Angels starter Garrett Richards left last night’s start against the Mariners after experiencing right forearm irritation, accompanied by a significant loss in velocity. That’s a pretty scary combo, so the Angels are not taking any chances with him: he’ll undergo an MRI today.
In addition to being a solid starter, whose performance is essential to the Angels’ getting back into playoff contention, Richards is probably the team’s biggest trade chip in the event it is decided that contention isn’t happening. On a personal level it’s Richards’ free agent walk year, so a serious injury would be disastrous for him and the Angels on a number of levels. Not that injuries are new to him: Richards was limited to six starts the past two seasons because of a damaged ulnar collateral ligament and a biceps issue. He avoided Tommy John surgery by getting stem-cell therapy, but the notion that Richards, while good when healthy, is a workhorse left town a long time ago.
Entering play last night Richards had a 3.42 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 15 starts over 73.2 innings. Whether there will be any more play for him this year will be known after the MRI.
Ken Harrelson has been broadcasting for decades but yesterday was his last one. As of today the Hawk has hung up his mic and entered retirement. He gone!
Harrelson, 77, who played in the majors for nine seasons with the A’s, Red Sox, Indians and Senators and led the AL in RBI in 1968. He was also the White Sox’ general manager for a single season in the mid-80s. That didn’t go well — he famously fired Tony La Russa and Dave Dombrowski and traded away a young Bobby Bonilla, but his career as a broadcaster went swimmingly.
Harrelson served as a Red Sox broadcaster from 1975 through 1981. Despite his reputation as an unrepentant homer for his White Sox — who he called “the good guys,” as opposed to the “bad guys” playing them — he was actually fired as a Red Sox broadcaster for being critical of ownership. He then embarked on his first stint with the White Sox before his move into the front office, worked as a Yankees broadcaster from 1987-88 and worked games for NBC’s Game of the Week in the mid-1980s as well. He then returned to call games for the White Sox in 1990 and the rest is history.
Hawk will still be a team ambassador for Chicago so he not totally gone, but the White Sox broadcast booth is entering a new era.