I’ve been going to baseball games for over 40 years now and I’ve never once caught a foul ball. Well, I got one at a spring training game, but I didn’t catch it as much as it hit an empty balcony near where I was standing and I walked over to it. And Jonah Keri, who was watching the game with me, bullied me into giving it to a cute, innocent kid below us because he’s just the worst kind of person like that.
Which is to say, nah, I really haven’t caught a foul ball before.
But a couple at last night’s Oakland A’s game caught not just one but two. And they did it without even getting up out of their seats.
A big assist to the dudes who tried to catch them with actual effort but failed. And an assist to the ricochet off the seats down below them on one of ’em. There is wisdom on the part of this couple. They know, it seems, that if one waits long enough for something it’ll come to you.
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.