Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 11 hrs ago
NEW YORK – When the lead seemed safe enough, and Matt Harvey hadn't been half bad, and Ruben Tejada had hobbled to the foul line with the help of a cane, and the opposing traveling secretary had been thoroughly hectored during introductions, and the edginess had turned to euphoria, Citi Field, in its postseason debut, went looking for a villain.
"We want Utley!" the people cried together. "We want Utley!"
To the cadence of "Let's go Mets!"
An hour past midnight, taunted for hours though he never left the dugout, Chase Utley dressed, pulled a black wool cap over his damp hair, peeled away from reporters and left the ballpark. The story was elsewhere, and most certainly not in his vacant stare.
Resolution came nearer with 13 runs, a two-games-to-one lead in a series where three games win it, and another chance in the home ballpark the next day.
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
NEW YORK – Given the crime of which Major League Baseball accuses Chase Utley, poetry was served when the league came in high, hard and from the blind side on Sunday night.
For his violent take-out the night before of New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, whose leg was broken on the play, Utley was suspended for two games.
Through his agent, Utley announced his intention to appeal, which the league intends to hear and rule on prior to Monday night's Game 3 of the National League division series at Citi Field.
Utley's argument likely will not be the league's rulebook, which specifically prohibits the sort of intentional collisions that injured Tejada, but rather decades of lax enforcement of those rules. The Dodgers did not comment publicly other than to say they stood behind Utley's decision to appeal, and privately noted the league's capriciousness, along with the unprecedented nature of the punishment.
The Mets issued a statement supporting the league's decision to suspend Utley.
However you want to read that.
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago
LOS ANGELES – New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada sat in the dirt behind second base in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday night, his legs stretched in front of him. The right one was broken. He did not seem to be complaining, only waiting patiently for the medical trainers to secure his leg, load him onto the cart and take him away. Away from this game, this series and this season.
There'd been a play at second base, a violent one that probably determined the outcome of the second game of the National League division series between the Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers won, 5-2, tying the series. It certainly determined the outcome of his X-ray, that revealed a cracked fibula.
He sat in the dirt and waited for the umpires to determine if he'd sacrificed his leg for an out or not.
"He knew right away something was wrong," teammate David Wright said. "Just somber, I guess, is the right word for it."
The veteran Utley would say his slide was intended to break up a potential double play.
Kershaw doesn't fight Mattingly's fateful move in another playoff defeat – 'I put myself in that spot'Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago
He watched from the bench, 113 hard pitches in, his elbows on his knees, his sweat-sodden hair slicked from his forehead.
He'd been brilliant again for as long as he could, and it was not quite good enough again, because there were no runs to be had against Jacob deGrom, and because his own fly ball had been caught on the warning track, and because this stuff just keeps happening for him – to him – when the season restarts.
"I got outpitched," Kershaw said without prompting or whining or suspicion. "That's basically the moral of the story. … He outpitched me, plain and simple."
It's where October has gone for him, fair or not, justified or not. And for Mattingly, too, who invariably rides Kershaw for a pitch too long or abandons him a few pitches short, not based on data or circumstance but based on the fact the Dodgers can't seem to win in October with Kershaw on the mound, which makes no sense.
"I don't know," he said. "Just, um, each game's a little bit different. Didn't work out this time."
"I put myself in that spot," Kershaw said. "So not much room for argument."
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago
LOS ANGELES – A year and a day have passed since the Dodgers boarded a plane bound for Los Angeles, and exactly a year since that plane landed in Los Angeles. Their baseball season was over, unfathomably to the people on that plane. They flew through the night.
For the first hour or so, the cabin was quiet. The men were weary following a long summer and then four games against the St. Louis Cardinals, the last two in St. Louis. But it was disappointment, maybe regret, that held their moods, as it would have. Their ace, the best pitcher most of them had ever seen, had lost twice in the series, finally and fatally when a curveball had fallen on the wrong side of the fence in Busch Stadium's right field.
As the plane steadied itself and found a comfortable place above the clouds, and the hurt of what happened way down below became more distant, conversations sprung across aisles and in the seat cracks between rows. Even a few laughs were heard, splattered in that wrong-time, wrong-place way.
A year and a day later? Please.
He stood in front of his locker recently. He was shirtless and pawing through hangers.
"I don't have a jersey," he noted to no one in particular.
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. – As he stood Monday afternoon from his seat at the dais, Billy Eppler folded at the waist briefly and shot his wife, Catherine, one of those, "How'd I do?" looks.
For several minutes on his first day he'd read from a script about his new job as general manager of the Los Angeles Angels. The owner, Arte Moreno, sat to his left. Beyond Moreno, members of the baseball operations department lined the far wall, which, it should be said, have endured quite a summer. The last guy quit some 3½ months earlier (a month before the trading deadline) and recently hooked on with the Seattle Mariners. President John Carpino sat to Eppler's right. Mike Scioscia, the team's manager for all of the 21 st century and, perhaps, has a shot at the next season, stood in the back by the door.
Eppler's voice had gone thick when talking about the New York Yankees, the organization he was leaving after 10 years, and about Catherine, who sat in the front. "I love you with all of my heart," he'd read aloud to everyone but really to her, so we're guessing she thought he did just fine.
"It was a non-issue," he said.
So there you go.
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago
A day at a time starts today and not tomorrow and not when it’s convenient.
A day at a time probably should have started yesterday or the day before, all things considered, but those are gone, and that leaves today, which happens to be Monday, Oct. 5, the first hours of the rest of CC Sabathia’s life.
If that happens to line up with the first day of the Major League Baseball postseason and the day before the New York Yankees would try to backdoor their 28th world championship, then that’s going to have to wait and is of no concern for today.
Man, do we lose track of today, charging ahead like we do, stumbling forward lest we lose ground or get dragged down from behind. We pretend it’s all OK, fake it ’til we make it, promise ourselves it’ll clean itself up as long as we make it to tomorrow. And tomorrow, funny, never ever comes. There’s always tomorrow. Never enough today.
So it was on a Monday in October that CC Sabathia, big ol’ CC, decided tomorrow had come, and it would be today, a few months after his 35th birthday, a few hours before his next drink.
We know that he seemed regretful.
But that’s for tomorrow.
More MLB coverage:
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago
The rankings (records through Wednesday’s games):
1. St. Louis Cardinals (100-59; Previous: 1) – That time when the Cardinals hired Julian Assange to lead their technical support team. (He’s the WikiLeaks guy.)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (96-63; Previous: 2) – The Cole Train whistles. Totally.
3. Toronto Blue Jays (92-66; Previous: 4) – “The Donaldson.”
4. Chicago Cubs (93-65; Previous: 5) – AC/DC concerts.
5. Kansas City Royals (91-67; Previous: 6) – The morning-after lineup.
6. New York Mets (89-69; Previous: 7) – Scott Boras.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (88-70; Previous: 3) – Dunno. They were never on TV. So maybe we’ll miss missing Vin Scully, if that makes sense.
8. Texas Rangers (86-72; Previous: 9) – Checking details of the return policy on Josh Hamilton. Angels get store credit.
9. New York Yankees (86-72; Previous: 8) – A-Rod’s comeback. Unless he’s just setting us up for another one. Then, not so much.
10. Houston Astros (84-75; Previous: 10) – Birthday passwords. Dog-name passwords. Pa55word passwords. GoStros15 passwords.
11. Los Angeles Angels (83-75; Previous: 15) – Disposable left fielders.
12. San Francisco Giants (83-75; Previous: 11) – Odd-year inevitability.
More MLB coverage:
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. – These are the Los Angeles Angels, four errors' and seven walks' worth on Wednesday night, a 19-loss August and 18-win September in, stuff strewn everywhere, a teenager's room as much as a baseball team, but with a nice Mike Trout poster on the wall, signed and everything.
They'd tell you it's better than it looks, that they know exactly where everything is, and maybe that's true, and maybe chaos just suits them.
They'd won for a good decade like that once, when the scattered parts (set just so) could – from a distance, viewed from a tilted head and half-shuttered eyes – be construed as a championship team. It didn't always work out, in fact it worked out only once, but the goofy angles, frantic pace and steady results made for entertaining relevancy.
This isn't that except for the past month, the one truly competent month in six for the Angels, which turns out to be plenty in the American League West.
"I've been saying it all week," Trout said, "we've got to win every game."
From behind Scioscia, a voice advised, "Guys, we have an 8:35 bus, so…"
Scioscia rose from his chair. The room cleared.
Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago
(A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up-shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season.)
Jonathan Papelbon’s crime, beyond of course the assault and battery, is the ego. He sees more of himself than is actually there. In that way it is surprising he did not fit in better with the Washington Nationals.
On his way to becoming a rarity in the game – the object of derision by home fans in two cities in the same summer – Papelbon grabbed himself a fistful of neck (not his own) and a handful of trouble (his own), though this time his crotch was not involved, and for that we can be thankful. As such, if every clubhouse you walk into seems to have a locker for a boorish bully, maybe it’s not the clubhouse.
The Nationals now have choices to make. Some will be easier than others. Papelbon’s participation beyond this season will be part of the discussion, presumably. Whether he stays or goes, Papelbon may have provided a service.
It’s a helluva lesson. A dumb one. A borderline criminal one.
No one gave it another thought.
No one but Goldschmidt.