RBI’s! Fraternization! Smith Wigglesworth’s Plumbers Guide to God! More new old world speak from Bill Madden!
Whereas the Tigers’ decline in offense can be directly traced to injury-riddled Miguel Cabrera’s power outage — three homers since July 1, and just one with eight RBI in August — and the return to earth of J.D. Martinez, who’s dropped 42 points off his batting average since July 13 and has just 10 RBI (three of them in one game) in August, there also seems little doubt the A’s are just not the same without Cespedes providing middle-of-the-order protection for Josh Donaldson (2 HRs, both in the same game, 8 RBI in August) and Brandon Moss (no homers since July 24 and four RBI in August). Meanwhile, Jeff Samardzija, for whom Beane traded top shortstop prospect Addison Russell to the Cubs, has lost his last two starts and is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA as an Athletic, while Lester, in his previous two starts before Saturday’s no-decision, failed to get past the sixth inning, with a yield of three earned runs in both. For this, they traded their cleanup hitter?
...—I’m told morale in the Mark Newman Yankee minor league system is at an all-time low as the pitch count and innings limits obsession goes on, with minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson calling the dugouts each night from his compound in Tampa and ordering when pitchers should be pulled from games. A couple of weeks ago at Triple-A Scranton, they ran out of pitchers two straight nights and had to use position players to finish the games! Joe Girardi lost two games Michael Pineda pitched because the rehabbed righty wasn’t prepared to go beyond 70 or 80 pitches. At least neither Scranton nor Double-A Trenton will be in the playoffs so there will be no place to extend the seasons of their better pitchers and further tax their arms. And speaking of morale, I’m also told the players at Trenton were wondering about continually-entitled catcher Gary Sanchez going on a three-day leave to be with his wife who was giving birth — right there in Trenton. “You’d have thought he might have at least come by the ballpark to work out,” grumbled one Trenton insider.
—The announced attendance at Thursday’s Little League World Series game between Illinois and Pennsylvania was 34,128 — or 14,939 more than the Tampa Bay Rays drew the same day against the Tigers in David Price’s return to St. Pete. Maybe Stu Sternberg needs to think about signing Mo’ne Davis. By the way, was that really Price hanging out and playing video games in the Rays clubhouse before Tuesday night’s game? Whatever happened to the fraternization rules in baseball?
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