Didn't Make the Paper, Volume V
Press box temperature when I walked in: 48 degrees. God help anyone coming out here tonight.
Much hallabaloo about last night's DirecTV/MASN snafu. Please read one of the many independent blogs about this fiasco (Capitol Punishment, the Ballpark Guys message board, etc.) if you're interested in in some real rage.
I know some people are upset with me for not reporting on this more heavily. Had that pesky game to cover while this was going on. Here, though, is what MASN spokesperson Todd Webster told me last night (didn't have room for quotes in my brief notebook item, which also included the news that DISH Network customers now have MASN).
Webster said DirecTV was under the impression the game should be blacked out. Not sure why. MASN/DirecTV flooded with calls. Someone realizes the obvious gaffe. Flip is switched midway through the game. "MASN took corrective action," Webster said.
Take that for what it's worth. But as Chris at Capitol Punishment points out (http://dcbb.blogspot.com/), isn't it about time the entire team/network/food service/city gets stuff right consistently, regardless of whose fault it is?
With the MASN news, that tiny Bernie Castro-suspended-for-failing-a-drung-test item got cut down in my notebook in the $.35 paper. Here's GM Jim Bowden:
"In 2005, he violated the minor league drug policy. Since then he was purchased to a major league contract and never served his suspension from '05. So therefore once we outrighted him off the major league contract, he was now back under the minor league policy, which means the 15-game supssiension he was supposed to serve a couple years ago he serves now."
In 2005, Castro was with the Orioles. With that swing he had, he might be playing in your softball league on the Mall by the end of the summer (depending, I suppose, on what your softball league's drug policy is).
Also talked to Bowden a bit about the decision to move Emiliano Fruto to the starting rotation at Class AAA Columbus (which had its game against Indianapolis postponed yesterday). Here, again, is the GM.
"He's got three pitches. We're short of starting pitchers. We know he can go back to the bullpen. He may be up here in the bullpen at some point. But in the meantime, we need to try to keep developing young starting pitchers. He's got three pitches. The stuff's there. Now whether or not he can handle it, we'll find out. Our development people strongly recommend doing it, but that doesn't mean he won't come up here and pitch out of the bullpen."
He's only 22, and he started 30 games in the minors, but the Mariners felt he couldn't concentrate long enough for six- or seven-inning outings. Maybe he has matured.
Harrisburg lost to Reading yesterday in Class AA action, 7-6. The first start for stud prospect Collin Balester: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. But the problem: Closer Zech Zinicola gave up two runs in the eighth, blowing a lead.
At Class A Hagerstown, top hitting prospect Chris Marrero went 2 for 5 with a double and is 4 for his first 9 on the season, and Justin Maxwell went 2 for 5 with a homer.
Oh, and apparently there's some BREAKING NEWS: There was a scoring change in Shawn Hill's start on Tuesday. Why we're finding this out now, I have no idea. But remember that mess of a first inning, in which Hill hit Hanley Ramirez to start the game and then Dan Uggla hit a ball to Josh Wilson at short, and Wilson tried to shovel the ball to Felipe Lopez at second to start a double play, but the ball never arrived? Official scorer David Vincent (a huge SABR guy and home run historian/guru) originally ruled the play a fielder's choice with no error and no hit. Four runs ended up coming home that inning, and three of them were earned (Dmitri Young made an error later in the inning).
Well, at some point between the end of that game and now -- and, judging by the email that I just received, it happened on Wednesday -- Vincent changed the scoring from a fielder's choice to an error on Wilson. This makes only one run that inning earned, and Hill now gave up two earned runs in five innings for an ERA of 3.60 -- or exactly half of what we had been working with, 7.20.
So disregard the starters' ERA of 9.67 I put in the $.35 edition of the paper. Instead, it's 8.87. But who's counting?
Tonight's lineup. Note the bottom of it, which prevents all those lefties in a row.
And, finally, something to warm you up, courtesy of Mark Zuckerman of The Washington Times. Tony Armas's first start of the year for the Pirates:
4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 89 pitches.
Enjoy the game.
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