This is cool: Drew Weber, owner of the Red Sox’ class-A Lowell Spinners team, was given a 2013 World Series ring by the parent club. The first time he wears it out in public he leaves it in a bar. The bar’s owner, Luigi Militello, is a big Yankees fan. He finds the ring. Think of all of the things one could do in that situation!
Ah, not really. What else can a decent person do besides return it? Which the bar owner did. And it worked out nicely for him:
Militello was insistent that he wouldn’t accept any money. He tried to persuade Weber to call into a local sports radio show and disparage the Red Sox, but that didn’t work.
Instead, Weber and the Red Sox have invited Militello to make his first trip to Fenway Park for the regular-season finale on Sept. 28. That’s also scheduled to be the final game for retiring Yankees star Derek Jeter.
Oh, and Militello got Weber to make a donation to a Superstorm Sandy charity too. So it worked out nicely for lots of people.
Such a good ending. So much better than what may have happened if people who actually took Red Sox-Yankees rivalry stuff as if it were life and death were involved.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.