Don Cherry has opinions about Harper-Papelbon


One thing that makes me laugh harder than almost anything is when someone tells me to “stick to baseball.” No. Why should I? I’m a human being like anyone else and I got opinions, dang it. Sure, the farther I stray from my areas of expertise (e.g. baseball, the law, cats, bourbon, 1980s sitcoms and the facts supporting the incontrovertible proof that the moon landing was faked) the more likely I am to be wrong, but that’s a risk we all have in life.

So, no, I take no issue with noted hockey crazy person Don Cherry weighing in on the Bryce HarperJonathan Papelbon fight. He, like me, treads on thin ice in talking about sports he doesn’t know as well (note to Don: we call them clubhouses, not “dressing rooms”) but the man is entitled to his opinion, even if it’s dumb and wrong. That’s what the Constitution guarantees, and according to people who yell at me on the Internet, that applies even in Canada.

So, without further ado, Don Cherry’s wisdom on the Harper-Papelbon thing. He put it in nine separate tweets and that’s hard to follow, so I’ll clean it up for you (tweets here):

How anybody could blame Papelbon for confronting Harper boggles the mind. Alright, Papelbon shouldn’t have done what he did to Harper on the bench. He should have waited for him in the tunnel and choked him there . . .

. . . People who criticize Papelbon, rightly so for doing it openly, never played the game. Never, never, ever openly criticize your teammate no matter what he does. In the dressing room that’s ok, yes but what is said in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. Some people say they can understand how Harper just jogs down to first on a pop up. They say well, hey they have already played 152 games. The guy is getting 10 zillion dollars a year, at least he can hustle to first base.

The most remarkable thing about this entire controversy — apart from some people, like Cherry, thinking that there’s a right place and a wrong place to choke someone — is the belief by so many that Harper actually dogged it to first base on the play in question. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post was at the game and he wrote quite clearly that Harper did not, in fact, dog it to first base in anything approaching an unusual or extraordinary way. If the ball had been dropped, Harper would have been safe. Which is all that is really required on such plays unless you worship at the altar of False Hustle.

But of course, we know this wasn’t about hustle anyway. This was Papelbon looking for a pretext to go after Harper based on his comments last week.

Anyway: good to see Don Cherry branching out. I worry sometimes that there isn’t enough work for ill-informed hot take artists in sports media, so him putting in the hard work to stretch himself like this is inspiring.

Ohtani homers twice, including career longest at 459 feet, Angels beat White Sox 12-5

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CHICAGO (AP) Shohei Ohtani homered in consecutive innings, including a 459-foot drive that was the longest of his Major League Baseball career, and drove in four runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Chicago White Sox 12-5 Wednesday.

Mike Trout put the Angels ahead 2-0 with a 476-foot home run in the first that was four rows shy of clearing the left field bleachers. Taylor Ward also went deep as the Angels hit four two-run homers plus a solo shot.

“Those are the guys you lean on,” manager Phil Nevin said. “They can certainly put the team on their backs and carry us and that’s what they did today.”

Ohtani drove a first-pitch fastball from Lance Lynn (4-6) just to left of straightaway center in the third, where the ball was dropped by a fan who tried to glove it. That 425-foot drive put the Angels ahead 4-1.

Lynn didn’t even bother to turn and look when Ohtani hit a full count fastball more than a dozen rows over the bullpen in right-center in the fourth. The two-way Japanese star is batting .269 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs to go along with a 5-1 record and 2.91 ERA.

“I’m feeling good right now,” Ohtani said through a translator. “I’m putting good swings on pitches I should be hitting hard.”

Ohtani increased his career total to 13 multihomer games with his first this season.

Trout pulled a hanging curve for his 13th home run. Ward hit a two-run homer against Jesse Scholtens in the seventh and Chad Wallach, pinch hitting for Ohtani, had a solo homer in the ninth off Garrett Crochet.

“Usually when that happens, we’re in a good spot to win,” Trout said.

Trout and Ohtani have homered in the same game for the fifth time this season. The Angels hit a pair of 450-foot or more home runs in the same game for the first time since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

Lynn allowed eight runs, eight hits and two walks while hitting two batters in four innings, raising his ERA to 6.55. He has given up 15 home runs, one short of the major league high of Kansas City’s Jordan Lyles. Lynn had won his previous three starts.

“It seemed like he didn’t get away with any today,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “Just one of those days, man.”

Jaime Barria (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks.

Los Angeles won two of three from the White Sox after being swept by Miami last weekend.

Jake Burger homered for Chicago, which has lost four of five. Burger hit his 11th homer in the ninth and Hanser Alberto had a two run double off Tucker Davidson.

Chicago’s Romy Gonzalez, who’d homered in three straight games, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


Twenty-three people became naturalized U.S. citizens during a pregame swearing-in behind home plate.


Angels: Trout fouled a pitch off his right leg in the fourth but remained in the game.

White Sox: INF Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) and RHP Mike Clevinger (right wrist inflammation) are close to returning but Grifol wouldn’t elaborate on either player’s status.


Angels: Reid Detmers (0-4, 4.93) starts Thursday’s series opener at Houston against fellow LHP Framber Valdez (5-4, 2.38).

White Sox: Have not announced a starter for Friday’s series opener against visiting Detroit, which starts RHP Reese Olson in his major league debut. Olson is 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Toledo.

AP MLB: and