Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Keith Olbermann is really mad about Mark Reynolds eating sunflower seeds for some reason

33 Comments

GQ’s Keith Olbermann was watching some baseball on Tuesday night, specifically the Giants-Rockies game. He observed first baseman Mark Reynolds tipping an open bag into his mouth — sunflower seeds — and tweeted about it. The Rockies zinged him pretty good in response.

Everyone had a quick laugh at his expense, and the whole thing was forgotten until Olbermann decided this was a hill upon which to die on Thursday.

There’s no rule against players eating on the field. We’ve been given great moments like this as a result:

For a long, long time, players using chewing tobacco was as much a part of the game as the crack of the bat and the smell of the grass. Sunflower seeds, too, to a lesser extent. As we learned more about the dangers of tobacco, its use waned and players started chewing gum and eating sunflower seeds more. If you ask me, that’s a good thing.

Not to Olbermann. I’m not sure I get why this is even an issue. Who is hurt by players eating sunflower seeds on the field? The salt on the seeds is bad for birds, but I doubt Olbermann is arguing from a bird’s rights perspective. And I also doubt he’s starting this crusade on the behalf of stadium workers who have to clean up discarded sunflower seed shells.

At any rate, I’m not sure the Rockies’ lack of postseason success from 2008-16 can be tied to Mark Reynolds’ on-field sunflower seed habit in 2017.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
Getty Images
1 Comment

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.