Searching for fundamentals guru Tom Emanski…

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Any fan of baseball — or television, for that matter — is probably familiar with Tom Emanski and his baseball fundamentals videos that produced “back-to-back-to-back AAU Championships.”  Heck, they were endorsed by The Crime Dog himself, Fred McGriff. 

Well, Bill Reiter of the Kansas City Star did us all a favor this spring and attempted to track down the suddenly elusive Emanski.  Reiter failed, but gathered this priceless quote from Royals right-hander Zack Greinke, who actually attended Emanski’s camp in Florida as a youngster.

“There were some good parts,” Greinke says. “But we spent two hours in a
room talking about technique. We were 10 years old, and we had no idea
what he was talking about — no idea.”

Something must have clicked.  Greinke, 26, won the American League Cy Young Award last season with a dominant 2.16 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 242 strikeouts.  He threw six complete games and logged 26 total quality starts.  The phantom Emanski lives on!

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.