Chris Sale thought Victor Martinez, Tigers were stealing signs — benches clear

Chris-Sale-sign-stealingBenches cleared during Wednesday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers after Chris Sale hit Victor Martinez with a pitch in the sixth inning. The plunking came after Sale appeared to accuse Martinez and the Tigers of stealing signs.

As you can see from the video above, Sale sarcastically tipped his cap toward center field in the third after he struck Martinez out to end the inning. It became obvious that Sale thought someone — possibly from the Tigers bullpen — was tipping pitches to Detroit’s hitters. Sale hit Martinez the next time he faced him and the dugouts emptied.

No punches were thrown, and the Tigers got the last laugh. Sale had dominated Detroit to that point, but Martinez ended up scoring the tying run on a sacrifice fly after Sale plunked him. The lefthander’s day was done after the sixth and the Tigers went on to score five more runs and come away with a 6-1 victory.

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Giants boycotting reporter Andrew Baggarly after he wrote about clubhouse argument

Andrew-BaggarlyAndrew Baggarly has covered the San Francisco Giants for the past decade, but the team is currently doing its best to prevent him from doing so during a pennant race. The Giants, who are currently tied for the lead in the wild card race, have apparently decided to freeze Baggarly out because the players are angry over something he wrote.

According to Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was about to discuss Angel Pagan’s back injury on Tuesday night when Pagan cut the group interview short because of one specific reporter who was in the room.

That reporter was Baggarly, who began covering the Giants for the Oakland Tribune in 2004 and now works for CSN Bay Area — a company that airs Giants games and is 30% owned by the team. The players were furious after Baggarly reported that relief pitcher Sergio Romo and coach Shawon Dunston got into a shouting match before batting practice earlier this week. Baggarly offered his side of the story with a series of tweets early Wednesday morning.

“I’ve received a lot of support and many questions about my ability to cover the team under the current circumstances,” he wrote. “I’ll just say this: A reporter is never comfortable being the story, no matter how right or defensible their actions are. So I hope everyone enjoys the pennant race and will focus forward on that. I’ll do my best to cover the Giants with the same fairness, accuracy and comprehensive vigor that I’ve always strived to provide.”

Baggarly then noted that the rift he reported about took place while the clubhouse was open to the media and that he wasn’t the only reporter to cover it.

If you ask me, it sounds like the Giants players are being incredibly immature. Baggarly has a job to do, and that is to cover the team — not cover up any issues that might make them look bad. If a player and coach got into it with media present, that’s their own fault. They should have controlled their tempers or had the argument in a more private setting. Punishing Baggarly for writing about it is childish.

H/T Deadspin

Bruce Bochy blames Yasiel Puig for bench-clearing incident

Yasiel Puig Madison Bumgarner

What, did you really think he was going to take Puig’s side?

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy was interviewed by ESPN’s Buster Olney during Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers and pinned the blame for a first inning bench-clearing incident on Yasiel Puig.

Puig was hit by a Madison Bumgarner pitch and looked out at the mound afterwards, leading to some tension between the two and benches to clear.

“Well you know there’s a little bit of tension in there, I guess,” Bochy said to Olney. “But you see that all the time. Guy gets hit and he doesn’t go to first right away … you’re creating that drama. He got up and stared at [Madison Bumgarner] — Bum’s already mad at himself because he just gave up a home run. He just yanked a slider …”

So that’s Bochy blaming Puig for creating the drama by not going directly to first.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was later interviewed by Olney and said he instructed Puig to forget about his issues with Bumgarner.

“I was just telling him to stay in the game and to try to win the game with his bat and his glove. … I was telling him let’s do our damage on the field and let this go.”

Of course Bochy was going to defend his guy and blame things on Puig. But how could you not expect Puig to react after what happened between the two in May? Bumgarner seemed like the instigator in that confrontation … and it’s hard not to think it was intentional this time.

Yasiel Puig hit by Madison Bumgarner; benches clear (Video)

Yasiel Puig was hit in the foot by a Madison Bumgarner pitch in the first inning of Tuesday’s Dodgers-Giants game, leading to the benches clearing.

After being hit, Puig was on the ground and turned his head towards Bumgarner. They started heading towards each other and Puig had to be held back. Puig stepping out towards the mound led the benches and bullpens to clear, though order was quickly restored.

Yasiel Puig Madison Bumgarner

Bumgarner hitting Puig in his first at-bat of the game seemed to be intentional and as part of a continuing beef between the two; in May, Bumgarner had words for Puig after the Cuban outfielder homered off of him.

The Dodgers got revenge on Bumgarner in the inning. Both Justin Turner and Matt Kemp homered to give them a 3-0 lead.

Vine via Cork Gaines

Jose Altuve jumping to swing at pitch is great (Video)

jose-altuve-jump-swingJose Altuve has a season to remember for the Houston Astros. On Monday, Altuve added to his 2014 highlight reel by going airborne to hit a pitch by Roman Mendez that was just a bit above the strike zone … all in the name of doing his job on a hit and run.

With the hit and run called, it was Altuve’s job to swing at the pitch regardless of where it was thrown, and the goal was for him to hit the ball on the ground to the right side where there would be a hole because of the second baseman covering for the stolen base attempt.

The Astros probably knew they could trust Altuve on the play after seeing him perfectly execute a hit and run on another high pitch Friday:

For all of his talents, it’s worth noting Altuve is listed at 5’6″, which no doubt adds to the greatness of the moment.

With less than a week remaining in the regular season, Jose Altuve leads the majors with a .345 average and 220 hits. Unfortunately, he was unable to add another hit to his total on this particular pitch, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Altuve also leads the American League with 54 stolen bases.

Video: Twitter/d_moore55

Derek Jeter denies the gift basket after one-night stand rumor

Derek-Jeter-One-Night-Stand-AutographsDerek Jeter has spent the last 19 years of his life as a superstar and celebrity in one of the most well-known cities in the world. Yet somehow, he has managed to keep his personal life under wraps. Anything we know about Jeter’s life off the baseball diamond comes from rumors or second-hand information. Like, for example, that story about him giving women gift baskets after one-night stands.

When Jeter broke up with actress Minka Kelly a few years back, a rumor claimed the Yankee captain was back to playing the field and had women constantly flowing in and out of his Trump Tower condo. After spending a night with them, Jeter would allegedly arrange for a car to take the women home. There was supposedly a gift basket with signed memorabilia waiting for the lucky ladies inside their ride.

During a recent interview for a feature in New York Magazine, Jeter finally addressed the hilarious rumor.

“Like I’m giving them signed baseballs and pictures of myself on the way out! Who comes up with a story like that?” he asked with a laugh. “It said the reason people found out was because I gave the same girl the same basket and I had forgotten I’d given her one — like there are so many people coming through I forgot!”

The part about the gift baskets is hard to believe. The part about there being so many women that Jeter forgets about some of them is not.

This is a guy who has a “no cameras or phones” policy in place for anyone who visits his home in Tampa Bay. Do you really think he would give girls a corny gift basket after hooking up with them and hope they keep quiet about it? Why haven’t any women shown off this memorabilia if there’s so much of it floating around? Jeter is too careful for that.

Angels put one of their rookies in a middle finger costume for hazing

The Angels on Sunday partook in the annual rookie hazing tradition of dressing up their newcomers in funny looking costumes for a road trip. One costume stood out more than the others (second from right).

They had a Kenny from “South Park,” hula girl, cheerleader, beer maiden, baby, ostrich and more. But as you can see in the photo above shared by the team, the players put a rookie in a middle finger costume. He’s the one with the big finger nail over his head. Shocker that actually made it onto the Angels’ Twitter account.

Many more photos of the Angels’ rookie hazing below:

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