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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Baseball

Cardinals, feral cat non-profit at odds over future of Rally Cat

What the St. Louis Cardinals must have expected would be a rather simple, straightforward process of adopting their very own Rally Cat has turned into anything but.

The officially-named Rally Cat is currently in the care of the St. Louis-based non-profit St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach, but in a statement earlier in the week, the Cardinals assured fans that they would soon have custody of the cat, which ran onto the field one pitch before Yadier Molina hit a go-ahead grand slam in an Aug. 9 game against the Kansas City Royals.

“The St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach organization has assured us they will be returning our cat to us after a mandatory 10-day quarantine period,” said Ron Watermon, the team’s vice president of communications, via Denise Hollinshead of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

There’s just one problem: according to STLFCO in a statement released Thursday, Rally does not yet belong to the Cardinals.

“It was a disappointment to STLFCO and many of our friends and fans to read the Cardinal’s PR Head Ron Watermon’s comments to the media concerning Rally,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “It was a totally false statement that STLFCO has committed anything to the Cardinals. We have made no decisions about Rally‚Äôs long-term placement. It seems inconsistent with ‘The Cardinals Way’ to make such false statements.

“Due to our many commitments and complex schedules, we told the Cardinals we’d be delighted to meet later this month, the first time the entire group can meet with them to discuss the situation. Perhaps we can find a way to reach out to the Senior Leadership of the Cardinals (the Dewitts, Mike Whittle, etc) and meet with them, as Mr. Watermon’s perceived bullying tactics shocked us.”

The story of Rally Cat has included many twists and turns, including a disappearance almost immediately after the first dramatic appearance. The guess is that the Cardinals will work something out with STLFCO, though they seem to have made it a little more difficult on themselves.

H/T CBS Sports

Joe Girardi declines to commit to Aroldis Chapman as Yankee closer

Aroldis Chapman Yankees

Struggling New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman did not get much of a vote of confidence after another horrendous outing Friday night against the Boston Red Sox.

Chapman was asked to pitch the eighth inning Friday with the Yankees down a run to the Red Sox, but the flamethrowing closer once again struggled, allowing two runs in his inning of work and failing to keep the deficit in place. It was the fourth consecutive outing in which he has allowed a run, having now given up seven in his last 4.1 innings of work. Moreover, he failed to back up home plate after giving up a hit in the outing, which got him an immediate admonishment from manager Joe Girardi.

After the game, Girardi did not exactly back Chapman to remain in the closer’s role.

It’s worth noting that Girardi had a very different message prior to this outing.

Chapman has dealt with a hamstring issue, which may be a factor in determining the way forward. Still, the Yankee closer hasn’t really been his dominant self all season and has been a huge disappointment, and with the team in a tight playoff race and other options with closing experience such as Dellin Betances and David Robertson available if necessary, the question has to be asked whether Chapman is still the right man for the job for the immediate future.

Max Scherzer scratched from start with neck issue

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer continues to be plagued by neck issues.

The Washington Nationals ace was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday against the San Diego Padres after experiencing a neck problem. Matt Grace got the nod in Scherzer’s place.

Nats manager Dusty Baker could tell something was amiss when Scherzer was at Petco Park early.

Scherzer left his start on Aug. 1 after one inning of work. He had hit his first career home run in that game and then was unable to continue pitching because of his neck. He still made his next two starts, pitching nearly identical lines of five hits and two runs allowed over seven innings. But the neck issue resurfaced Friday.

MASN’s Dan Kolko says Scherzer will undergo testing to see if anything can be found concerning his neck. The Nats would obviously want to have some answers before the playoffs roll around.

Scherzer is 12-5 with a 2.25 ERA this season.

AJ Hinch has not heard from MLB about umpire criticism

AJ Hinch

Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch has not heard from MLB despite criticizing the umpires from Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Hinch was especially upset with the way the game ended and criticized umpire Paul Nauert for calling out Marwin Gonzalez on strikes to end the game. Here were Nauert’s calls in the final at-bat of the game. The red balls represent what were strikes in the at-bat and the green means the pitch was called a ball.

As you can see, the final pitch (No. 7) was inside, though not quite as far inside as No. 3. Hinch complained after the game that the Astros were robbed in the final at-bat of the game.

Despite his criticism and comments, Hinch said on Friday that he hasn’t heard anything from the league yet.

Hinch certainly had a right to be upset when you see the calls made on Gonzalez to end the game. If this were the NBA, he would have already been hit with a fine.

New York radio host has epic meltdown on Aaron Judge caller

Don La Greca

New York sports radio host Don La Greca had a meltdown for the ages on Thursday when responding to a caller who suggested Aaron Judge should have been pinch hit for in a game.

La Greca co-hosts “The Michael Kay Show” with Kay on ESPN Radio New York. After he and Kay took a call from caller Steve in Brooklyn, who asked why Judge wasn’t replaced for a pinch-hitter, La Greca lost his mind.

La Greca, remaining a true pro, doesn’t drop any curse words while going on a massive rant.

Hey, if you were a Mets fan the way La Greca is, and someone suggested replacing a guy with 37 home runs this season, you would find them to be crazy too.

But wow, did La Greca go over the top or what? Sheesh.

Derek Jeter, wife Hannah Davis welcome baby girl Bella Raine

Derek Jeter and his wife Hannah Davis have welcomed their first child into the world.

The Players’ Tribune, a media outlet founded by Jeter, confirmed on Friday that Davis gave birth to Bella Raine Jeter on Thursday.

Davis announced that she was pregnant in an article she wrote for The Players’ Tribune back in February, and she said at the time that Jeter had already picked out a name for the little girl. She also mentioned that she had not yet agreed to the name, so it will be interesting to see if the name Bella was Jeter’s choice.

Jeter, 43, and Davis, 27, have been together since 2011 and were married last year. Between welcoming a baby and Jeter’s exciting new business venture, retirement from baseball has been anything but boring for the New York Yankees legend.

Lance Lynn shares hilarious Little League World Series memory

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St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn looks back quite fondly on his time in Little League — perhaps a little too fondly.

The 2017 Little League World Series officially kicked off on Thursday, and Lynn took an opportunity to share this funny memory of his own time in Williamsport, per Jim Hayes of FOX Sports Midwest.

The former All-Star Lynn appeared in the Little League World Series back in 1999, representing the Brownsburg team from his native Indiana. MLBers these days don’t always uphold the sanctity of their Little League memories, but it sounds like Lynn, now 30 years old, does not fall into that category.

Image via FOX Sports Midwest on YouTube

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