The Texas Rangers' disappointing season took another hit this week when injured catcher Geovany Soto was arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges.
Soto, was stopped for speeding at 10 p.m. Wednesday in Grapevine, Tx., and that's when officers discovered marijuana in his car. Soto had less than two ounces, according to the Dallas Morning News, and was accordingly charged with a misdemeanor. Authorities said Soto was cooperative. He was later released on $500 bail.
Soto and the Rangers both released statements Friday. We'll start with Soto:
"I was stopped by Grapevine Police on Wednesday night. I am embarrassed and would like to apologize to my family, the Rangers organization, and our fans that I was taken in on this charge,” Soto said in a written statement. “Because this is an ongoing case, I cannot discuss this matter any further at this time.”
From the Rangers:
The Cleveland Indians were playing the New York Yankees on Thursday night, and no matter what American city you live in, it's always a big deal when the Yankees come to town.
But at least a couple Indians fans were more interested in a guy who wasn't even there — NBA star LeBron James. LeBron-mania was bubbling in Cleveland earlier that day amid rumors that a big announcement was coming. That didn't happen. As we know, it came Friday morning. LeBron was going home. So imagine how excited these guys in the Cavs jerseys are right now.
Derek Jeter isn't waiting until his final MLB game is done before putting out his first book. "The Contract," the rookie released from Jeter Publishing, is due out Sept. 23 with pre-orders now available on Amazon.
That's two days before Jeter's final regular-season game at Yankee Stadium and five days before what could be his final MLB game, Sept. 28 in Boston, if the Yankees don't make the playoffs. That'll already be a busy week in the life of Jeter. Now add his first book release to the mix.
It was announced last fall that one of Jeter's post-baseball pursuits would be book publishing, once he inked a deal to create Jeter Publishing with book giant Simon & Schuster. "The Contract" is aimed at 8-12-year-olds who are interesting in baseball but juggling schoolwork.
Here's the description from Amazon (typos aren't ours):
Arismendy Alcantara knew the plan.
The Chicago Cubs had called him up from Triple-A to play exactly two games. He was a fill-in while regular second baseman Darwin Barney was on paternity leave, then it was back to the minors.
But Alcantara, 22, the seventh-ranked prospect in the Cubs farm system, made it tough for the Cubs to keep their word. He went 4-for-5 on Thursday with three RBIs and two runs scored, forcing the Cubs to change their plans. He'll stay with the big-league team until at least the All-Star break.
Alcantara's first MLB hit was a two-run double, making up for his 0-for-4 day in his MLB debut Wednesday. By the end of Thursday, he was just a homer shy of the cycle with two singles, a double and a triple. The Cubs won 6-4 in extra innings, gathering 10 hits. So it's hard to demote the guy responsible for half the team's offense.
Derek Jeter's farewell tour is leaving Cleveland with a few cool gifts.
The New York Yankees captain is doing the ol' farewell tour thing as he inches closer toward retirement. As is custom now after Mariano Rivera's send-off last season, opposing teams aren't letting Jeter leave town without a little something extra in his suitcase.
The gifts have varied in coolness — the A's gave him some wine (meh) but the Angels gave him a huge surfboard (bodacious!) Good luck fitting that surfboard in your overheard compartment on the team plate, Jeets.
Both gifts Jeter received Thursday from the Indians need to be handled gently too. They gave him a personalized guitar (since Cleveland is the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) and a portrait of himself made out of Lego. It depicts a homer he hit against the Indians in 1996.
Closeup of the Jeter Lego mosaic: pic.twitter.com/yPHzmTBJsb
If not for one pitch, we'd be talking about Clayton Kershaw's 45-inning scoreless streak.
That one pitch, an 88 mph slider that Chase Headley sent over the fence in the sixth inning, was all the San Diego Padres could muster against the Los Angeles Dodgers ace Thursday night. He threw his 14th career complete game, striking out 11 and surrendering just three hits. The Dodgers beat the Padres 2-1.
Kershaw had pitched 36 consecutive scoreless innings coming into the game. He hadn't given up a run since June 13, before his no-hitter. The way Kershaw has been pitching lately, it wasn't out of the question that he could challenge Orel Hershiser's record of 59 straight scoreless innings from 1988. But it wasn't to be. Kershaw's streak was halted at 41 innings.
Since June 2nd, Clayton Kershaw is 8-0 with a 0.74 ERA, 80 strikeouts, and 6 walks. Aloe Blacc wrote a song about him. #TheManSat, Jul 127:10 PM PDTSan Diego at LA DodgersPreview Game
When was the last time you saw a 5-8 forceout at second base on a bunt? Anyone? Bueller?
Watch this bit of baseball wonder above and you'll see the aforementioned abnormality courtesy of the St. Louis Cardinals. The play started with a mental lapse, but ended with enough hustle to make you forget something was wrong in the first place.
Here's how it unfolded: Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez squared around to bunt with two runners on in the sixth inning. The Cardinals had put a play on for such an event, sending their shortstop to cover third base and their second baseman to cover first while the corner infielders charged. So far, so good.
When Volquez popped up the bunt and didn't quickly leave the batter's box, Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter decided it was better to let the ball drop and try to turn a double play. The ball hit the ground, he grabbed it and threw to second base. Did you pick up on the problem here? No one was covering second.
Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Hawk Harrelson is from another era, something that either endears him to fans or grates on peoples' nerves. It seems, on the modern baseball web, it's definitely more of the second.
It's one thing for Harrelson to thumb his nose at advanced statistics, but it's another thing entirely for him to pepper his broadcasts with racial and ethnic stereotypes. On at least three occasions this season that's happened when Harrelson's talked about Asians.
Harrelson, 72, has had plenty of opportunity to talk about Asian pitchers this week as the White Sox played the Boston Red Sox. Two of Boston's go-to relievers are Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara of Japan. And, not surprisingly, Harrelson's slipped back in time 30 years and called Tazawa "Oriental" twice.
This came amid the Red Sox-White Sox game Thursday:
Yup...Hawk Harrelson just referred to Junichi Tazawa as an "oriental".
The Oakland Athletics and Colorado Rockies have the best chances of victory in the MLB Home Run Derby, because a second player from each team has been added to the field.
Josh Donaldson and Justin Morneau were announced Thursday as the final two competitors in Monday's derby at Target Field. Donaldson joins teammate (and defending champ) Yoenis Cespedes in the annual long-ball contest, while Morneau accepted an invitation from Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki, who is the captain of the NL team. Morneau was the NL runner-up in the All-Star game's Final Vote competition.
Here's a look at the complete 10-man field:
AMERICAN LEAGUE • Jose Bautista (captain): 17 homers in 2014, 17.2 career AB/HR.
• Yoenis Cespedes (defending champion): 14 homers in 2014, 21.4 career AB/HR.
• Adam Jones: 16 homers in 2014, 25.0 career AB/HR.
• Brian Dozier: 16 homers in 2014, 30.2 career AB/HR.
And now, the thumbs of Chicagoans get a well-deserved break.
White Sox ace Chris Sale and Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo have been named to the AL and NL All-Star teams after a feverish four days of text messages, online vote and tweets as part of MLB's Final Vote campaign.
Chicago ruled, getting the biggest chunk of the 52.5 million votes cast and sending two deserving players to the MLB All-Star game in Minneapolis next Tuesday. Sale has the best ERA in the AL, while Rizzo's 20 homers are second in the NL.
The six-hour final flurry of Twitter votes Thursday was incredible. Each player was assigned a hashtag (#TargetSale, for example) and each use of that hashtag counted as a vote. That hashtagmania accounted for a quarter of all the votes cast, as fans averaged 65,000 votes per minute.
Here's a breakdown of the final vote tally, per MLB: