David Cone calls Ichiro’s bat a “chopstick”

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Sometimes, when a pitcher throws a gopherball, the announcer says “I bet he wishes he could have that one back.” I imagine the same goes for a broadcaster who used to be a pitcher. David Cone, specifically.

Last night in the bottom of the 11th, Cone, broadcasting for YES Network, was describing an Ichiro Suzuki hit and said “Ichiro … with the choptick” to describe his bat handling abilities.  Here’s the video. Watch for that awkward broadcast silence followed in which you just know everyone in the booth and in the satellite truck were grimacing and cringing at one another. Good times!

This story about it says “the remark caused an outcry from fans on social media.” Which, OK, but I scrolled back on my baseball-fan-and-watcher-heavy Twitter feed from last night and I didn’t see an “outcry.” I saw a lot of people say stuff like “oooh, Coney, that wasn’t good,” but no “outcry.”

I mean, gosh, even overly-sensitive liberal weenies like me acknowledge that sometimes stuff happens.  At least I hope so.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.