal with the media too much. Same goes for his time as a pitching coach, as pitching coaches don’t answer to the press every single night. He was likely in something of a bubble for many years and did not have to really become conversant with the media game until the 2014 season.

And what’s the media landscape like in 2014? Way different than it was when, say, Dusty Baker learned the media ropes. Teams have sophisticated p.r. teams. Heck, they have their own media. As we’ve noted several times around these parts, teams and leagues can break their own news, bypassing the independent news media that cover them. Sports teams aren’t just news sources, they’re in the news business, too, with their own radio, TV and Internet operations. And, to the extent there is still an independent media around, they are far more tightly controlled by that p.r. staff, with less access than they used to have. And some even have taken to self-censoring to some degree, avoiding being critical in ways that their predecessors may have been in the interest of maintaining good relationships and access. A significant chunk of the media is, in many ways, now either part of the organization or has been cowed by the organization.

Throw a new manager into that mix — especially one in a relatively small media market, not used to dealing with a dozen hungry reporters covering his club — and it’s not hard to imagine a situation in which, at least for one evening, he forgets that the media doesn’t work for him and his team. That it isn’t the job of the annoying people who show up in his office after a game to do his bidding. To be offended when, heaven forbid, some piece of information he freely tells them isn’t vetted by a couple of p.r. people before being released to the public.

For the most part, this new media environment is desirable for teams and other businesses that exploit it. And governments too, it should be noted. They get greater control of the message and less criticism. It’s quite a good deal. But, occasionally, this arrangement creates issues for the newsmakers. Issues like one of their own forgetting that, while they can go a long way toward shaping their own reality, they can’t go all the way. At least not yet.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Ralphie
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[I slept late, so I’m letting Reds manager Brian Price do the first recap]

Reds 6, Brewers 1: Anthony Desclafani’s shut down every f****** Brewer he faced, it f****** seemed, tossing eight f****** shutout innings.  He allowed only two f****** hits and now has a f****** scoreless innings streak of fifteen f****** innings. Zach Cosart hit a three run homer on a pitch from Wily Peralta that was, to be candid with you, a vulgar term for feces (both bovine and equine).

White Sox 4, Indians 3: Down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox had to face Cody Allen. Not a problem.

double
walk
wild pitch
two-run double
single
RBI single
single
RBI single
Ballgame

I didn’t see Terry Francona’s postgame comments, but he’d be excused if he let Brian Price draft his remarks for him. What a f****** day for Ohio baseball.

Red Sox 7, Orioles 1: It was a day not fit for man nor beast in Boston, but it was Patriot’s Day, and that’s a big deal so they were gonna get this game in regardless, it seemed. As it was, the Orioles made three errors that led to five unearned Red Sox runs. Not that the unearned runs weren’t, as it were, earned by O’s pitcher Wei-Yin Chen: he walked four dudes and made an error in the Sox’ big inning. After that it was all about dodging raindrops and waiting for the umps to call the game. Which they did in the seventh.

Tigers 2, Yankees 1: Down 1-0, J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes hit back-to-back RBI singles in the seventh to put the Tigers over. A nice outing from CC Sabathia — encouraging and efficient, even in a loss — but a better one from Alfredo Simon. The Tigers have been getting great pitching from Simon, Shane Greene and David Price.

Cubs 5, Pirates 2: Kris Bryant was 3-for-4 with three RBI, including this double plus (and doubleplus) error and misplay that I’m choosing to count as a home run, because Little League is the best. Bryant is 6-for-14 with a double and four RBI in the four games he’s played since being called up.

Royals 7, Twins 1: Edinson Volquez allowed five hits and a walk while striking out five in seven innings, allowing only one run. Kyle Gibson allowed four runs — three earned — in five innings and didn’t strike out a single batter. Indeed, he’s struck out only 5.2 batters per nine innings in his career, which is insanely bad in this strikeout-happy era.

Padres 14, Rockies 3: Ah, it’s great to be back in Denver. The Padres unleashed a 17-hit attack in which they put up nine runs in the first two innings. Matt Kemp had three hits and four RBI. Odrismar Despaigne allowed only two runs in six and two-thirds and got his first career hit. After the game, he revealed that his fellow Padres pitchers told him they’d take him out shopping for new clothes today if he got a hit in Coors Field, so good for him. The Padres have won 5 of 6.

Athletics 6, Angels 3Stephen Vogt hit a three-run homer and Dan Otero pitched four shutout innings in relief after starter Kendall Graveman couldn’t get it together in three frustrating innings.

Astros 7, Mariners 5: Luis Valbuena is on fire. He hit two homers — solo shots in the first and eighth, giving the Astros the lead both times — and has five over his past seven games. Six of the Astros’ nine hits were for extra bases.

Dodgertown lives

Dodgertown
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We’ve written about Dodgertown, the Vero Beach, Florida facility which housed Dodgers spring training from 1948 through 2008. Since the Dodgers abandoned it and headed to Arizona, it had risked falling into disrepair, being turned into an office park or otherwise ceasing to be a sports facility. Which is not a great thing in the minds of the multiple generations of Dodgers fans, Dodgers players, Dodgers officials or just folks in the area who took pride in or had some association with the place.

As David Waldstein of the New York Times reports, however, Dodgertown has found new life. Thanks to a partnership between former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley his sister, Terry O’Malley Seidler and former Dodgers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo, the place now houses football training, community sports and all kinds of other things.

Check out the story, as well as a slideshow which shows the second (third? fourth?) act of a historic facility.

Braves pitcher Andrew McKirahan releases as statement regarding his PED suspension

Andrew McKirahan
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We don’t always do a post about a suspended player’s statement or apology. But given the one coming from Braves lefty Andrew McKirahan actually admits that, yeah, he tried to take some stuff, it is rather novel. No “I have no idea how that stuff got in my system” from him.

And his statement:

“I am extremely sorry for letting down the Atlanta Braves organization, my coaches, teammates and the Braves fans. I also sincerely apologize to my family, who has helped me reach this point in my career. This is in no way a reflection of my character or morals. I will work hard during my suspension and pray that everyone will find it in their hearts to forgive me. I hope to have the privilege and opportunity to return to the Atlanta Braves later this season, to earn back their trust and to do everything possible to contribute to the success of the organization.”