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Jesus Montero threw ice cream sandwich at heckling Mariners scout

Jesus-Montero-MarinersAt one point, Jesus Montero was a promising prospect in the New York Yankees organization. He was later sent to the Seattle Mariners in the trade that brought Michael Pineda, yes that Michael Pineda, to New York.

Since then, it’s been one bad thing after another.

Last August, Montero was suspended 50 games for his involvement with Biogenesis. Earlier this year, the catcher/designated hitter arrived to spring training 40 pounds overweight and said all he did after playing winter ball was eat.

Montero is currently in the minor leagues, where his bat has shown signs of life that led to the expectations placed on him a few years ago. Unfortunately, a recent incident involving a member of the Mariners organization will be all anyone is talking about for a while.

As Tyler Maun of MiLB describes, Montero approached the stands with a bat after exchanging words with a Mariners scout.

Montero was coaching first base, and at the end of an inning, the unidentified cross-checker yelled at him to hustle off the field, according to Boise official scorer Liza Safford. Montero then headed to the AquaSox dugout on the third-base side.

According to a game offical, the cross-checker then ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, escalating the confrontation further. The official said Montero — who arrived at Mariners Spring Training 40 pounds overweight this season — approached the stands with a bat while screaming profanities and threw the sandwich at the cross-checker. Montero had to be pulled back from the stands by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, Safford said.

And the career of Jesus Montero continues to spiral out of control. As recently as 2012, Baseball America had Montero as its No. 6 prospect heading into the season. While his ability to hit helped earned that ranking, incidents like this won’t help him realize that potential in the majors.

In February, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said he had “zero expectations” for Jesus Montero. Whatever goodwill Montero may have built by hitting .286 with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs in Triple-A this season is probably gone now.

H/T Big League Stew

Greg Amsinger does it again by calling Buster Posey walk-off homer (Video)

Greg Amsinger is the closest thing to a baseball psychic we have in this world. Remember when the MLB Network analyst absolutely nailed his prediction of Mike Trout driving in Derek Jeter with a double in Jeter’s final All-Star game? Amsinger did it again with Buster Posey’s walk-off home run on Wednesday night.

“I’ve got that feeling in my bad knee, just so you know,” Amsinger said when Posey strolled to the plate with a runner on first in the ninth. “My bad knee never lets me down. … All I’m saying is we might get a, ‘IT IS OUT OF HERE.’ So let’s listen in live on MLB Tonight.”

The second Amsinger said that and they started listening in, Posey hit a towering shot down the left field line. And wouldn’t you know it, the ball cleared the wall and we heard, “IT IS OUT OF HERE!” Amsinger reacted accordingly.

Greg-Amsinger-celebrates
Plenty of analysts throw mud at the wall in situations like that and hope that it sticks, but Amsinger seems to nail these predictions in detail. The man just might be The Baseball Whisperer.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Francisco Cervelli took a foul tip to the nuts (Video)

Not even a cup could protect Francisco Cervelli from experiencing momentous amounts of pain after he was hit in the nuts by a foul tip during Wednesday’s Yankees-Tigers game.

As soon as Cervelli went down, a Yankees trainer bolted out of the dugout to assist him. While Cervelli was trying to regain his wind, the trainer had his hand on Cervelli’s collarbone, causing the YES announcers to briefly believe that’s where the catcher was struck. After another replay, they realized he was actually hit in the worst region possible.

Francisco Cervelli nuts

Clearly everything was knocked out of him. Poor guy.

See all the other nut shots we’ve posted here at LBS over the years.

Jorge Soler hits home run in first career at-bat (Video)

The future for the Chicago Cubs has arrived and it is looking brighter than Clark W. Griswold’s house on Christmas.

Jorge Soler CubsThe Cubs called up 22-year-old Jorge Soler from Triple-A and gave the Cuban outfielder his first career start on Wednesday. Oh yeah, and Soler just so happened to homer in his first career at-bat.

Batting fifth in the order, Soler took a 2-1 90-mph fastball from Mat Latos deep to center field to lead off the top of the second inning for the Cubs in Cincinnati. Though teams often give youngsters the silent treatment after their first home run, the Cubs were all thrilled in the dugout and couldn’t resist congratulating Soler with tons of high-fives.

Soler’s home run was just a continuation of what he had been doing at Triple-A. The 22-year-old was hitting .340/.432/.700 with 15 home runs in 62 games in the minors this season.

In addition to Soler, the Cubs have 22-year-old prospect Arismendy Alcantara up with the club, as well as 21-year-old Javier Baez, who has 7 home runs in 21 games but also 44 strikeouts. Perhaps the best prospect of the bunch is infielder Kris Bryant, who has destroyed minor league pitching but is unlikely to be promoted to postpone his eventual free agency.

Ned Yost calls out Royals fans after walk-off win

Ned YostThe Kansas City Royals came away with a dramatic walk-off win against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. With his team trailing 1-0 in the ninth, Alex Gordon blasted a two-run homer that scored Alcides Escobar and gave the Royals a much-needed win to protect their 1.5-game lead in the NL Central. Despite that, manager Ned Yost was not all smiles after the game.

Yost was irritated at the fact that only 13,847 people showed up to the game.

“I mean, what, 13,000 people got to see a great game?” Yost asked reporters without being prompted to share his thoughts on attendance.

Of course, that led to follow-up questions. Yost welcomed them, because he clearly had an axe to grind.

“We’re in a pennant race, yeah,” he said. “We’ve been working on trying to build this team for the last three or four years to put ourselves in a position where we can contend for a championship. And not only the division, but we want to contend for a world championship. It’s really, really important we have our fans behind us at the stadium.

“I know it’s a school night. But I’ve been through this before in Atlanta (when the Braves first made the playoffs) in ‘91, where it didn’t matter what night it was, that place was packed at the end of August and September. The fans really got into it.

“They’re a big part of our success, especially at home. Because the electricity they provide, the energy they provide, helps you get through games like this. You know? …”

Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, who transcribed the above quotes, took issue with Yost’s comments and bluntly described them as “stupid.” It’s hard to disagree with him. For starters, Mellinger pointed out that the Royals are 4-6 in front of crowds of 30,000 or more this season. He also noted that on Aug. 26, 1991 the Braves played a Monday night game in front of 12,889 people while in a pennant race. Atlanta moved into first place with a win the next night, and 15,806 people were there to see it happen.

Mellinger’s well-reasoned takedown of Yost’s surprise attack on Royals fans is worth reading. He went on to discuss how the Royals have been bottom-dwellers for decades, so Yost has some nerve expecting a packed house now that the team has been hot for a few months. Do you know how much money fans have spent watching the Royals lose?

Yost’s remarks were poorly timed, to say the least.

H/T Hardball Talk

Astros fan spikes terrible first pitch (Video)

Is it just me, or has this been one of the worst years for ceremonial first pitches that Major League Baseball has ever seen? A Houston Astros fan may have topped them all on Tuesday night.

As you can see, the young lady spiked the ball directly into the ground. She obviously just couldn’t get her fingers to let go of their grasp on the ball, and the end result was a pitch that was almost as bad as the underhand toss we saw from Miss Texas earlier this month.

Astros-fan-spikes-first-pitch

Unlike Bob Costas, the Astros fan didn’t ask for a second chance. She took her lumps and went to retrieve her souvenir before accepting a much-needed hug from Astros mascot Orbit. At least she went down gracefully.

H/T Cut 4

Giancarlo Stanton on Marlins future: ‘Five months doesn’t change five years’

Giancarlo-Stanton-MarlinsThe Miami Marlins are still in playoff contention, and April 25th came and went a long time ago. Imagine that. Currently 65-65 and 10 games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East, the Marlins are just three games back in the Wild Card race. Could they actually make the playoffs.

As expected, Giancarlo Stanton has led the way for Miami at the plate. The 24-year-old is hitting .299 with 33 homers, 97 RBI and an on-base percentage of .407 during his MVP-caliber season. He’ll also be a free agent in two years. If the Marlins make the playoffs, would Stanton consider signing an extension?

“Five months doesn’t change five years,” Stanton recently told Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.

Those six words say it all. The Marlins have lost 90 or more games in each of the last three seasons. They lost 100 last year in what was Stanton’s worst season (.249/24/62) as a full-time MLB player. Stanton admitted that the horrible 2013 season left a foul taste in his mouth.

“The way I felt last year, with the whole situation of losing and not playing my best, that was one of the worst feelings I ever had,” he explained. “I put it as a waste of time. I spent all that time in the offseason. To lose 100 games and to not do my best? It was like, ‘What’d I do all that in the offseason for?’”

Stanton said the Marlins are moving in a “positive direction,” but he is clearly hesitant to look ahead. While Miami has played much better this season, three games could be a lot to make up for a team that has perfected the art of losing over the past several seasons.

“We’ve definitely done better than anyone thought we would do,” Stanton said. “At the same time, we’re still not where we need to be to keep playing beyond the designed schedule. … I want to be the only game on TV at the end of the day.”

The Marlins will at least make an attempt to sign Stanton to a long-term extension, but does he trust that they will assemble a winning team around him? This is a team with a $46 million payroll, and Stanton’s yearly salary will be at least equivalent to the $24 million Mike Trout recently agreed to with the LA Angels. Staying in Miami doesn’t seem like an option. Expect the Marlins to trade Stanton for a boatload of top prospects sooner rather than later.