Eccentric basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale makes his offseason home in Tampa Bay and seems to make it to several Rays games a year. On Thursday he got more than he bargained for.
According to the Associated Press, Dicke V was nailed in the stomach by a foul ball off the bat of Blue Jays leadoff hitter Fred Lewis. Vitale was sitting in the front row along the third base dugout, in prime foul ball territory. He rubbed his stomach for a few minutes and looked to be in some pain, but eventually shook it off and was seen laughing with the fans seated around him.
Vitale has had the pleasure of watching one heck of a Rays team this year. As of Thursday evening, the club boasts an MLB-best 39-20 record and holds a two-game lead over the Yankees. Go Rays, babyyy.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.