It was always going to be Joe West.
The venerable gawker jam that is Joe West sent Cardinals manager Mike Shildt off the deep end yesterday afternoon, as is his way. West or, as he claims, another member of his umpiring crew, spotted something on the cap of Giovanny Gallegos as he came into the game against the White Sox. Gallegos said it was sunscreen, which doesn’t really matter. He had to switch caps, and Shildt got himself tossed over the whole thing.
Shildt didn’t hold anything back in the postgame, and nor should he really. Baseball has a real problem with whatever pitchers are doing to baseballs, and yet we haven’t heard about anything being done about it. Shildt knows exactly what’s going on of course, as do most of the players. It’s beyond sunscreen, we can be sure. But no one says exactly what’s going on because someone on their team is just as likely to be doing the same thing. Shildt was only too happy to point out that MLB isn’t doing much about other pitchers. Only Joe West, only too happy to insert himself into the spotlight whenever possible, has made a spectacle of it.
We heard about Trevor Bauer’s baseballs being collected in the first week of the season. What happened there? Anyone else? Or is MLB just “investigating” as they always are with no conclusion? We haven’t heard word one about the league finding that someone did add flubber to a baseball or something, and we’re a quarter of the way through the season. Expect us to believe no one has? With offense as anemic as it is, and strikeouts spreading like roaches?
In the end, we should probably be thanking West for returning the issue to the center of attention. Nothing is going to get done about this without constant scrutiny, and Shildt being angry enough to open the door to the backroom just enough accomplishes that. There’s the glimpse of what pitchers are doing. Not a full-out daylight-washing, but a glimpse.
But it can’t be West. I don’t want to look back and say he was the pivot for real change that improved the game. I want to keep the file on West as is, which is a nuisance and roadblock. Some narratives we just need to keep.
Ja Morant has been a revelation for Memphis in the first two games against top-seeded Utah. He went for 47 in the Grizz’s loss in Game 2, but he has made this 1-8 matchup spicier than normal.
That doesn’t mean it’s all gone to plan. You ever find yourself out of work for a bit, and you’re sending out resume after resume, and then out of nowhere you get a call back. Except you can’t possibly remember all the places you’ve sent applications, and you get the interview, and you have no idea what you’re interviewing for or why? And you know the trip downtown is worthless? And no more than two questions into the interview, you realize you have no rapport with whom you’re talking to and you can’t even locate the bullshit answers you need to extend this meeting past four minutes? Well, this is all that in a couple seconds.