Matt Holliday's maddening season of maladies continued Monday night with the strangest one yet. Holliday had to be removed from the Cardinals' loss to the Dodgers after a moth flew into his right ear.
With two outs in the eighth inning, Holliday had to be tended to by the team's athletic training staff. He walked off the field and into the clubhouse, where medical personnel attempted to remove the moth from his ear.
According to a team spokesman, the first tactic was to take Holliday into a dark room, in hopes the moth would seek light and fly out. However, the insect had gone in headfirst and was unable to turn around. Thus, tweezers had to be used to remove it.
Maybe Verlander should be the MVP too?
Not once since divisional play began has a team won a pennant when the club's No. 2 starter had an earned-run average two runs or worse than the No. 1 starter.
For most of the season, that's how it's been in Detroit. Right now, Verlander is sitting at 2.28, Scherzer at 4.23. And Tigers starters not named Verlander have combined for a 35-37 record and a 4.83 ERA.
MLB is plotting another way of ensuring the Pirates, Royals and Co. remain cellar dwellers:
In the span of one day, the Royals shelled out $1.5 million for a high school right-hander from Texas, spent another $695,000 for a prep pitcher from Florida and offered up $750,000 for a high school shortstop picked in the 16th round and more than $1 million combined for two late-round high school pitchers from cold-weather states.
By the time the Royals concluded negotiations with a collection of draft picks last Monday, they had committed more than $14 million to 34 draft picks, including $7.5 million to first-round pick Bubba Starling of Gardner.
The number shattered the Royals’ previous record of $11.1 million spent in the 2008 draft but was still just the third most spent in this year’s draft — dwarfed by the reported $17 million spent by the Pittsburgh Pirates and $15 million by the Washington Nationals.
Major League Baseball’s collective-bargaining agreement expires in December, and Selig has previously said he believes in a firmer slotting system for draft picks. Under the current system, teams are given recommended slot values for each draft pick but are free to blow those numbers out of the water if they think it’s worth it.
Now the system could be in for a major round of reform, the latest round of spending sparking a push for a hard cap on bonuses.
The irony here, of course, is that most of the spending is being done by small-market franchises, the same clubs that are often derided for their chintzy behavior in free-agency.
A blue beer cooler at his feet, John Vandenberg stood at the lip of a grove of ash trees here earlier this month and clasped his hands together in anticipation. The next phase of a great conflict was about to commence at his word. Inside the cooler, beneath a bag of Styrofoam peanuts, rested four clear plastic soda cups, and inside those cups buzzed 482 bugs that might just rescue an iconic instrument of American sport: the baseball bat.
Soon, Vandenberg, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would release the insects—two species of wasp, to be specific—into these Hudson Valley woods. By doing so, he would initiate an entomological tete-a-tete between the wasps and the emerald ash borer, a green-winged, torpedo-shaped beetle that looks at the gleaming shaft of wood in Alex Rodriguez's hands and sees a scrumptious meal for its children.
The emerald ash borer (EAB for short) poses a direct threat to the national pastime: It feasts on ash wood, which is often used to make major-league baseball bats. First spotted in New York in 2009, the beetle has since infiltrated the southwestern region of the state—areas that furnish ash for eponymous bats such as Louisville Slugger and Rawlings Adirondack. Already, the pest's larvae have eaten through thousands of trees in 15 states and parts of Canada, according to the U.S. Forest Service, and after failing to stem the beetle's spread east, researchers have called in reinforcements. They've begun introducing Asian wasps—the borer's natural predators—into New York's forest ecosystem in an attempt to slow the beetle's infestation and assure the survival of the state's ash trees. And, in turn, of ash baseball bats.
Wall Street Journal