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Let’s check in with that scout who trashed Josh Bell

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A couple months ago, as various publications were putting out their season previews, Sports Illustrated briefly captured our collective attention when it quoted an anonymous scout who seemed to really have it in for Pirates first baseman Josh Bell. The scout said, “Josh Bell can’t play. He’s not a good defender. He’s a big lump. He has bad agility, bad footwork. He can’t run. Supposedly he’s a big power threat, but he hit 12 home runs at first base. This is not a kid! This is his third year in the big leagues! I don’t think he’s got the ability to get better.”

By the way, the scout railed against Bell when asked other questions that weren’t even about the first baseman. He said Bell was the Pirates’ biggest bust candidate, called him a “5 o’clock hitter,” (meaning Bell hits well in batting practice but not in games) suggested he wouldn’t want Bell in his clubhouse, and wouldn’t want Bell at the plate in a season-definining moment. When asked which player is the Pirates’ most underrated, the scout named Adam Frazier, saying, “He hit 10 home runs in half the at-bats of Bell and is a pretty good contact hitter.”

Talk about quotes that haven’t aged well. Bell, 26, entered Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Diamondbacks batting .329/.401/.692 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI in 167 plate appearances. Across a full season, he’s on pace for 50 home runs. He’s 2-for-3 with a double so far today.

Frazier, entering Wednesday, was hitting .252/.314/.357 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 157 PA.

Aaron Boone receives one-game suspension for explosive tirade

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended and fined for his actions during Thursday’s doubleheader against the Rays. Boone was ejected from Game 1 after making contact with home plate umpire Brennan Miller and will not be available to manage the Yankees during their series opener against the Rockies on Friday.

The ejection was triggered by a missed strikeout call in the second inning of Game 1, prompting Boone to run out to home plate and deliver one of his lengthier and more bizarre rants of the season. Incensed by Miller’s shaky grasp of the strike zone, Boone repeatedly referred to his players as “f***ing savages” and told the umpire to “tighten this s**t up.”

Exactly when the illicit contact came into play remains unclear, but crew chief Gerry Davis later commented on the situation and said Boone had crossed some boundaries during his tirade. Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch: “You’re not allowed to argue balls and strikes, so yeah. Yes he did [go too far]. That will all be in the report.”

In his own statements to the press, Boone defended his use of the word “savages,” claiming, “I always just want our guys all the time controlling the strike zone and making it hard on the pitchers. That’s something those guys take a lot of pride in as a lineup.” Several Yankees players, including Luke Voit and Aaron Judge, backed up the skipper’s decision to confront Miller as well, though Voit was the only player to explicitly support Boone’s use of the term.