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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.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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