I started looking for a jazz song to put in here and some old movie to talk about and then I reminded myself . . . oh yeah. Not here.
Instead, I’ll just say that it was really good to see the Cubs get some hits yesterday and for Craig Kimbrel to turn in a five-out save.
- Yesterday’s most controversial game was the Mets‘ win over the Marlins, which ended when outfielder Michael Conforto was ruled to have been hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run. The problem was that Conforto’s arm was in the strike zone and the ball should have been called strike three. Umpire Ron Kulpa admitted after the game that he blew the call.
- Even the Mets broadcasters weren’t having it. Although I guess the Twitter feed was.
MICHAEL CONFORTO GETS HIT BY A PITCH AND THE METS WIN IT 3-2!!!!! pic.twitter.com/R1QdgiRQJ5— SNY (@SNYtv) April 8, 2021
- Emma Baccellieri understands that some people find that ending to be infuriating, but deep down, she thinks it’s pretty hilarious. Yay, baseball.
- As long as we’re on the Mets, Bobby Wagner has a history of the Mets in four acts and notes that Francisco Lindor is the new face of the new Mets. A fifth act, as it were. As both Lindor said and Wagner wrote, “Why not the Mets?”
- We also had a touching moment in St. Louis yesterday when longtime Cardinal Kolten Wong came to the plate for the first time as a Brewer at Busch Stadium. Wong was so moved by the ovation that Cardinals fans gave him that he got choked up. He walked, which he said was good because he couldn’t see the ball through his watery eyes. Then he got hurt later in the game, which kind of puts a damper on the story. It’s still a good moment.
- I guess since we’re talking injuries already, Diamondbacks outfielder Ketel Marte is on the injured list with a hamstring injury. They won’t know how serious it is until they do an MRI today.
- Matt Snyder spoke with an orthopedic surgeon about the injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. and why he explains why Tatis is not having surgery, at least for now. It’s more good news for Padres (and baseball) fans than bad.
- Athletics reliever Trevor Rosenthal was put on the 60-day IL after surgery for severe neurovascular compression. Rosenthal had a rib removed, so it will be a long recovery. The good news is he’ll now have a new girlfriend to keep him company. Man, that joke was biblical.
- The A’s are off to a terrible start, going 1-7 so far. Tony Wolfe explains why Oakland is already in a deep hole that they might not be able to climb out of.
- Ken Rosenthal reports that Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has already has several balls sent to the league office under the new policy that investigates pitchers for the use of foreign substances. (The Athletic sub. req., but here’s a non-paywall summary.)
- Jesse Rogers polled 28 baseball professionals—executives, coaches, scouts, players—and asked them what they expected out of the 2021 season.
- Hannah Keyser writes that the controversy over moving the All-Star Game to Denver says much more about the people complaining than it does about MLB.
- Brittany Ghiroli has three non-contending teams that should nonetheless be quite entertaining in 2021, led by the Royals. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Speaking of entertaining, Joon Lee argues that the “unwritten rules” of the game are rapidly changing and marks the famous José Bautista bat flip as the turning point in baseball culture. The funny thing is, no one said “boo” when Tom Lawless did this back in 1987. I wonder why?
- Let’s have some home run porn. Here’s Mike Trout hitting a home run 444 feet against the Blue Jays in Dunedin and hit an elementary school.
- It didn’t land anywhere as interesting as an elementary school, but White Sox rookie Yermín Mercedes hit one 485 feet against the Royals.
- Carmen Ciardiello finds White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson confusing and tries to figure out whether Anderson can continue to be a productive hitter.
- Ben Clemens notes that Angels pitcher Dylan Bundy is better than anyone else at freezing batters with a slow, loopy curve for a strike.
- David Schoenfield has ten factors that will decide who wins the National League East. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- The MLB Pipeline team has one prospect for each major league team that could have an impact in 2021.
- Jim Callis talks to scouts about which Vanderbilt right-handed pitcher will be the better major leaguer: Jack Leiter or Kumar Rocker? All the scouts said “I’d take either one,” but one pitcher came out as a narrow but clear favorite.
- The 2020 season was different for everyone, and that included umpires. Bill Nowlin explains how umpires managed the 2020 season and how different things were for them. Not one umpire tested positive for COVID last year, so something worked.
- The Fresno Grizzlies are being sued after a man died after choking in a taco-eating contest.
- That’s probably a bad lead-in to this story about a 1919 eating contest between Yankees outfielder Ping Bodie and Percy the Ostrich.
- Evan Drellich has an interview with Players Association head Tony Clark about the issues the union is concerned about today. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Zack Meisel tells of the inspiration that Cleveland pitcher Logan Allen gets from his big brother Philip, who suffers from “a condition comparable to a severe form of cerebral palsy.” (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Michael Clair tells of the side business that Padres closer Mark Melancon has installing specialty turf in people’s lawns. You want your own mini-golf course in your backyard? Call Melancon. He has gotten real friendly with grounds crews around the league.
- Will Sammon has the stories behind one of baseball’s most overlooked traditions: the exchange of lineup cards at home plate before the game. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- And finally, with one MLB team changing their nickname next season, Chris Lamb looks back at the story of how the Cincinnati Reds became the Redlegs for several seasons. Somehow, Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone makes an appearance.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.