Since Pine Tar Incident is already taken, I’m not quite sure what to call this one. The Pine Tar Episode? The Pine Tar Happening?
Miami manager Ozzie Guillen sent multiple F-bombs Bryce Harper’s way during the fourth inning of Sunday’s Nationals-Marlins game. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said afterwards that Guillen was calling out Harper for having too much pine tar on his bat and trying to intimidate the 19-year-old.
“It got on the umpire’s nerves and it got on my nerves,” Johnson said of Guillen’s profanity. “He was trying to intimidate my player.”
Guillen called Harper “unprofessional” after the game, adding: “I was just telling him how cute he was,” according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
Harper refused to take the bait, saying simply that Guillen was a “great manager,” CSNWashington’s Mark Zuckerman reports.
The Nats Enquirer has a nice rundown of the proceedings, along with screenshots.
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.