On Sunday, the final out of Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter came when Steven Souza made a spectacular catch in left-center field. There was joking after the game about Zimmermann buying Souza a gift for the effort. He may have. A big one. Adam Kilgore:
Friday, Zimmermann was asked if he had delivered on his vow to buy Souza a gift.
“I have,” Zimmermann said. “You’ll have to ask him what it is.”
So, we did. As Souza came off the field from shagging fly balls during batting practice, the question was posed to him: What did Zimmermann buy him?
“A BMW,” Souza replied.
“It’s getting shipped this winter,” Souza said.
There’s a possibility that Souza is just putting Kilgore on here. But if it’s true, that’s a pretty solid gesture by Zimmermann there.
This is rich. After 20 years of deifying Derek Jeter, Mike Lupica now decides it’s time to to rip him. And today he rips him good. Why? Because Jeter is daring (in Lupica’s mind anyway) to invade his turf. Seriously: he says Jeter’s got some nerve to try to put out a publication for athletes:
Derek Jeter prided himself, for 20 years, on saying as little as possible. Suddenly, though, you can’t shut the guy up. Here was Jeter even taking questions on Twitter Wednesday, even revealing in one thrilling exchange that he was afraid of cats . . . We always knew the guy had nerve when it came to big moments in baseball. Now it turns out that he just has nerve, period.
You think a joke is coming. But one isn’t. Lupica is legitimately annoyed that Jeter is daring to move into media and maybe share something of himself after not giving Lupica and his buddies good copy during his career. He then offers up some words about Jeter “becoming something you hate,” meaning a reporter. Which gets right to the nut of this. Lupica infers, probably correctly, that Jeter doesn’t think too much of the press. And that drives him nuts.
Never have I seen a guy who convinced of his importance and significance and so sputteringly angry at . . . whatever it is he’s angry about here.
There were a lot of people talking up small-ball on Tuesday night during that Royals game. But to paraphrase a hero of mine, allow me to observe that hokey strategies and ancient weapons like bunts are no match for a good three-run homer by your side, kid.
Every game but that first wild card game has been decided by big innings and homers and today’s Orioles-Tigers game is no exception. The Orioles struck first with a two-run homer by Nick Markakis in the bottom of the third. But then in the top of the fourth the Tigers hit back in a big way:
Wei-Yen Chen gave up a single to Torii Hunter and a double by Miguel Cabrera to lead things off. Then Victor Martinez singled to score Hunter, putting runners on first and third for J.D. Martinez. All he did is hit a three-run homer. And unlike Markakis’ homer, which was reviewed by replay officials to make sure it cleared the fence, it was a no-doubter. The next batter was Nick Castellanos, who hit a solo shot of his own to make it 5-2. Those five runs scored on ten pitches. It was something of a blitzkrieg.
As I hit “post,” that remains the score as we head into the bottom of the fourth. Chen has been yanked.
Viva big ball.
The Braves are keeping Fredi Gonzalez as their manager for some dang reason, but they are shuffling the coaching staff up some.
Former Astros manager Bo Porter has been hired to be Atlanta’s third base coach, replacing Doug Dascenzo. Porter and manager Fredi Gonzalez go back a long way, with Porter serving as Gonzalez’ third base coach in Miami and, in a past life, playing for Gonzalez when Fredi was a minor league manager.
In other moves, assistant hitting coach Scott Fletcher has not been invited back. This comes a couple of days after hitting coach Greg Walker resigned. I often feel like hitting coaches are pretty limited in what they can do, but when your offense is as bad as the Braves’ was this past season, it’s no surprise that a shakeup is going down.