Matt Williams scolds media over Bryce Harper demotion talk

Matt-WilliamsBryce Harper is in the worst hitting slump of his young career. Since returning from thumb surgery on June 30, the 21-year-old is batting just .218. He has five extra-base hits and just five RBI during that span. Harper has struggled so badly that some have wondered if a stint in Triple-A is in order. Just don’t say that to manager Matt Williams.

On Wednesday morning, Williams was asked during an interview with The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in DC if he has considered sending Harper to the minors. This was his response:

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea at this point to do that because it’s different pitching,” Williams said. “We all know there’s a big difference between Triple-A pitching and big league pitching. So it’s probably more of an option to have him feel good here and get it back.”

Since Williams didn’t say something like “we would never send Harper to Triple-A,” many took that to mean he has not ruled out the possibility. When a reporter asked Williams about it on Wednesday afternoon, the first-year manager went off.

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Joe Kelly gets hit off Shelby Miller, wins $100 bet

Joe-Kelly-CardinalsNot too long ago, Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller were teammates with the St. Louis Cardinals. That came to an end last week when the former roommates and best friends were broken up by a trade that sent Kelly to the Boston Red Sox.

On Wednesday, the two took the mound as starting pitchers for their respective teams when the Red Sox and Cardinals met at Busch Stadium.

Since the game took place at a National League ballpark, the opportunity presented itself for the two to square off against each other in the absence of a designated hitter. So, naturally, a friendly wager was made.

“He said if he gets a hit off me, I owe him $100,” Miller said via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I’m going to invite him over (Tuesday), keep him up, see how long we can play video games until the morning. See how long he can last.”

Miller drew a walk from Kelly in his first at-bat. Kelly’s first time up against Miller came in the third inning and resulted in a groundball that was fielded by Jhonny Peralta, who threw Kelly out at first base. Or, did he?

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Red Sox manager John Farrell challenged the play and the original call was overturned. Kelly was ruled safe, winning a bet in the process.

Money aside, you can be sure Joe Kelly won’t let Shelby Miller forget that anytime soon. Miller did get a little revenge by striking out Kelly in the fifth inning.

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Red Sox and Rays reportedly told not to trade Jon Lester or David Price to Yankees

jon-lesterAs Major League Baseball’s trade deadline approached, two names many were interested in were David Price and Jon Lester.

Price, a former Cy Young Award winner is due to become a free agent after next season, but it became increasingly likely the Tampa Bay Rays were going to move him sooner rather than later.

Lester, on the other hand, will hit free agency after this season. With he and the Red Sox unable to come to terms on a contract extension, it made sense for Boston to get something for Lester before potentially losing him with no return.

So, the Rays dealt Price to the Tigers and the Red Sox shipped Lester to the west coast to the Oakland A’s.

Both are All-Star caliber pitchers, so it’s no surprise several teams were mentioned as possible suitors for each. One club, however, had no chance of landing Price or Lester, according to Newsday’s David Lennon. That team was the New York Yankees.

Well then.

The Red Sox and Yankees did work out a trade involving other players though, as Boston sent Stephen Drew to New York for Kelly Johnson. However, there’s always the possibility Jon Lester or David Price could end up with the Yankees because when it comes to free agency we know they aren’t shy about throwing around money.

H/T Eye On Baseball

Darryl Strawberry confirms Kevin Mitchell decapitated girlfriend’s cat

Kevin Mitchell MetsDarryl Strawberry says that notorious urban legend about Kevin Mitchell is actually true.

Doc Gooden in his 1999 book “Heat” wrote that his former New York Mets teammate Mitchell once decapitated his girlfriend’s cat during an argument. Mitchell has denied the accusation, saying in 2009 that Gooden made up that story.

Now, Strawberry, who was an All-Star on the ’86 World Series-winning Mets that also featured Doc and Mitchell, says the story is true.

Straw was on HuffPost Live Tuesday along with his wife to talk about their new book “The Imperfect Marriage: Help For Those Who Think It’s Over,” and was asked about the Mitchell story.

“That’s a pretty good story. I think that’s pretty accurate,” Strawberry told host Marc Lamont Hill. “Kevin Mitchell did do that. Kevin Mitchell, he’s a different type of guy. Great guy. Super teammate. Great person — (but) he was from San Diego and he was affiliated with gangs quite a bit, and I guess he figured his girlfriend was acting a little crazy so he thought, ‘I’ll kill her cat.’ ”

Sounds like a swell guy. Mitchell was traded by the Mets after ’86 and he believed they considered him to be a wild guy and bad influence on Gooden and Strawberry.

“In New York, they used me as a scapegoat for them,” Mitchell said to the NY Daily News in 2009. “I was the bad seed, they said.”

Perhaps the decapitation story was the final straw for the Mets. Or maybe that’s just when things came to a head. Because after that, the cat was out of the bag on Mitchell.

We have the passage from Doc’s book pasted below (via Snopes). The language is offensive, but the story is intense and well worth your time. Doc includes so many details the story has to be true. Either that, or he was tripping on some acid.

Head to Page 2 to read the passage from Doc’s book.

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Chrissy Teigen was ‘pretty drunk’ before first pitch (Video)

Chrissy-Teigen-drunkChrissy Teigen threw out the first pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers before their game against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night, and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model was a huge hit. She also may have been pretty intoxicated.

If you follow Teigen on social media, you probably noticed that she was talking about drinking margaritas with her dad earlier in the day. Then she tweeted this:

A couple of hours later, it was first pitch time. Teigen did say in an interview before her pitch (in which she seemed bombed) that she was so nervous the night before that she could barely sleep. She probably needed a little tequila to take the edge off, but she paid for it on Wednesday morning.

Considering how drunk she may have been, I’m actually impressed Teigen’s pitch wasn’t worse. It bounced before home plate, but at least it was on-line. That’s more than a certain rapper can say for his first pitch.

H/T Big League Stew

David Murphy fooled by stray ball thrown out of bullpen (Video)

The Cleveland Indians gave up a crucial out against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night in the most bizarre way possible. With nobody out in the bottom of the 7th inning, Indians catcher Yan Gomes ripped a double to right field that scored a run. The hit should have left Cleveland trailing 6-2 with runners on second and third and nobody out.

Instead, David Murphy got caught in no-man’s land between third base and home plate. When Murphy looked toward the outfield to see where the ball was, he saw a baseball sitting unattended in the outfield grass behind second. Unfortunately, that ball was a wild throw that had made its way onto the field from the bullpen in right field.


Reds shortstop Zack Cozart had the “real” ball in his hand and fired it to third. Murphy was tagged out and probably thought he was seeing things.

“As a player you are taught two things — listen to your base coach and find the ball,” Murphy admitted after the game, via Fox Sports Ohio. “My base coach is saying ‘right here, right here’ but as a player you don’t want to completely rely on the guy. You use him for help but try to play the game and use your instincts and then I see the ball and think I can make it. Obviously the timing of it and everything was crazy and bizarre. The situation was unfortunate; no one has seen anything like that before.”

Cozart even said that he felt badly for Murphy, as he fell victim to a rare situation that he will likely never see again. The Reds went on to get out of the inning and win 9-2, but who knows what would have happened if the Indians kept two men on with no out. Talk about terrible luck.

Joba Chamberlain sticks tongue out at Derek Jeter, hits him (Video)

Joba-ChamberlainJoba Chamberlain playfully stuck his tongue out at his former teammate Derek Jeter during Tuesday night’s game between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. In hindsight, Chamberlain probably wishes he didn’t do that. Why? Because now he looks bad.

A couple of pitches after Chamberlain stuck his tongue out at Jeter, he ran a fastball up and in and him and hit the Yankee captain on the elbow. The game was tied 3-3 in the 10th inning at the time, so I highly doubt Joba did it on purpose. But of course, people are talking.

Chamberlain appeared to say “my bad” after plunking Jeter. Joba ended up pitching 1 1/3 hitless innings and helping the Tigers win in 12 innings. I’m sure there are no hard feelings between him and Jeter.

GIF via The Big Lead