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Josh Hamilton was not around for Angels’ alcohol celebration

Josh HamiltonThe Angels on Wednesday clinched the AL West for the first time since 2009, and one of their key players was not around to enjoy most of the celebration.

Josh Hamilton, who has had well-known struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, excused himself before the alcohol started flowing during the team’s celebration.

OC Register Angels reporter Jeff Fletcher sent the following tweet regarding Hamilton:

Hamilton is batting .263/.331/.414 for the Angels this season. He did not play in Wednesday’s 5-0 win over the Mariners because lefty James Paxton was pitching for Seattle, or possibly because his shoulder was bothering him again. The Angels clinched thanks to a combination of their win and the Rangers’ victory over the A’s.

This is nothing new for Hamilton. In 2010, he skipped the Texas Rangers’ celebration upon clinching the AL West. But after the team won their ALDS, they decided to celebrate using ginger ale so Ham could participate.

The Angels used tons of champagne in their celebration on Wednesday. Maybe they’ll make their next celebration Hamilton-friendly. And if you’re questioning why Hamilton can’t be around it, don’t forget that he had a publicized relapse in 2012.

UPDATE: Angels reporter Alden Gonzalez says Hamilton was not around for the celebration because he left around gametime to have some chiropractic work done.

Carlos Beltran’s wife had a miscarriage

Carlos Beltran wife

Carlos Beltran left the Yankees on Wednesday to deal with a personal matter, and the veteran later revealed on Facebook the nature of the matter: his wife had a miscarriage.

Here is a translation of Beltran’s statement:

“The life of me just take the blessing of having my first son ( man ). I know God and I am grateful for all his blessings like my beautiful family, friends, fanatical and my career. Everything is and will be at the time, a perfect God and my wife and i accept this. Thank you for the love and the messages.”

The Beltrans have one daughter, and this was going to be their first son. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Beltran will have as much time as he needs before returning to the team.

Beltran, 37, is batting .236/.303/.406 in his first season with the Yankees after signing a 3-year contract with them in the offseason. He has been bothered by an elbow issue and plans to have surgery after the season.

Our thoughts are with the Beltran family during this time.

Cubs fan drops wedding ring on field while catching home run ball (Video)

A Chicago Cubs fan nearly turned a souvenir into a major mistake on Tuesday night when he dropped his wedding ring onto the field while snagging a Jorge Soler home run ball.

Michael Haberkorn was ecstatic when he caught Soler’s home run in the 7th inning of Chicago’s 7-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. He was all smiles while handing out high-fives until he looked down at his left hand and the look on his face turned into one of sheer terror.

Cubs-fan-lost-wedding-ring

Haberkorn realized he was no longer wearing his wedding band. It’s unclear when the ring popped off, but he was fortunate enough that it ended up on the warning track and was relatively easy to spot.

Cubs-fan-wedding-ring

According to Cut 4, security later retrieved the hardware for Haberkorn and he even got to meet Soler.

[Also see: Reds fan catches back-to-back home runs (Video)]

“Congratulations to him, and I guess me too for catching the ball,” Haberkorn said.

Congratulations to Haberkorn because he gets to keep the souvenir. If he lost his wedding ring while catching a homer, his wife probably would have burned the ball.

Adam Jones smashes pies in fans’ faces after Orioles clinch division (Video)

The Baltimore Orioles — yes, the Baltimore Orioles — clinched their first AL East division title in 17 years on Tuesday night with an 8-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. The O’s haven’t exactly had the best attendance all season (14th in the MLB with a ballpark that is 66% full on average), but Adam Jones didn’t hold that against the fans who stuck around celebrate with the team.

Jones incorporated several fans into the popular pie-to-the-face celebration ritual. The star center fielder smashed several Orioles fans with pies and gave them a moment they’ll remember forever.

Adam-Jones-pies-fan

Baseball players love to celebrate after a long season, and we have seen teams shower fans in champagne and beer on several occasions. Jones’ approach was refreshingly original.

Braves fan ejected for heckling Bryce Harper (Video)


Tim-Welke-ejects-fanAn Atlanta Braves fan took it a bit too far while trying to distract Bryce Harper on Tuesday night, and he was ejected from the ballpark as a result. During the 6th inning of Washington’s NL East-clinching win over the Braves, a fan could be heard raining four-letter words down on Bryce Harper.

“Bryce Harper you f—ing suck you piece of s—!” the fan said with dignity and class.

To Harper’s credit, the Nationals star ignored the fan and was prepared to continue his at-bat. Home plate umpire Tim Welke, on the other hand, had heard enough. As Big League Stew noted, the fan had reportedly been harassing Harper for several innings.

“Hey! Hey! Get rid of that guy!” Welke yelled toward a Turner Field usher. “Get rid of him now!”

The fan was promptly escorted off the premises.

Some fans who heckle players are fortunate enough to later take a selfie with them, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. There are creative and permissible ways to go about trying to distract the opposing team. That guy didn’t use any of them.

The irony of the whole situation is that the Nationals went on to clinch the NL East while the Braves are 5.5 games back in the wildcard race. If Atlanta was in the hunt, there might have been enough noise at Turner field to drown out that fan’s naughty language.

Video via Reddit

Charles Barkley’s first pitch at Cubs game was just off the mark (Video)

Charles Barkley was one heck of a basketball player, but his talents on the court certainly did not transfer to the diamond.

Sir Charles threw out the first pitch before Tuesday’s Cubs-Reds game at Wrigley Field and his pitch was not one of the best we’ve seen. If a batter were in the box, the pitch probably would have hit him in the leg, not that it would have hurt at Chuck’s velocity.

Barkley later did an interview with FOX Sports and talked about the first pitch. He said he didn’t really play baseball growing up and said this was his first time throwing out a first pitch.

At least Chuck didn’t look completely “ridiculus” on his toss.

Charles Barkley first pitch

Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig got into argument in dugout (Video)

Yasiel-Puig-Matt-Kemp-arguingYasiel Puig and Matt Kemp appeared to get into a heated exchange during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 11-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night, but no one on the team has been willing to say why. The altercation took place during the sixth inning. Manager Don Mattingly was later seen speaking to Puig through Puig’s interpreter.

As you might expect, Mattingly kept the details of the incident in-house.

“Oh, just talking in the dugout, same old things,” he told reporters sarcastically, via Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “We’re like the [Oakland] A’s, the ’72 A’s.”

The A’s won three consecutive championships in the 1970s but were notorious for getting into fights with their own teammates. Reggie Jackson and Billy North even had an full-blown brawl in 1974.

Kemp was equally vague, basically ignoring any questions about his exchange with Puig.

“A good game we played today, huh? Good game,” he said. “Go Dodgers!”

Kemp had struck out and Puig had walked during the sixth inning. The Dodgers ended up scoring eight runs in the frame, but Saxon speculated that Kemp may have been upset with Puig when the youngster didn’t take third base on Adrian Gonzalez’s single before Kemp came to the plate.

Mattingly was reportedly upset with Puig in spring training over his baserunning blunders, so that wouldn’t be a surprise. We all know how much of a scatter brain he can be.