Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this third Tuesday in May.
When boxing was big, fight fans had an expression-“A dandy little 4-rounder.” That was a fight where neither fighter was too good but they could still put up a good scrap in the ring. That would be an apt description for the game in Detroit, once a major boxing city, between the Twins and Tigers. The home standing Tigers won it 10-8. It could have been easier-they had an 8-0 lead in the first inning. They had to do without their manager, Brad Ausmus after the 4th inning. He got ejected to protect batter Nick Castellanos from a similar fate. Nick had taken a called third strike from home plate umpire Doug Eddings and would have been ejected for arguing if his manager hadn’t gotten to the plate in time. Before Ausmus left the field he had thrown his hoodie down on home plate in disgust. He had cause to be disgusted-his team’s 8-0 lead was down to 8-7 by the time he was ordered off the premises. The Twins’ Kurt Suzuki and Miguel Sano had hit home runs, and the visitors had put up 4 in their half of the 4th to make it an 8-7 game. They tied it in the 7th, but Castellanos, who had earlier been rescued by his manager launched what would be the game-winning home run in the home 7th. J. D. Martinez hit a solo shot an inning later for insurance. More hitting fireworks can be expected tonight, as neither Twins’ starter Phil Hughes or Tigers’ starter Mike Pelfrey has an ERA under 5.80.
Ranger Without Remorse
Normally, an athlete who does something wrong puts out the average apology-I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again, and blah blah blah. Not Rougned Odor, the second baseman of the Rangers who punched Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays this past Sunday. He said he has no regrets and isn’t sorry for what he did. In remarks that would have made Ty Cobb proud, Odor said he doesn’t care what other teams think of him, he’s only thinking about his team. This stance may add time to the suspension he certainly will get. It should be announced today, though it hasn’t been as I write this. And on the subject of justice, I have just been informed that Fredi Gonzalez has been fired as Braves’ manager. He was manager of the first pro team I broadcast for, the 1991 Miami Miracle who played in Pompano Beach. He was a good man. I can’t imagine why he would be fired. He isn’t to blame for the biblical horror that his team has been the last couple of seasons.
The best matchup on tonight’s full slate of MLB games is the game in New AYork between the Mets and the Nationals. This is the first time they have squared off since the end of the last regular season. Max Scherzer goes tonight, and he threw a no-hitter against the Mets the last time he saw them. He’s coming in hotter than hot, having struck out 20 in his last outing. Meantime he faces the man called Thor, Noah Syndergaard. The last time he pitched, he hammered two giant home runs off the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda.
This is a truly unfortunate day. There isn’t a single baseball birthday of note, and those are usually the most fun parts of this column for me to write. That’s why I keep doing them in spite of some flack I’ve taken about the subject. I do have the sad duty of mentioning the passing of Dick McAuliffe, who passed on last Friday in his native Connecticut. He played for the Tigers from late 1960 until 1973 and played his last two years in Boston. He was an All-Star 3 times, from 1965-67. The next year his Tigers beat the Cardinals in the World Series, coming back to do so after being down 3 games to 1. He was a shortstop early on. In 1965 he played shortstop in the All-Star game at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota and hit a home run in the game. He shifted to second base in 1967 and played there as long as he was with the Tigers.
May 17, 2016
I was stunned when the Red Sox traded Ben Oglivie, a highly-prized prospect, for a post-prime Dick McAuliffe. The Sox may not have needed another outfielder/DH, but adding a utility infielder at that point seemed really questionable. Oglivie was hitting quite well for the Milwaukee Brewers after McAuliffe had retired.
May 18, 2016
Yes, by the time the 1975 World Series came around McAuliffe was not on the roster. Trading Oglivie for a relief pitcher might have been wiser.