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:
Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
They just celebrated Houston's AL pennant on the big screen and cut away when José Altuve tells teammates to not take his shirt off. This is something.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.