UPDATE: General manager Doug Melvin announced that Gamel has a torn ACL, which likely means season-ending surgery. Very tough break for a player who waited to get his shot.
Mat Gamel left yesterday’s game after injuring his right knee chasing a foul ball and now Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers first baseman is headed back to Milwaukee to be examined by team doctors.
Manager Ron Roenicke sounded pretty pessimistic about Gamel’s status when asked immediately after the game, saying he feared it was serious and might be “a slight tear.”
Gamel has gotten off to a slow start as Prince Fielder’s replacement, hitting just .246 with a .641 OPS in 21 games after biding his time at Triple-A for multiple seasons. Milwaukee doesn’t have an obvious in-house replacement beyond Travis Ishikawa, so calling up Brooks Conrad or third base prospect Taylor Green from Triple-A could be options.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.