This had nothing to do with Yu Darvish making his regular-season Dodger Stadium debut (he threw three innings at Dodger Stadium for Team Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic), as he would later Wednesday night. Or any connection to Clayton Kershaw’s two simulated innings earlier Wednesday afternoon, after which Kershaw allowed the drive-by observation, “Everything is great. It was just a parched Chase Utley being apparently unwilling to put his mouth under the spigot like everyone else would’ve and therefore save themselves the time and energy required to trudge off to the cup storage area, wherever that might be.
It was revealed, in the course of a Jerry Reinsdorf interview the other day, that the Chicago Cubs gave Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria a World Series ring. Renteria, of course, managed the Cubs for one season — in 2014 — and was fired when Joe Maddon became available after exiting his contract with the Rays. Renteria did an OK job with the Cubs — they were 73-89, which was seven games better than they had been the year before, and in the normal course would never have been fired after that showing — but the thinking by the Cubs front office was that they wanted Maddon, and not Renteria, to be in charge of taking a young and talented team from the land of rebuilding to the land of contention.
A look at what's happening all around the majors today: SWEPT UP The Cleveland Indians try to finish a season sweep at Target Field when play a day-night doubleheader against the Twins. The AL Central leaders are 8-0 at Minnesota this year — but just 1-5 vs. the Twins at home. The teams were rained out Wednesday, forcing the split twinbill. Cleveland has won five in a row overall. Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco (11-5, 3.83 ERA) faces Kyle Gibson (6-9, 6.02) in the opener. In the nightcap, Cleveland is calling up lefty Ryan Merritt (0-0, 3.60) to oppose Aaron Slegers in his major league debut. STARTING OUT Rookie right-hander Reynaldo Lopez aims for his first victory with the White Sox when