Legends On Deck

Baseball Headlines: Rich Hill, Tim Tebow, Clayton Kershaw, and More

Rich Hill Pulled From Game With Six Out Remaining in a Perfect Game

Being a manager at any level within baseball isn’t an easy job.  Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts has had to learn that the hard way twice in his rookie campaign as manager of the Dodgers.

Earlier this season, Roberts made headlines when he decided to pull rookie Ross Stripling in the eighth inning (of his major league debut), while he was throwing a no-hitter.  Roberts marched out to take the ball from Stripling after he threw his 100th pitch of the night.  The decision couldn’t have been an easy one, but Roberts said he felt that Stripling’s long-term health was more important.

Strpling’s father spoke out about it which you can read about by clicking HERE

Last night Roberts had to make an even more difficult decision that would come with scrutiny.  Rich Hill was just six outs away from throwing the 24th perfect game in major league history.  Roberts had to make the tough choice to not allow Hill to continue after learning of blisters on Hill’s throwing hand.  He had only thrown 89 pitches through seven innings, but Robert’s had to think about October instead of a personal milestone for Hill.

“I’m going to lose sleep tonight, and I probably should” Roberts said in a postgame press conference.

Hill put team first (after cooling down) knowing that the ultimate goal is a World Series title and not personal achievement.

Hill told the Los Angeles Times, “I’m very adamant about living in the moment. I did not want to come out of the game. But I think there’s a bigger picture here, and we all know what it is.”

I have two schools of thought on this.  At first glance I just scratched my head wondering what is happening to our great game.  Why after just 89 pitches would you take a 36-year old out of the game as he was closing in on something so few have ever accomplished?  Do pitchers need to be protected as much as they are?

Then I started to think a bit more.  Hill has had issues with blisters in the past which landed him on the disabled list with the A’s earlier this season.  He has been terrific with the Dodgers since coming over in a trade from Oakland at the deadline (3-0, 0.00), and could be vital in the push to bring a title back to the Dodgers.  Protecting an asset like that is imortant, although might not have been that popular of a decision.

Tim Tebow Signs With The Mets

It was something we knew was coming.  Once it was announced that Tim Tebow was going to hold a private workout in an effort to become a professional baseball player, someone was going to sign him just not sure who.

Then the announcement came that the New York Mets reached an agreement on a minor league contract with the former quarterback.  He career will begin with the Mets instructional team.

Sometimes it is hard for us to keep our feelings back trying to write about baseball in an unbiased way.  As a Mets fan, I am having a harder time with this than I originally thought I would.

Tebow was given a $100,000 signing bonus, and is also allowed to keep his job as a NFL Analyst while attempting to become a baseball player.  That amount is around what a player drafted in the 7th round of the entry draft would get.

There is no way to look at this other than a way to bring in money for the organization.  I know that Sandy Alderson mentioned that it wasn’t about that.  What is it about then?  Sure he has stayed in amazing shape over the years and he did demonstrate that he has some skill at his workout.  But is he really that much better than the kids that have devoted their entire lives to the game?

So many young players struggle with the decision about continuing their dream because after a while it doesn’t make financial sense.  Minor league players really don’t make all that much money.  So now they will have to share a clubhouse and more importanly playing time with someone that was given a shot based mainly on his name?  It really isn’t fair.

I wish Tebow luck and I hope it works out, but I am sorry to all of the minor league players it will affect along the way.

Pennant Chase Getting Real Exciting

It is the most wonderful time of the year.  The playoff picture is as uncertain as I can remember with plenty of teams still in the hunt for October.

The Boston Red Sox are currently sitting in first place in the American League East.  The Blue Jays, Orioles, and Yankees are all within three games of them.  It really can be anyone in this division.  It will be worth keeping an eye on for sure.

The American League Central and American League West races aren’t as close.  The Cleveland Indians hold a six-game lead over the Tigers in the Central, while the Texas Rangers are up 9.5 games in the west over the Houston Astros.

The American League Wild Card race is where the excitement is.  There are seven teams with a legit spot to occupy the two spots.  The Blue Jays and Orioles hold the two now, but four games separate the remaining teams with the defending champs sitting four-games back.

The closest race in the National League has to be the West between the Dodgers and Giants.  After being in first for quite some time, the Giants find themselves four games back now or the rival Dodgers.

The Wild Card race in the National League is really just down to three teams.  The Giants, Cardinals, and Mets.  A half game is all that is between the three teams and a change is happening almost nightly on who occupies the spots.

It is an exciting time as a baseball fan.  With just a few weeks remaining, most games are a must win for everyone no matter where they are in the standings.

Clayton Kershaw Returns

Finally, three-time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw made his return tp the mound in two months.  The lefty made the start Friday night for the Dodgers against the Miami Marlins.

Kershaw went three innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five.

It was great to have Kershaw back on the mound, but the real story that night was the opposing pitcher.

Jose Fernandez got the ball for the Marlins and was brilliant striking out 14 in seven innings.

Kershaw is scheduled to pitch again on Wednesday against the New York Yankees.  Should be a good one.

John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.