In the news:
A’s come clean, give plumbing-challenged clubhouses a fresh start
A hazmat team was called in by the A’s to make their ballpark’s clubhouses safe to use again after a disastrous sewage backup.
When last we left the ballpark in Oakland — and thankfully, that’s the royal we; I, myself, was mercifully not present — the Mariners and A’s were racing out of the clubhouses to escape a foul foul-up of the plumbing.
That set into motion a clean-up process that involved much more than just new carpets. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, a hazmat team went through the clubhouse and adjacent area to remove potentially harmful bacteria and other hazardous material. The lockers had to be pulled away from the walls so wood supports could be installed, and new cabinets were put in.
After the entire area had been sanitized, it was declared free of E. coli and MRSA, which was a big relief to the A’s and Reds, who were to play on Tuesday. The A’s conducted their own tests, declared the area clean, and sent a report to the players association and umpires union declaring the ballpark facility safe for use.
“I am very happy to hear there is no health risk,” A’s union rep Jerry Blevins told the Chronicle.
“Hopefully, it’s all sanitized,’’ added Reds shortstop Zack Cozart. “I can see where they might want a new stadium.”
Money thrown away
The Phillies lost 22 games last season when they either led or were tied going into the eighth inning. That led them to sign premier setup man Mike Adams to a two-year, $12 million deal.
Well, Adams has been hampered by injuries all year, and now he’s been diagnosed with two tears in his labrum and one in his rotator cuff. Not surprisingly, his season is almost certainly over.
And it doesn’t look much better for the Phillies — especially with Jonathan Papelbon blowing four of his past five save opportunities after starting out 13 for 13.
• It’s looking like the Cubs will go right down to the July 12 deadline with their top draft pick (No. 2 overall), slugging third baseman Kris Bryant from the University of San Diego.
Bryant, who is reportedly looking for more than his $6.7 million slot value, has the leverage of going back to USD for his senior year. But after a 31-homer season, he’s at peak value right now — and the rebuilding Cubs can’t afford to let him get away.
It might cause some white knuckles, but I’d be shocked if this didn’t get done.
• The White Sox gave up 30 unearned runs last year, lowest total in the majors. This year, they’ve already given up 34, thanks to a whopping 55 errors.
• If Matt Harvey of the Mets gets the All-Star Game start at Citi Field, he’ll be the first pitcher to start an All-Star Game in his home ballpark since Roger Clemens of the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston in 2004.
• Yes, there’s a stat for everything. Entering the weekend, infielder Freddy Galvis of the Phillies had four doubles, four triples and four homers this season. Only four players have posted identical totals of four or more in those three categories over an entire season: Frank Killen (four in 1892), Billy Southworth (four in 1922), Ray Boone (four in 1949) and Adam Piatt (five in 2000).
• Suddenly, Yu Darvish is struggling. He’s winless in his past seven starts, and the Rangers are 1-6 in those games. Most alarmingly, Darvish has allowed 14 homers in 74 innings since April 30, more than any pitcher except Freddy Garcia, who is now in the minors (16 in 53 innings).
“He’s going to have to change his way of doing things,” Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters. “Teams are making adjustments. He may have to change up something. It’s a game of constant adjustments. They adjust to him and he has to adjust to them.”
• Tough break for Dylan Bundy and the Orioles. The heralded pitching prospect, who was picked fourth overall in 2011 and rocketed all the way to the big leagues last year, had Tommy John elbow surgery on Thursday.
• With the runaway success of Yasiel Puig, keep an eye on another Cuban outfielder: 26-year-old Henry Urrutia, just promoted by the Orioles from AA Bowie to AAA Norfolk after racking up a .365/.433/.550 line. He could be up with the Orioles in the second half.
• Rays outfielder Wil Myers has something in common with fellow rookie Brad Miller of the Mariners: Neither uses batting gloves.
“It just sort of stands out that the bat seems like an extension of his arms,’’ Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg told The Tampa Bay Times. “We’ve had guys without batting gloves before – but they seem to have had hairier arms.’’