This Great Game Comebacker

The Week That Was in Baseball: June 16-22, 2014
Looking Back at the Career of Mr. Padre A Call for Smokelessness
Who Came Up With Chief Wahoo? Alex Torres' Big New Hat


Best and Worst of the Week

BEST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
27 6 12 3 0 4 11 1 0 0 0

Just when opponents thought that one Martinez (Victor) was too much trouble to face in Detroit, along comes a second: The 26-year-old Houston refugee got a late start on the year but has earned his way into the starting lineup with gusto. Martinez was the hitting star of the Tigers’ unsuccessful four-game series at home against the Royals, smashing three homers; he continued the heat over the weekend with five more hits including two doubles and a homer at Cleveland, where the Tigers got back on the winning track. The week ends with Martinez riding a 12-game hit streak as well.


BEST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
28 9 14 4 0 3 10 1 0 0 0

The veteran third sacker who turns 36 this week played this last week as if he was 26—but then again, hitting on the road two hitting paradises (Denver’s Coors Field and Phoenix’s Chase Field) has a tendency to make a lot of hitters feel young again. Ramirez had five multi-hit games and, as we approach the season’s midway point, he’s increased his season totals to ten homers and 38 RBIs—numbers that look even more impressive considering he’s only played in 52 games.


WORST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Oswaldo Arcia, Minnesota Twins

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
18 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

When the 23-year-old Venezuelan native returned from an eight-week absence in late May, he was alive with statistical energy as he hit .378 in his first 11 games back. Since then, it’s been a far different story; Arcia’s hitless week is the continuation of a prolonged dry spell in which he’s gone 2-for-43 with 17 strikeouts. The Twins tried to give him a few days off to let him rest up and shake loose, but that hasn’t seemed to work. Arcia will keep getting the at-bats given the team’s weak outfield corps, but he can’t keep not hitting like this.


WORST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
15 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1

We know a bum shoulder has been slowing down the young infielder from Hawaii’s Big Island to the point that he finished this past week on the disabled list, but it’s the culmination of a run of bad hitting in which he’s only managed four hits over his last 45 at-bats, bringing his season average down to .228; two double play grounders on the week didn’t help. The Cardinals like Wong and want to see him progress, but for now all they can do is watch him mend.


BEST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Sean Doolittle, Oakland A's

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

After the Jim Johnson debacle to start the season, the A’s have found their ninth-inning savior—boy, have they ever. Doolittle has done nothing but retire opposing hitters left and right, and with his two saves in four perfect innings this past week continued an amazing run on the year in which he’s struck out 50 batters and walked just one; even Dennis Eckersley’s got to be raising his eyebrows over that stat. Here’s more; since April 29, Doolittle has allowed no runs and just six hits over 24.1 innings.


BEST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15

Who did the heck else did you think we’d pick? The Dodgers ace pitched one for the ages this past Wednesday, with a first career no-hitter that would have been perfect had Hanley Ramirez not messed up a throw to first that allowed Corey Dickerson to reach for the Rockies. And no pitcher has ever thrown a perfecto with 15 or more strikeouts, which is what Kershaw accumulated in coming awfully close to perfection. Since a disastrous start at Arizona on May 17, Kershaw is 6-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 58 strikeouts and five walks in 42 innings.


WORST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Drew Pomeranz, Oakland A's

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 3.2 8 8 7 2 0 0 0 0 4

The 25-year-old southpaw had been excellent since taking over a spot in the Oakland rotation in early May, winning four of seven starts with a 1.88 ERA; but a six-run blow-up in the fourth inning of his Monday start against Texas led to an early departure and, for Pomeranz, an angry altercation with a clubhouse chair—for which the chair won, breaking his right (non-throwing) hand. Pomeranz’s unfortunate boxing bout has forced the A’s to look for another starting pitcher as he’ll be on the disabled list for some time to come.


WORST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Edinson Volquez, Pittsburgh Pirates

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 2.1 6 8 8 3 0 1 2 0 2

The ten-year veteran has always had a problem keeping his wildness in check—just a few years back he walked over 100 batters for the Padres—and he seemed to be making strides towards better control to start this season in Pittsburgh. But the bad ol’ days returned on Wednesday when Volquez couldn’t get past the third inning of his start against one of his former teams in the Reds, walking three, throwing two wild pitches and hitting a batter in the process. Volquez had just thrown seven shutout innings in his start before this one, so the Bucs are hoping this was nothing more than a temporary glitch.


BEST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Seattle Mariners (5-2)

It’s best to worst and back to best again for the careening Mariners, who followed up an okay four-game home-and-home split with San Diego with a very impressive three-game sweep on the road against the previously hot Royals. Starting pitching played a big role, and you know you’re having a good week when you can forge two victories each from Chris Young and Roenis Elias in one week. If the playoffs were to start to today, MLB would be sorting the deep recesses of the tiebreaker rules to see if the Mariners would make it, they’re that close right now.


BEST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Milwaukee Brewers (6-1)

Just when people began to think the heat was starting to dissipate on the Brewers’ hot start, here they came again, feasting away on two bad NL West teams, Arizona and Colorado (see below). Fantastic hitting abounded, especially from Aramis Ramirez (see above). Only a walk-off hit by the Diamondbacks on Wednesday kept the Brewers from finishing the week undefeated; for now, they own the majors’ second-best record, and barely—a half-game behind the can-do-no-wrong A’s.


WORST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Texas Rangers (1-6)

It appears that the absence of just about everyone on the Texas roster due to injury is starting to catch up with the Rangers. An unpleasant week in California found the Rangers losing two of three in Oakland before suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of the Angels, dropping Texas to fourth place in the AL West—just three games in front of the last-place Astros. Not even Yu Darvish, with two starts, could right the ship as he got beat up both times.


WORST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Colorado Rockies (0-6)

Any way you slice it, it was a rotten week for the Rox. They were lifeless at the plate at Los Angeles against the Dodgers—and that’s before Clayton Kershaw came along and buried them with a no-hitter on Wednesday; back home against the Brewers at Coors Field, the Rockies’ bats came predictably alive but their pitching self-destructed, with an awful defense (ten errors on the week) chiming in with a particularly bad sequence on Saturday when three runs scored on a wild pitch. Since being a season-high eight games over .500 on May 7, Colorado is 12-26.


Best and Worst of the Week

Monday, June 16
In the first contest of an important four-game series between the AL Central’s top two teams in Detroit, the Kansas City Royals explode for all 11 of their runs between the fifth and seventh innings to romp over the Tigers, 11-8, and close to within a half-game of Detroit for first place. Former Tiger Omar Infante hits the Royals’ only home run and knocks in four runs; Justin Verlander gives up seven runs in six innings and is now 2-5 over his last seven starts with a 7.83 ERA.

The Chicago Cubs break a 4-4 tie in the 13th inning at Miami thanks to starting pitcher Travis Wood, who comes to the plate as a pinch-hitter and singles in the game-winning run. The loss for the Marlins comes in their third extra-inning game played in four days.

For the second straight day, little-known Jerry Sands provides the game-winning hit for the Tampa Bay Rays as his two-run homer in the eighth inning overcomes the visiting Baltimore Orioles, 5-4. Sands is the first American Leaguer since Harold Baines in 1990 to provide the ultimate game-winning hit (eighth inning or later) two games in a row.


Tuesday, June 17
A day after piling on Verlander, the Royals do the same to Max Scherzer, who allows ten runs in four innings as Kansas City stomps again at Detroit, 11-4, to take over the AL Central lead.

The Orioles jump on the Rays with a five-run second inning and hold on to win at Tampa Bay, 7-5; in that frame, Chris Davis hits what is initially ruled a bases-loaded double down the left-field line, but replays show that the ball actually hit off the foul pole above the short left-field fence, and Davis is granted a grand slam.

After Ryan Braun is thrown at twice and hit once—leading to the ejection of Arizona reliever Evan Marshall, who apparently was delivering payback after two of his teammates were earlier plunked by Milwaukee starter Kyle LohseJonathan Lucroy makes the Diamondbacks pay by next belting a grand slam (his second homer of the game) to give the Brewers a lead they would keep in a 7-5 win.

Masahiro Tanaka’s first pitch of the game is taken out of the park by Toronto’s Jose Reyes, but the Yankee ace settles in and doesn’t allow another run for six innings, striking out ten and picking up his major league-leading 11th win as New York topples the Blue Jays, 3-1.


Wednesday, June 18
A little more than three weeks after Josh Beckett’s no-hitter, fellow Dodger keeps does the same as ace Clayton Kershaw blanks the Colorado Rockies with 15 strikeouts at Dodger Stadium, 8-0. The only blemish on the evening is not Kershaw’s fault; Hanley Ramirez commits a seventh-inning error that allows Corey Dickerson to reach. It’s only the seventh time an error kept a no-hitter from becoming a perfecto. The 24 days between no-no’s for a single team are also the shortest time span since Johnny Vander Meer threw consecutive gems in 1938.

Three Minnesota pitchers combine to allow just one hit through nine shutout innings at Boston while Red Sox pitcher John Lackey allows just three hits in racking up nine zeroes of his own—but then comes extra innings. The Twins’ Chris Parmelee homers off of Koji Uehara in the top of the tenth, but the Red Sox double down with back-to-back blasts from David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the bottom of the frame to conquer the fading Twins at Fenway Park, 2-1.

In the Cincinnati Reds’ 11-4 rout of the Pirates in Pittsburgh, Alfredo Simon becomes the National League’s first ten-game winner. Not bad for a guy who came into the season with 177 major league appearances—all but 19 of them as a reliever.


Thursday, June 19
The Tigers salvage a win in their four-game homestand against the Royals, ending Kansas City’s ten-game win streak with a 2-1 victory. Anibal Sanchez pitches seven innings for the Detroit win despite no strikeouts; Joe Nathan, on the other hand, closes the door on the Royals in the ninth by striking out the side.

The Mets’ David Wright hits a first-inning solo home run at Miami, and that’s all Zack Wheeler needs as he throws his first career shutout in three-hitting the Marlins, 1-0. In 31 previous starts, Wheeler had never logged more than seven innings.

The Yankees sweep the reeling Blue Jays, 6-4 and have now won 16 straight home games against Toronto. The loss also puts New York within a game and a half of the Jays, who have now lost nine of 12 games.


Friday, June 20
After falling behind the Reds 8-0 in the second inning, the Blue Jays gradually charge back and, with five runs in the ninth off an ineffective Aroldis Chapman and pals, finish off an improbable 14-9 comeback at Cincinnati. Edwin Encarnacion collects two homers and six RBIs to take over the major league lead in both categories with 23 and 62, respectively.

In one of six games on the day decided in the ninth inning or beyond, Carlos Beltran turns a 3-2 Yankees deficit into a 5-3 victory when he takes Baltimore closer Zach Britton deep with two outs in the ninth at New York. Beltran is only the second player—Darryl Strawberry being the other—to have recorded walk-off blasts for both New York teams, the Yankees and Mets.

In the first contest of a three-game series between the NL East’s top two contenders at Washington, Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel blows his fourth save of the year as the Nationals send it into overtime on an Anthony Rendon homer—but the Braves rebound in the 13th with a two-run rally for a 6-4 victory. The Braves’ Evan Gattis has two hits to run his hitting streak to 19—the longest by a catcher since Jason Kendall went on a 20-game run in 2004.

David Price strikes out 12 batters and reaches 1,000 for his career, but it’s not enough as the Rays lose at home to the Houston Astros, 3-1. Jose Altuve has three hits for the Astros and becomes the majors’ first to 100 on the season.


Saturday, June 21
To say that the Rockies give away a 9-4 victory to the visiting Milwaukee Brewers is putting it lightly. Four Brewers score in the second inning on three Colorado errors—and an inning later, four more score, the final three on a single Christian Friedrich wild pitch that also involves yet another error and a momentary lapse of alertness.

The Reds take another early 8-0 lead on the Blue Jays—but this time make it stick as Mike Leake throws eight strong innings to give Cincinnati an easy 11-1 decision.

Young Tampa Bay pitcher Jake Odorizzi allows just one hit—an infield single from Jose Altuve in the fourth—and strikes out ten in 7.1 innings as the Rays ease past the Astros, 8-0.

The San Francisco Giants end a six-game losing skid with a 6-4 win over the Diamondbacks at Phoenix. With the loss, Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy becomes the majors’ first ten-game loser on the year.


Sunday, June 22
The New York Mets pile up a season-high 17 hits and club the Marlins at Miami, 11-5. With the loss, the Marlins drop a game below .500 for the first time since April 30—and have now won only six of their last 18 home games after starting the year 19-6 at Marlins Park.

San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes may be gone—he was fired earlier in the day—but the Padres’ bad hitting remains. In a 2-1 loss to the visiting Dodgers and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Padres rack up just a run on four hits and drop to 32-44 on the season, while their .214 team batting average is far and away the majors’ worst.

Oakland surges back from a 6-1 deficit over the eighth and ninth innings to tie the visiting Red Sox, but Boston’s David Ortiz hits a solo shot in the tenth—his 16th go-ahead homer in the ninth inning or later since 2003—to defeat the A’s, 7-6. .


Bye, Tony
The breadth of popularity Tony Gwynn enjoyed within baseball was well underscored this past Monday in Seattle when the San Diego Padres played their first game since the announcement of the Hall-of-Famer’s death to cancer; even though it was a road game played against an interleague foe, the Safeco Field crowd of 17,512 was dotted with more than a few Gwynn jerseys. Padres uniforms may not be a best seller nationwide, but Gwynn’s no. 19 is clearly an exception.

Some legends come to define the team and city they played for. In Kansas City, it’s George Brett. In Baltimore, it’s Cal Ripken Jr. In San Diego, it’s Tony Gwynn.

The numbers alone speak to Gwynn’s stratospheric stature in Padres history. His 3,141 career hits are a full 2,000 more than the next guy (Garry Templeton) on the all-time Padres list. Nobody on this side of Ted Williams has registered a higher career average than Gwynn’s .338, and only 11 players since 1900 have ended their major league life with a higher average. Gwynn’s eight batting titles are equaled only by Honus Wagner, and his 1994 season average was at .394 and rising when the players’ strike cut the season short by two months, forcibly ending his pursuit of .400.

Gwynn was as studious as they came, tirelessly reviewing videotapes of pitchers in a relentless quest to expose their weaknesses. The work obviously paid off. Gwynn was the game’s best contact hitter, and although he lacked power, he never looked foolish at the plate; he struck out just 434 times in 20 years. And it’s easy to forget that Gwynn’s rotund figure in his later years hid his earlier, skinnier days when he was fast enough to steal 56 bases in 1987.

Above all, Gwynn was simply a good guy. He never barked about the state of the Padres (which certainly encountered their share of ups-and-downs during his time), never threatened to turn his back on the franchise and city and remained a clubhouse favorite throughout and beyond his tenure. San Diegans embraced him like no other, and he returned the love.

Something to Chew On
Although it’s debatable as to whether Gwynn’s death was related to his proficient use of chewing tobacco (some medical experts suggest his salivary cancer may all be in the genes), his passing nevertheless brought the chronic hot-button issue of chew use in baseball to the forefront. While such usage has dropped by nearly a third in the last 20 years, it’s still estimated that 33% of all major leaguers use smokeless tobacco—and that’s ten times the rate of Americans in general. Major League Baseball would like to ban tobacco use altogether, but the players’ union, for the moment, is saying no. (In the minor leagues, where the players’ union holds no sway, tobacco use is prohibited.)

Players, managers and management within baseball chimed in this past week, and the general tone to emerge is that the decision to stop chewing should be that of those doing the chewing. Beyond an agreement to ban, any further dip (no pun intended) in chew use will likely come from social changes—like we’ve seen with the changing attitudes in cigarette smoking over the years—or, more unfortunately, with more bad news of former players succumbing to an early death because of their past tobacco intake.

Quotas and Challenges and Errors, Oh My…
This Week in MLB Video Replay Gone Wrong
wounded of the weekAn umpire makes what looks to be a bad call. The manager of the victimized team wants a replay, but just can’t order it up because he wants his own review crew upstairs to confirm what he believes. So he goes to the umpire and starts chatting it up while awaiting the thumbs-up or thumbs-down from one of his assistant coaches, communicating by phone with the team replay booth.

So what could the manager be saying to the umpire while he waits? It might go something like this:

“Hey, buddy, how you doing?”

“I’m fine. Do you want a review or not?”

“Nice weather we’re having tonight, eh?”

“I suppose so.”

“Though it might rain around the sixth inning.”

“Do you want a review or not?”

“About those ground rules—you did say the top of the scoreboard is in play, right?”

“Right, the yellow line’s above it.”

“So it’s not a home run if it hits it.”

“Right. Do you want a replay or not?”

“Um, well…wait a minute…okay. Hey, do you know a good pizzeria in town?”

“There’s a Round Table on the main concourse.”

“Do they deliver?”

Do you want a replay or not?

“I like anchovies on my pizza. Most of my players don’t though. They have this Hawaiian thing about their pizza. Pineapple, ham…weird stuff.”

“Nice. So…

“Hold on…um, no. Never mind.”

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Our review process is superior. No questions asked.

The Secret Early Years of Chief Wahoo
The Cleveland-based regional online magazine Belt this past week published an in-depth piece exposing the earliest known references of Chief Wahoo, the controversial Indians emblem that wouldn’t be so controversial if not for the decidedly offensive caricature that has upset the same folks who detest football’s Washington Redskins for its name.

The Belt story has it that Wahoo was first drawn up during the Indians’ dream 1947 championship season when owner Bill Veeck hired Walter Goldbach, a 17-year-old designer from a local ad agency, to draw up the character. Now as then, Goldbach—still around at age 84—denies that the drawing is racially insensitive, stating, “…the last thing on my mind (is to) offend someone.”

Goldbach may have been influenced by Cleveland Plain Dealer cartoonist George Reinert, who as early as 1932 drew daily illustrations that used a character looking conspicuously like Wahoo to describe in comic form the Indians’ performance of the previous day.

I Might as Well be the First
History was made this past Saturday when San Diego pitcher Alex Torres became the first major leaguer to wear the oversized cap touted during this past offseason as extra protection against wicked comebackers to the head. Torres has never been nailed, but he was on the Tampa Bay roster last year when teammate Alex Cobb suffered a concussion after being drilled.

Torres said after the game that the specialized cap feels no different than a regular lid, adding, “It doesn’t feel like how it looks on my head.”

Because of its funky appearance, many pitchers are saying they wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one. But one day, someone may be unlucky enough to be caught dead without one.

Fireworks, Kershaw-style
This sums up Clayton Kershaw’s 15 strikeouts in his no-hitter against Colorado this past Wednesday.

Just Call it SportsNot LA
Kershaw’s no-hitter was reportedly seen by 52,000 TV viewers in the Los Angeles area, or roughly a quarter of the audience for an average game last year as the newly created SportsNet LA continues in its struggle to convince local cable operators to carry its channel, have them pay the exorbitant usage fees and likely pass the costs onto customers.

Oh, Never Mind
Alex Rodriguez finally and mercifully put an end to the last of three lawsuits he filed in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal, dropping a claim against the Yankees’ team doctor and the hospital that he initially said mistreated him for a bad hip. The focus for Rodriguez is now to get ready for the 2015 season, but he is bound to recall the past year with much legal and emotional pain: The one-year suspension, the untold millions wasted on lawyers and the anger he has likely instilled in his major league colleagues as he dared to sue the players’ union as one of his targets.

Whether Rodriguez, who is a year away from turning 40, will still have it next spring after 18 months without competitive play is an unknown, but one thing is for sure: His return is bound to be one of the biggest storylines of the baseball year.

Yu Got to be Kidding Me
It can be said that major leaguer hitters never met a pitcher like Texas’ Yu Darvish—but Darvish has never met a team like the Oakland A’s. The 27-year-old Japanese native was hammered yet again by the first-place A’s this past Tuesday, dropping his career record against Oakland to 1-8 with a 4.94 ERA in ten starts. Against the rest of baseball, Darvish is 35-13 with a 2.93 ERA.

Maybe Alderson Can Bat Ninth
This may be a sign of how wigged out the New York Mets’ strategy makers have become. With the offense struggling, they decided to shake things up by batting pitcher
Jacob deGrom eighth in Monday’s game against St. Louis. It’s odd that the Mets would “promote” their pitchers a notch up in the batting order when they’re collectively last in the National League in hitting, with a .074 batting average. To be sure, part of the Mets’ thinking was that deGrom had five of the Mets’ nine hits among pitchers this season; he went 0-for-1 against the Cardinals in a 6-2 loss.

A Colon That Ages Well
And of course, when the Mets go back to batting the pitchers ninth,
Bartolo Colon does this: In Wednesday’s 3-2 win at St. Louis, he becomes the second oldest player ever to earn his first major league extra base hit with a sixth-inning double. The oldest? That distinction belongs to Diomedes Olivo, who was 43 when he collected extra bases for the first time in the Mets’ first-ever victory (after nine losses) in 1962.

It’s Here Somewhere…
Back in the good ol’ days of Cleveland’s Progressive Park—then called Jacobs Field—racing over to an empty part of the ballpark to find a foul ball would not have been a problem since every game was sold out. But there are two reasons to check out this Deadspin link after the Angels’ Raul Ibanez hit a foul ball into the upper deck: One, to chuckle at the time it takes numerous fans to search for the missing ball in vain—and two, for Deadspin’s laugh-out-loud idea of German director Werner Herzog narrating the search.

Thin Air, Thick Numbers
After the Milwaukee Brewers outlasted the Colorado Rockies on Friday by a 13-10 score, it was noted that the game was the 65th at Coors Field in which both teams scored ten or more runs. In the 20 years that the mile-high facility has been open, no other ballpark has come close to matching those numbers; Globe Life Park in Arlington is next on the list with 26 such games. Also to note: of the 65 10-10ish games at Coors Field, 40 of them took place through 2001—the year before the Rockies began to deaden the ball with a humidor.

Are There Two Different Games Going On?
Brock Holt has been something of a godsend for the Boston Red Sox this season at the plate, hitting .319 in 40 games—but defensively he scored major points with Fenway Park fans this past Tuesday when he did this to bail out clueless teammate Jonny Gomes in left field.

He Said What?
“I beat my wife.”—Detroit manager Brad Ausmus, when asked how is mood is when he goes home after a Tigers loss. He quickly followed himself up by saying he was joking, but his comment was nevertheless got him in hot water outside the ballpark. He later gave a formal apology.

This Week's Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
Even with a hamstring that’s not 100%, the Milwaukee Brewers’
Carlos Gomez has managed to pull together an 18-game hitting streak that’s the majors’ longest active run at the end of this past week. Gomez’s season average has only risen four points during the run (from .313 to .317), but the streak nevertheless represents the longest of his career.

League vs. League
The National League won the interleague battles on the past week, albeit with a slim 6-5 edge as it continues to try chiseling away at the American League’s 80-71 (to date) advantage in league-versus-league play.

Wounded of the Week
wounded of the weekFor baseball’s next collective bargaining agreement, the players and owners need to seriously suggest this: Put a punching bag in the middle of the clubhouse and let any pitcher just removed from a bad outing don boxing gloves and have at it. This way, the pitcher will be able to take out his aggression in a far less vulnerable way, rather than have him go barehanded against a hard inanimate object which, as we’ve seen over and over through the years, usually leads to the inanimate object winning.

Oakland pitcher Drew Pomeranz found this out this past Monday after being beaten up first by the Rangers, and then by a clubhouse chair he decided to take on. Pomeranz’s hand is broken, and he’ll be out for quite awhile.

Also under “it’s interesting to note” this past week, 37-year-old Arizona pitcher Bronson Arroyo was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career amid worry that he may be headed for Tommy John surgery; Miami infielder Rafael Furcal, back for just nine games after missing all of last season to Tommy John, is back on the shelf after straining his hamstring; Los Angeles pitcher Chad Billingsley (remember him?), who hasn’t made it back this year after missing almost all of 2013 with TJ, is going back under the knife and won’t return until 2015.

Rounding out the MLB Maladies is Atlanta pitcher Gavin Floyd (broken elbow), Tampa Bay outfielder David DeJesus (broken hand), Kansas City outfielder Nori Aoki (strained groin), St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong (shoulder) and San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso (wrist tendinitis).


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