When he’s not busy tweeting about his depressing love life Jose Canseco manages the Yuma Scorpions of the independent North American Baseball League, which believe it or not isn’t even close to the weirdest part of this story detailed by Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
One of the Yuma players is Tony Phillips, who was teammates with Canseco on the A’s in the 1980s, last played in the majors way back in 1999, and is now 51 years. And not only is he still playing, Phillips is in good enough shape to get into brawl.
But wait, it gets crazier. Monday he got into a fight with Chico Outlaws manager and former Dodgers outfielder Mike Marshall, who’s 51 years old and played against Phillips and Canseco in the 1988 World Series.
(Dilbeck also notes that Marshall dated Belinda Carlisle back in the 1980s, which has absolutely nothing to do with the fight but is nonetheless very impressive for anyone familiar with the Go-Go’s.)
The 5-foot-9 Phillips punched the 6-foot-5 Marshall, who’s now pressing battery charges, and both men have been suspended for three games. And here’s video of the craziness:
Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting
In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.
Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.
If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.
Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.