Craig Calcaterra

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols’ foot has caught up with him

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It was such a nice year for Albert Pujols. Healthy for the first time in ages, he was looking way more like the future Hall of Famer he is than the declining slugger he has appeared to be these past couple of seasons.

At the All-Star break, Pujols was hitting .255/.323/.532 with 26 homers. He was back, baby. In the second half, however, he’s batting just .219/.269/.376. And the culprit, as it has been so many times in the past several years, his feet. Mike Scioscia talking to the L.A. Times:

“There’s no doubt his base and strength isn’t quite the same because of his foot,” Scioscia said late Wednesday. “It affects other parts of his body and his swing, and it’s tough for him to leverage right now. But he’s a gamer, and he’s going to go out there and do everything he can to put the ball in play.

What a drag it is getting old.

 

Jered Weaver gets ejected for being a jackass

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Kyle Seager was facing Jered Weaver in the fifth inning of last night’s Angels-M’s game. After a pitch that didn’t go where Weaver wanted it to go, Seager stepped out, stepped back in and did the call time thing as he dug in. Given that he hadn’t swung our fouled off the pitch before, baseball’s new speed-it-up rules regime requires Seager to stay in the box and get ready for the next pitch in a timely manner. He didn’t take a long walk around the block or anything, but yes, let us grant that Seager was being a bit pokey.

After Weaver came to get set again, Seager made a BIG show of calling for another time out from the ump. Which, OK, kind of a jackass move. But a pretty funny jackass move if we’re being honest. I mean, really, watch the video below and tell me you didn’t laugh when Seager called time at the 35 second mark. That’s comedy right there.

Weaver didn’t think it was very funny, though, and with his next pitch he plunked Seager and got ejected:

No matter how annoying Seager was being – and again, I’ll grant he was being something of a pain in the butt — throwing a pitch at a batter on purpose is dangerous and idiotic and has no place in the game.

And no, Angels announcers, your immediate defense of Weaver on the play isn’t exactly a case of you covering yourself in glory either. “It’s almost as if Weaver had no choice but to throw something inside when you see [Seager] doing that,” the Angels color guy said. Which may be the dumbest thing a baseball announcer has said this year. A close second would be the immediately preceding comment condemning the umpire’s quick hook. The pitcher intentionally threw at the batter. That’s ejection-worthy. Should he have waited until next Tuesday to do it?

Pitches can injure. Pitchers have, in the past, killed. And I don’t care if you’ve got better control than Greg Maddux, a pitch can get away from you from time to time. Good for Weaver, I guess, for placing it on Seager’s triceps like I presume he wanted to. But an angry pitcher could have easily missed his mark down a few inches and shattered his elbow or up by a foot or so and beaned him. Even 83 m.p.h. heat can do serious damage.

I hope Weaver gets suspended for this. He damn well should be.

Scott Carroll left his car on a street in Chicago in August. It’s gone now.

The General Motors Co. (GM) Cadillac 2015 Escalade sports utility vehicle (SUV) is displayed during the the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet brand swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards at the Detroit auto show today with its Corvette Stingray sports car and Silverado pickup. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Dude, if you ask where your car is after you willingly leave it on the streets of Chicago for over a month, we’re gonna shake our heads. If anyone writes about this and uses the “Dude, where’s my car?” headline, we’re gonna level heavy fines and possibly authorize low-level violence.

Now that that’s out of the way, know that Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago reports that White Sox reliever Scott Carroll was sent down to Triple-A in early August. When he was sent down, he parked his Cadillac Escalade on a city street, figuring he’d be called back up to Chicago on September 1 when the rosters expanded. He wasn’t, though. He was just called up the other day. And, yep, his car was gone:

“[It was] stolen near Wicker Park off of Damen Avenue, so if anyone knows of a Cadillac Escalade driving around there, that would help out,” Carroll said. “I was gone in Charlotte the whole time, and it was stolen while I was gone. I came back to get my stuff and drive back home, and it was gone.”

There was a time, not terribly long ago, when that was not a great neighborhood. But if my Chicago-fu is correct, it’s now a gentrified-out-the-butt part of the city, so I guess a big ass Cadillac could, at least theoretically, be safe there for a while. Still seems like that’s pushing it, though. And if you make enough to have that car, you make enough to afford a garage or have a buddy drive it down to Charlotte for you or something.