Dave Duncan has a lot on his mind

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We’ve touched on this before, but in case you were unaware, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan missed a lot of time late in the season to be with his wife who underwent brain surgery for a tumor. Dave has been back for the playoffs, largely because his wife Jeanine’s insistence that he do so.

Today Mike Lopresti of USA Today has a story on all of that, including an interview with Dave and Jeanine’s son (and former major leaguer) Chris Duncan, who talks about how Dave is trying to balance baseball and family, and how each of them give him strength.

Duncan may very well be the best pitching coach of all time. But there has likely been no flaky lefty or over-powered, control-deficient righty who has posed the sort of challenge he and his family now face.  Good luck to him.

Aaron Boone receives one-game suspension for explosive tirade

Aaron Boone
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended and fined for his actions during Thursday’s doubleheader against the Rays. Boone was ejected from Game 1 after making contact with home plate umpire Brennan Miller and will not be available to manage the Yankees during their series opener against the Rockies on Friday.

The ejection was triggered by a missed strikeout call in the second inning of Game 1, prompting Boone to run out to home plate and deliver one of his lengthier and more bizarre rants of the season. Incensed by Miller’s shaky grasp of the strike zone, Boone repeatedly referred to his players as “f***ing savages” and told the umpire to “tighten this s**t up.”

Exactly when the illicit contact came into play remains unclear, but crew chief Gerry Davis later commented on the situation and said Boone had crossed some boundaries during his tirade. Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch: “You’re not allowed to argue balls and strikes, so yeah. Yes he did [go too far]. That will all be in the report.”

In his own statements to the press, Boone defended his use of the word “savages,” claiming, “I always just want our guys all the time controlling the strike zone and making it hard on the pitchers. That’s something those guys take a lot of pride in as a lineup.” Several Yankees players, including Luke Voit and Aaron Judge, backed up the skipper’s decision to confront Miller as well, though Voit was the only player to explicitly support Boone’s use of the term.