Cal Ripken Jr. denies Gregg Zaun’s claim that he hazed and abused young players

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Gregg Zaun made claimed on Friday that, when he was coming up witht he Orioles, veteran players such as Cal Ripken Jr. hazed and, in Zaun’s words, physically abused him. And, for the record, he claimed he was fine with it and that more of that should be happening to young ballplayers today.

Roch Kubatko of MASN spoke to Ripken about it and Ripken disputes Zaun’s account:

“I talked to him because he’s a friend of mine. I consider him a good friend,” Ripken said today. “I don’t know how it got all out of whack. He apologized and said he used the wrong words. There was no abuse, there was no hazing. It doesn’t do anything for team unity. He knows that and everybody who knows me knows that.”

There was “horseplay,” apparently, but Ripken denies that it was hazing or abuse and denies that it was limited to rookie players. Ripken specifically denied the anecdote Zaun told about there being “an imaginary line” on the charter flights which rookies could not cross, leading to abuse.

Brady Anderson, also named by Zaun, denied Zaun’s claims. He also called Zaun’s overall credibility into question by noting that, contrary to Zaun’s assertion, Anderson did not play in the instructional league together as Anderson was in the Red Sox’ organization at the time.

Kubatko quotes Zaun here as well, and Zaun — quite predictably — claims he was taken out of context by the “blogger” who transcribed Zaun’s comments on the radio show on which he was appearing. Not that he eliminated any actual words Zaun said but, rather, that he didn’t explain that Zaun described the alleged hazing with “enthusiasm.” Which, um, sure Zaun, that changes everything. More on that here.

So, I guess that’s that.

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.