What did we learn on yesterday's off day?
That Tampa Bay is a baseball body of water.
Best wishes to Matt Moore, who will have his season-ending Tommy John surgery today in Pensacola, becoming the 13th pitcher to undergo the surgery this season already.
The Rays have basked in the good graces of the pitching gods up until this year, as injuries have miraculously avoided the staff. Andrew Friedman isn't alarmed, or surprised,
"No, I think if you look over the history of the game, pitcher injuries are something that in a lot of ways are inevitable," Friedman said. "It's an unnatural motion. And I think we've been more fortunate than the industry because of: A, how hard our pitchers work; and B, the tremendous training staff we have and how much they care and how deligent they are.
... You look around the game over the last 50, 100 years, pitching injuries happen. And we do all we can to put our guys in the best position to stay as healthy as they can for as long as they can."
Though Dr. Andrews has been especially busy this season, there's been an increase in the procedures since 2000, in a direct correlation to the intensity of youth baseball culture. Andrews spoke bluntly about the need to provide greater protection to young arms, saying that, "If we don't do anything about these kids getting hurt in high school...we're not going to have anybody to draft."
- How often do runners on first actually score on a double? Beyond the Box Score took a look, and discovered that this actually occurs less than 50% of the time.
- Hopefully we're just getting all the pitcher injuries out of the way early this season? Adding another to the list, Chris Sale is DL-bound with a flexor strain.
- Oh, and it can't be the year of the pitcher injuries, because it's actually the year of the squirrel. They're taking over, one stadium at a time.
- Mike Trout is trolling Bryce Harper, lololol.
Trout on Harper: "He plays the game hard -- you know, besides that lack of hustle the other day." #Angels— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 21, 2014
And thanks to Grant Brisbee for perhaps my favorite thing I've read in the past month,
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper will be mentioned in the same breath for the rest of their careers. One of them will be Metallica and one of them will be Megadeth, unable to enjoy his own success because it pales in comparison to the other one. I guess this analogy means both of them will eventually become awful and obnoxious, but for the purposes of this discussion, pretend it's 1986.
- Russel Martin challenged Martin Maldonado to a charity fight in the offseason after the Pirates-Brewers brawl on Sunday. Maldonado replied, "I don't know what to say about it." I'm sure both teams will find some things to say during their next meeting in Milwaukee in May.
- "I'm one of your fictional creations come to life, here to take you to a baseball game." W.P. Kinsella wrote a lovely piece on the evolution of "Shoeless Joe" to "Field of Dreams," in honor of the 25th anniversary of the film.
- Feel good, non-baseball-related, ICYMI, moment of the day:
Sports, man. Sports Illustrated checked in with Sager, who seemed to be in high spirits, and feeling the love from all around the NBA. The playoffs have certainly been less colorful thus far.