Scott Feldman turned in an early contender for the feel-good story of the year. As Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle writes, Feldman lost his father to brain cancer earlier this week and did not travel with the team to Toronto. However, he decided to make his scheduled start on Friday night against the Rangers. Feldman said his father would have been upset if he had skipped the outing.
The Astros are happy he showed up. Feldman held the Rangers scoreless over seven innings, going toe-to-toe with Yu Darvish. Darvish flirted with a perfect game entering the sixth inning, even. Overall, Feldman allowed two hits and walked four while striking out three. The 31-year-old right-hander now has an 0.44 ERA on the season in 20 2/3 innings over three starts.
Ichiro Suzuki is now a Mariners employee and, as such, he’s not allowed to sit in the dugout during a game. That’s for coaches and players only.
He knows that, too. Indeed, on the day Ichiro announced his sorta-retirement, he talked about how it was going to be hard not to be down on the field with the other players. He even made a ridiculous joke about how, “[he] can’t say for certain that maybe [he] won’t put on a beard and glasses and be like Bobby Valentine and be in the dugout.”
In related news, this mysterious stranger was seen by an Associated Press photographer in the Mariners dugout during the first couple of innings of the M’s-Yankees game:
No beard, but I guess that joke was not very ridiculous after all. Either way, by the end of the second inning — poof — he was gone.
Obviously, when something interesting like this happens you mustache an expert for their opinion on the matter. To that end, the Associated Press reached Bobby Valentine, who famously did the same thing after an ejection way back in 1999, for comment:
“He was perfect. I never would have known it was him.”
Valentine was suspended for two games and fined $5,000. I’m assuming Ichiro won’t get hit quite as hard given that he wasn’t defying an umpire’s authority, but even if he does have to pay a fine, he’ll likely do so willingly.