Astros reliever apologizes to the umps

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You don’t see this very often. Last night Astros reliever Paul Clemens thought a 2-2 pitch was a strikeout. Home plate umpire Paul Emmel thought differently and called it a ball. Clemens was visibly upset and jawed some stuff Emmel’s way.  After the game, however, he apologized:

“Let me take a second to apologize to him and his whole crew. I apologize,” Clemens said. “It was just my competitive nature. … I took the Lord’s name in vain and I apologized.”

If that’s the standard, Greg Maddux is going to spend eternity in a very bad place for all of those F-bombs he used to launch.

Nice on Clemens, though.

Rays to start relievers in all three games of weekend series with Orioles

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays will start a reliever in each of the three games of the club’s weekend series at home against the Orioles. Sergio Romo will start Friday, Ryne Stanek will start Saturday, and Romo will start again Sunday. The Orioles’ starters are TBA at the moment.

This continues the trend that drew attention last weekend, resulting in Angels third baseman calling the strategy “bad for baseball.” I wrote about the potential labor impacts of this strategy as well. The Rays did it against the Angels because they had a right-hander-heavy top of the lineup and didn’t want lefty Ryan Yarbrough to have to face that top of the lineup three times.

The O’s have a righty-heavy top of the lineup as well, as various combinations of Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop have batted 1-2-3-4 for most of the season. Romo has limited right-handers to a .702 OPS this season.