Every year something happens in the offseason that makes me think that I can’t handle the looniness anymore. That the hot stove season has reached its nadir. After which I say that I cannot handle another weird rumor or report. When I say “not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”
That usually happens in mid-January. This year it happened on November 16, in a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Sideny Ponson. Who hasn’t pitched since 2009 and hasn’t pitched well since 2003. I’m going to assume for the sake of my sanity that the A’s official in question is the brother-in-law or college roommate of Ponson’s agent and that the meeting was a social affair.
If not, I’ll be in the bar. Until mid-February.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.