Reds outfielder Derek Dietrich has absolutely crushed the Pirates this year, hitting seven home runs in nine games against them. Some of them have been absolute moon shoots and Dietrich has admired a few of them, flipped his bat and that sort of thing. One of those stand-and-stare jobs provoked a benches-clearing brawl earlier this season.
As I mentioned in the recaps the other day, the Pirates broadcast booth has been salty as all get-out about Dietrich, openly whining about him on the air. You see that from time to time. Buccos broadcaster John Wehner, however, is so disgusted with Dietrich that he’s, in my view anyway, crossed a major line in his criticism.
As Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, Wehner was on Pittsburgh radio the other morning and ripped Dietrich. See if you can spot the part that I think crossed the line:
“I can’t stand him . . . I just don’t see why – I don’t understand why you have to do that. It’s different if you’re a Hall of Fame player, you’re a 60-homer guy, you’re an established guy. Nobody ever heard of him before this year . . . I heard of him because of his grandfather (Steve Demeter) who used to be a minor league coach for the Pirates. He was the nicest, sweetest guy in the world. He’s rolling in his grave every time this guy hits a home run. He’s embarrassed of his grandson.”
I guess he could’ve done worse and said a bunch of stuff about Dietrich’s mom, but I feel like projecting your own crappy attitude on to a guy’s dead grandfather is sufficiently bad to be considered out of bounds.
But yeah, Wehner sounds lovely.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.