Swarm of bees delays Diamondbacks-Giants game, sends Angel Pagan running for cover

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Yesterday afternoon’s Giants-Diamondbacks game was delayed for 41 minutes when a swarm of bees made its way into right field.

Fans along the first base dugout were evacuated, Ian Kennedy’s first spring start was cut short, and the Associated Press reports that “the Diamondbacks’ field crew used a combination of cotton candy and lemonade to help disperse” the bees.

Arizona center fielder Chris Young described the scene:

I didn’t see them at first I just heard them. I am not afraid of one or two of them. I wouldn’t flinch at that. When you start talking about 500, 600 of them yea, I am afraid of that. I would be afraid of anything of that many. If there were that many mosquitoes, I would be afraid of that.

I choose to take Young’s “I would be afraid of anything of that many” quote literally and imagine him running away screaming at the sight of, say, 500 paperclips or 600 packing peanuts. That would be a helluva phobia.

Angel Pagan’s plans were equally amusing: “I was right next to the bathroom in case I had to lock myself in.”

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.