Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera and manager Matt Williams were both ejected in the bottom of the 10th inning for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza.
Cabrera was ahead in the count 3-1 against Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt when the lefty threw a pitch up near the letters over the plate, called a strike with a slight delay by Carapazza. Cabrera wasn’t happy and expressed his frustration, and Williams barked from the dugout. Affeldt threw the same pitch in nearly the same location and Carapazza rung Cabrera up for the strikeout, the first out of the inning.
Cabrera slammed his bat down in frustration, followed shortly thereafter with his helmet. He stomped in front of Carapazza, who immediately ejected him. Williams came out and was quickly ejected as well. Bench coach Randy Knorr took over managerial duties for Williams.
There was some confusion after the ejections, as Ryan Zimmerman pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot (Tyler Clippard). Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted to confirm who, exactly, was announced — Zimmerman or Kevin Frandsen — as it affects the Nationals’ roster availability given Cabrera’s ejection. Zimmerman singled and was replaced on the base paths by Danny Espinosa, who will take over at second base for Cabrera.
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.