Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Entomologist names newly discovered species of beetle after José Bautista

8 Comments

This past Thursday, Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star reported that entomologist Bob Anderson, from the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, named a newly discovered species of beetle after former Blue Jays slugger José Bautista. Anderson is a fan of Toronto sports and decided to honor Bautista due to his famous bat flip after hitting a three-run home run in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS against the Rangers.

The species is known as Sicoedrus bautistai, found in Bautista’s native Dominican Republic. It is a true weevil in the family of beetles known as Curculionidae. There are over 60,000 known species of weevils.

According to Armstrong, Anderson has coined names for two or three hundred species across his 30-year career. Bautista is not the first athlete to serve as the namesake for an insect. Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask had a species of wasp named after him in 2015, called Thaumatodryinus tuukkaraski. Additionally, José Fernández-Triana of the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada named a species of parasitoid wasps after legendary Mariners outfielder Ichiro SuzukiDiolcogaster ichiroi.

Bautista, 38, spent the 2018 season in the NL East with the Braves, Mets, and Phillies. He hit a combined .203/.348/.378 in 122 games. His days of being a starter are numbered, but he could serve as a bench bat next season. He likely will have to settle for a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Even if Bautista doesn’t have a uniform come spring training, he has a species of beetle named after him and no one can take that away from him.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

Getty Images
7 Comments

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.