Bill Baer

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 16: J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts as he exits the game after being relieved in the third inning during MLB game action against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 16, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

J.A. Happ doesn’t understand Canada’s bagged milk system


Starter J.A. Happ is no stranger to Canada. He spent 2013 with the Blue Jays and part of ’14 as well before he was traded to the Mariners in exchange for outfielder Michael Saunders. He re-upped with the Jays on a three-year, $36 million contract this past November.

But there are still some things about Canada that Happ doesn’t get. Like its bagged milk system, as Sportsnet’s Kristina Rutherford found out in an interview. I’ve added last names to denote who said what.

Rutherford: Is there anything you’re still not used to in Canada?

Happ: I think I’ve gotten used to most of the stuff. Grocery shopping is a little different. I still don’t understand the bagged milk situation here.

Rutherford: What?

Happ: You guys sell milk in bags and I don’t really get why, or what you do then with the bags. Other than that it seems like Canada’s doing a pretty good job. [Laughs.] But I don’t get the milk. Put it in a gallon jug so you don’t have the sloppy, messy bag.

Rutherford: You know you put the bag in a milk jug, right?

Happ: Where’s the jug? Do you have to buy the jug separately? Why are they not in the jug already?

Rutherford: Oh my gosh. You have to ask someone at the grocery store for help.

Happ: Why do I have to ask? I should just grab it from the counter and it should be ready for me to drink.

Rutherford: There’s an assumption that you know to put the bag in a milk jug and cut it open.

Happ: [Laughs]. They can’t assume that. I’ve never bought it because I see this bag of milk and I’m like I don’t get what I can do with this thing.

Readers responded to Rutherford’s interview on Twitter. She explained to one reader that Happ talking about bagged milk was “the most fired up he got in 20 minutes of conversation.”

Happ may not understand bagged milk, but he understands pitching at least. The lefty has been solid over 18 starts, putting up a 3.36 ERA with an 89/32 K/BB ratio in 112 1/3 innings for the Jays.

Report: Pirates trying to trade Jon Niese and/or Jeff Locke

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 28: Jonathon Niese #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on JUne 28, 2016 in Seattle, Washignton. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With ace Gerrit Cole set to return from the disabled list on Saturday against the Nationals, the Pirates are looking to create room in their starting rotation for rookie Tyler Glasnow. The club is reportedly looking to trade Jon Niese and/or Jeff Locke, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Glasnow made his major league debut last Thursday against the Cardinals, yielding four runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He was rated the Pirates’ best prospect and eighth overall in baseball according to MLB Pipeline prior to his call up.

Jameson Taillon also made his major league debut earlier this season and could return shortly after the All-Star break. Moving one of Niese and Locke would likely mean optioning Chad Kuhl back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Niese is earning $9 million this season and can be bought out for $500,000 after each of the next two seasons, making him a free agent. Otherwise, his team can pick up his club option for $10 million for the 2017 season and $11 million for ’18. Dealing with a balky knee lately, Niese owns a 5.13 ERA with a 71/36 K/BB ratio in 101 2/3 innings this year.

Locke is earning $3.025 million for the 2016 season. He’s eligible for arbitration two more times before becoming eligible for free agency. The lefty has a 5.26 ERA with a 53/32 K/BB ratio in 101 innings this season.

Diamondbacks option Shelby Miller to Triple-A

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 06:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on July 6, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks announced on Thursday evening that struggling starter Shelby Miller has been optioned to Triple-A Reno.

Miller, 25, has had a nightmarish season in Arizona, ending the first half with a 2-9 record, a 7.14 ERA, and a 50/34 K/BB ratio in 69 1/3 innings. The Diamondbacks considered demoting him to Triple-A back in May, but he wound up on the disabled list with a right finger injury.

The Diamondbacks acquired Miller from the Braves this past December along with minor leaguer Gabe Speier in exchange for Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair, and Ender Inciarte. Miller is earning $4.35 million this season and has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining before he is eligible to reach free agency.