Rays manager Kevin Cash was not a happy camper after last night’s game. Particularly, after a call that led to a replay review.
In the first inning, Mariners outfielder Seth Smith scored on a fielder’s choice. While Smith slid before the tag was applied, Rays catcher Rene Rivera had the ball and blocked the front of the plate with his foot, applying the tag. There wasn’t a question over the plate block, just over whether Smith got his foot on the bag:
Cash took issue with the initial “safe” call, which weighed the replay review in the Mariners’ favor, given how the burden of proof works on replay challenges. And after the game he sounded off:
Noting he had no recourse “other than just to tell them how bad they stink,” Cash made clear how much he disagreed with the call.
“Terrible. Terrible. It’s embarrassing,” he said. “We spend so much time on pace of play, let’s just the damn call right on the field. It’s terrible. They ought to be embarrassed. Feels like we got beat twice tonight.”
Cash was also upset on base-runner placement on a later review in which an Evan Longoria hit was initially called foul but then ruled fair. The runner who was on first at the time time was awarded third base but Cash thought he should be awarded home, believing he would’ve scored had the umps called the ball fair initially. Which seems correct, as the left fielder fell down trying to catch it and the baserunner, Joey Butler was in between second and third already. Watch it here.
It’s easy to understand Cash’s frustration. Maybe even more so on the second play than the first. But it’ll also likely be the case that Major League Baseball will fine Cash for his postgame comments. Because, while umpires don’t have much apparent accountability for their actions, managers do.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Evan Longoria was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Rangers due to flu-like symptoms.
Normally we wouldn’t do an update on a situation like this. Players are scratched due to illness all the time, but this one is interesting, as it will end Longoria’s streak of 198 consecutive starts. Believe it or not, that’s the longest current active streak in MLB.
Longoria also has the longest current active streak of games played with 270. Barring something like a pinch-hit appearance, that will likewise end tonight. We’re a long way from Cal Ripken, Jr. territory here.
In preparation for 23-year-old Cubs uber-prospect Kris Bryant’s long-awaited MLB debut this afternoon let’s all just stare at his final minor-league numbers, which were compiled in 181 total games spent mostly at Double-A and Triple-A:
– .327 batting average
– .426 on-base percentage
– .667 slugging percentage
– 55 home runs
– 49 doubles
– 107 extra-base hits
– 152 RBIs
– 147 runs scored
– 18 stolen bases
– 99 walks
– 206 strikeouts
For those curious, here are the highest OPS totals by a 23-year-old third baseman since 1960:
1.008 – Troy Glaus, 2000
1.004 – Ryan Braun, 2007
.998 – Miguel Cabrera, 2006
.965 – Gary Sheffield, 1992
.923 – Scott Rolen, 1998
.912 – David Wright, 2006
.889 – Evan Longoria, 2009
.885 – Aramis Ramirez, 2001
.878 – Eric Chavez, 2001
.870 – Dick Allen, 1965
Based on the incredible hype attached to Bryant a lot of people will probably be disappointed if he turns into, say, the next Troy Glaus instead of the next Mike Schmidt, but either way I’m just glad to have all the hot takes about service time manipulation put away until the next great prospect is ready for a call-up.
My gut-feel prediction for Bryant’s career is that he’ll hit for crazy power, post good but not great batting averages because of high strikeout rates, and make 10 or so All-Star teams.