Adam Wainwright and Skip Schumaker were St. Louis Cardinals teammates from 2005 through 2012. Schumaker moved on to the Dodgers after that and then on to the Reds before retiring. He’s now in the coaching ranks, currently serving as first base coach for the San Diego Padres.
The Padres spent the past few games in St. Louis visiting the Cardinals and, last night, left town for Atlanta to continue their road trip. When Schumaker changed out of his uniform and reached for his travel clothes — a white polo shirt and some black slacks — he found that his old friend Adam Wainwright still thinks about him after all these years:
A lot of baseball pranks are kind of basic. This one was pretty dang clever. And involved too, given that Wainwright had to enlist the help of the Cardinals’ uniform folks and, presumably, had to pay off a visiting clubhouse attendant to get him to filch Schumaker’s polo like that.
A+ to Wainwright in our book.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.