The Pirates’ and Mets’ benches emptied in the top of the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s game after Josh Harrison slid hard into second base. Harrison hit a one-out single to put runners on first and second. David Freese then hit a ground ball to shortstop Jose Reyes, who flipped to Asdrubal Cabrera at the second base bag. Cabrera had to hop over Harrison, which caused his throw to first base to be late.
As Harrison was jogging off the field, reliever Jeurys Familia started barking at Harrison. Harrison took exception and started jawing back. With both teams’ rosters congregating between the pitcher’s mound and second base, Harrison could be seen talking calmly with Cabrera and the two bumped fists, showing the two were cool with one another. (Harrison bumped Cabrera’s glove, more accurately.)
Cabrera is a veteran of 12 major league seasons and a fellow infielder like Harrison, so he knew what Harrison was doing and understood there was no malice behind it. The slide also appeared to be perfectly legal.
No punches were thrown and no one was ejected. The Mets didn’t seek retribution on Harrison when he came to the plate again in the top of the 10th inning. He simply grounded out.
The Mets won in the bottom half of the 10th when Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off RBI single.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.