Yasiel Puig and his companion in throwing out base runners, Yoenis Cespedes have made baseball a lot of fun to watch lately. Puig showed off his well-respected cannon of an arm once again during Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Diamondbacks.
With the bases empty and two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross dunked a weak line drive down the right field line, just inside the line in front of Yasiel Puig. The ball caromed towards the stands — and the ballboy — and Puig had to navigate an awkward bounce around the cluster of people in his vicinity. Puig barehanded the ball, then fired a cannon to shortstop Hanley Ramirez covering second base to nab Ross for the final out of the inning. Check it out.
We really need a throwing competition added to the All-Star Game festivities.
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.