After allowing four runs in six innings to the White Sox on Sunday afternoon, David Price thought he was done for the day. He wasn’t supposed to be and had thrown “only” 99 pitches. The mound remained vacant as the rest of the Tigers went about their pre-inning warmups. After about a minute, manager Brad Ausmus signaled for reliever Alex Wilson as Price was nowhere to be found, as Matthew Mowery of The Oakland Press reports.
“There was a miscommunication as to whether he was going back out,” Ausmus said after the game. “I thought he was, and he thought he was done. That was the miscommunication.”
Price, on what happened:
“I did. I was up here (in the clubhouse) doing arm exercises. Ver (Justin Verlander) ran up the tunnel and said you are still in the game. I said, ‘No, I’m not. I have zero uniform on right now,’” Price admitted. “It was a miscommunication on everybody’s part. I’ll take the blame for it, that’s fine with me. It was a miscommunication. … It’s never happened before. But you can put it on me. I am fine with it.”
The Tigers found up winning anyway, tying the game up at four apiece with a four-run eighth inning, then enjoying a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning on James McCann’s solo home run.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.