UPDATE: the Jim Joyce Twitter account is a hoax

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UPDATE: No one has said so or anything (OK, now they have!) but just plain logic is causing most people to believe that the Joyce Twitter account is a fake. The avatar thing is just too nuts. And it’s not likely that that Major League Baseball would allow such a thing anyway.

How did I get suckered? Just lazy, I guess. Fake accounts tend to be over the top. That this one wasn’t probably threw me. I’m usually sharper and more skeptical than that, so who knows what my problem was. I suppose I was just caught up in a credulous moment this morning.

Still, there was something positive here. As I said a few minutes ago, I heard about this from secretly viewing Jon Heyman’s Twitter feed (shhh! don’t tell him!). Which means that someone is
pulling a prank on Heyman, because he believed it. I don’t approve of Twitter hoaxes, and I sure as hell don’t like being duped just like Heyman was, but I do
approve of people messing with Heyman, so consider me conflicted
here.

11:35 A.M.: Here’s something I wasn’t expecting: infamous-then-noble umpire Jim Joyce started up a Twitter account late last night. The best part: at first his avatar was a screen-cap of his call at first base in the Galarraga game, showing that Joyce has either a good sense of humor or a great perspective or both.  He changed it, though, because people thought it was one of the many hoax celebrity (such as he is) Twitter accounts.  This is legit though. (Update: rather, it probably isn’t)

If I had to guess it will soon go quiet, like so many Twitter accounts do. At the very least by the beginning of next year because I bet Major League Baseball doesn’t want umpires on Twitter.  I kind of hope not, though.  Anything that cuts through the filters and static between newsmakers and the public is a good thing.

Phillies-Mets could get contentious tonight

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As the Mets were wrapping up a 9-0 shellacking of the Phillies on Tuesday night, reliever Jacob Rhame threw a pitch up and in to first baseman Rhys Hoskins with two outs in the ninth inning. The pitch sailed behind Hoskins’ back. The slugger wasn’t happy about the scare, understandably. Players began to trickle out of their respective dugouts, but a fracas was avoided.

Hoskins was skeptical that Rhame simply missed his spot. Per MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan, Hoskins said, “He didn’t miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide. I would assume teams are pitching me in because that’s where they think they can get me out, and that’s fine. That’s part of the game. Again, I think most guys are capable of pitching inside and not missing that bad.”

Teammate Bryce Harper said, “I don’t get it. I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it’s baseball and you’re going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the [butt]. Not in the head. You throw 98, it’s scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That’s bigger than the game.”

Indeed, two Mets were hit by pitches on Monday night. José Álvarez hit Jeff McNeil in the seventh inning, which advanced a base runner. In the very next at-bat, Juan Nicasio hit Pete Alonso with a first-pitch fastball. It was obvious neither was intentional as the Phillies were only down two runs and hitting both batters advanced base runners and led to runs scoring. It is less obvious that Rhame’s pitch to Hoskins was unintentional, but he showed empathy in his post-game comments. Rhame said, “When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary. I’d get [angry], too.”

Will Wednesday night’s series finale be contentious? Despite being “fairly upset,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “We do not retaliate, and we do not throw at anybody intentionally,” Jake Seiner of the Associated Press reports.

Mets manager Mickey Calloway didn’t give as straight an answer. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Calloway said, “I think at this point, you just go out there and beat people, and win. … For now, I don’t feel like anything has been intentional at us that has warranted anything from our side.” If that changes, however, Calloway said, “They’re going to have each other’s backs.”

Hopefully, neither side decides to take justice into their own hands. But, welcome to the NL East in 2019. The Mets lead the Phillies by one game, and the Braves and Nationals by 1.5 games. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out division fight all year long.