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Marcus Stroman calls Dennis Eckersley ‘clown’ and ‘hypocrite’

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman was fired up yesterday, after striking out Red Sox third baseman Eduardo Núñez to end the sixth inning.  It was the last batter he’d face in the game, he probably new it, after strike three was called he yelled loudly and then, for lack of a better term, kinda pranced to the dugout and gave a little applause to, I think anyway, himself.

Just watch. Maybe you can come up with better words for it:

NESN color commentator and Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley didn’t much care for that, calling the celebration “tired.” Which is absolutely hilarious coming from Eckersley, who was one of the most animated on-mound celebrators of his day. He would pump his first and yell and carry on after big outs all the time. As Rob Friedman points out, it even got mentioned in the documentary about him:

After yesterday’s game Stroman heard about Eckersley’s comment and registered his displeasure, calling Eckersley’s commentary, in general, “trash,” and specifically calling him a “hypocrite” and a “clown.”

This is not the first time that a pitcher has taken issue with Eck’s commentary. Two years ago David Price got into it with Eckersley on the Red Sox’ team plane after Eck was critical of one of his Red Sox teammates. In that instance Eckersley’s comments weren’t personal or anything and Price’s response was rather obnoxious. Here, while Stroman didn’t have to stoop to name calling, he did have a good point. It’s eye-rolling whenever an announcer complains about a player’s celebrations, but it’s downright rich that Eckersley, of all people, is taking issue with a fired up pitcher showing that kind of emotion on the field.

The Jays and Red Sox face off again next week. Stroman is scheduled to start on July 3. It’ll be interesting to see if Eck has anything to say about it all.

Hinch, Luhnow, will be eligible in 2021 even if there are no games in 2020

A.J. Hinch (left) and Jeff Luhnow (right)
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You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.

That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.

It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.