The Rockies walked off in the tenth inning on Justin Morneau’s two-run home run, but that wasn’t the most interesting part of Sunday’s series finale against the Padres. In the top of the third inning, pitcher Juan Nicasio was in a bit of a pickle with runners on first and second with no outs, already down 1-0.
Carlos Quentin hit a weak grounder to third baseman Nolan Arenado, who stepped on third base and quickly made a jump-throw to second baseman D.J. LeMahieu for out number two. LeMahieu took the ball out in front of the second base bag and avoided a sprawling Seth Smith to fire the ball to first baseman Justin Morneau, but he was a bit too late to get Quentin. Second base umpire Seth Buckminster, however, ruled Quentin out as a result of Smith’s interference, giving the Rockies a triple play. It appeared that Smith made contact with LeMahieu’s foot with his hand, though he did not grab the Rockies’ infielder.
Interference is not reviewable by instant replay, so the umpire’s ruling was final. Watch the play as it unfolded:
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.