We begin Odds & Ends this Saturday with the news that many Oilers fans have feared. Peter Chiarelli will be brought back as general manager despite the team netting only 78 points in the standings this year and missing the playoffs for the 11th time in 12 seasons despite having the most talented player in the league in Connor McDavid on their roster.
Many picked the Oilers to not just get to the Stanley Cup Finals,but to also win them and it was far from a great season for a team that banked on a lot of promise that just wasn’t there. It is now up to Chiarelli, as well as Bob Nicholson,the team’s COO, to rebuild a roster that was dead last in special teams and had a bunch of slow players on the roster.
But his return isn’t what bothers me. What bothers me the most is that there was a lack of an apology to the fans in his press conference earlier this week. Ottawa’s general
manager did that right off the bat in his press conference and to me,that’s admirable.
These fans are some of the best in the league. They sell out every game despite the shitty play of the team, they travel to go and see them as well and when things are going great for the team, the excitement and intensity they bring is difficult to beat. When you can’t acknowledge the fans and apologize to them or take accountability for the disaster that was this season, it doesn’t make your case to return an easy one for fans to buy when it comes down to it.
If I had to ask 49ers general manager John Lynch just one question right now, it would be this one: Why the fuck is Reuben Foster still on your roster?
The young linebacker has been charged with felony counts of multiple domestic violence, possession of a weapon, and infliction of bodily harm. If convicted, he could spend up to 11 years in prison.
Foster has been no stranger to problems off the field. In 2016,he was present (although not involved) during a shooting that left three dead outside a nightclub in Auburn, Ala. He was arrested earlier this year for possession of marijuana in Alabama (not the state to get caught with that,I might add) and now this.
I’m sure the 49ers knew that drafting Foster was a high risk,high reward decision, but when he’s had this pattern of behavior in this short of time,you have to release him. It’s truly surprising that a man as smart as Lynch hasn’t done this yet and it makes me wonder why they think keeping him is acceptable right now. It isn’t. He has been charged with some very bad things and if they decide to keep him through all of this,it sends a bad message to not only fans, but also the public,some of whom no longer count themselves as fans that not only is this kind of behavior okay,but acceptable.
The 49ers are on the verge of doing something special this coming season and right now their reluctance to give Foster his walking papers is turning into a black eye for them.
Wednesday gave us not one,but two basebrawls throughout the major leagues.
The first one happened at Coors Field between the Rockies and Padres. It happened the bottom of the third inning when San Diego pitcher Luis Perdomo threw a pitch behind Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. Arenado took offense to that and sprinted to the mound. Perdomo threw his glove at Arenado. The benches and bullpens emptied, and punches were thrown.
After a couple of minutes things flared up again when Gerardo Parra mixed things up with a couple of Padres players. Arenado has been suspended for five games as has Perdomo. Gerardo Parra and Padres pitcher Buddy Baumann each received a one-game suspension for fighting during the incident. Baumann has since been optioned to AAA El Paso and will serve his one-game ban when he is called up again. Padres catcher A.J. Ellis, infielder Freddy Galvis and Rockies pitcher German Márquez were fined.
The incident may have been brewing for a while. In their previous seven games this season, six batters between the two rivals have been hit by pitches. It may have hit its boiling point when Padres center fielder Manuel Margot was placed on the disabled list after he was hit in the ribs on Tuesday.
Later that day the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees got a lot more intense.
In the seventh inning of New York’s 10-7 win on Wednesday night, Boston pitcher Joe Kelly thew at New York’s Tyler Austin twice. The first pitch missed, but the second one drilled him in the back. The designated hitter then slammed his bat on the ground,breaking it, threw his helmet, then made his way to the mound, prompting both benches to empty.
“Once I got hit, it was going to happen,” Austin said.
It all began in the bottom of the third inning, when Austin was a runner on first base. As New York second baseman Tyler Wade laid down a bunt along the third-base line, Austin sprinted to second base, where he slid into Boston shortstop Brock Holt. Holt took offense to the somewhat late slide, and after the forceout was recorded, he and Austin began jawing at each other. Players from both dugouts and bullpens raced out to second base, where the yelling briefly intensified.
“How angry did that make us?” New York outfielder Aaron Judge asked, responding to a reporter’s question. “No one likes getting hit with a 98 mph fastball, so everybody was pretty upset about it.”
Kelly received a supension of six games, Austin for five games. Both players have appealed their bans. Also fined were Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin, along with four players who entered the field while on the disabled list: Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and Red Sox infielders Xander Bogaerts, Marco Hernandez and Dustin Pedroia.
I hate to say it,but both of these brawls were in fact warranted. Arenado had to settle to score once and for all for all the times batters on both teams were getting plunked this season. He was tired of it. Something had to be done. Same with Austin, his slide was not one which was intentional but accidental in my view. He had to know that retaliation was coming and when he did, he went to go do something about it.
Basebrawls are okay in my opinion because baseball basically sanctions them. They’re not opposed to teams retaliating in their own ways and if they weren’t okay with the brawls,they would stop posting clips of them on their own YouTube channel. Until baseball says enough is enough,let them fight.
Finally this week, it’s a melancholy goodbye to longtime Sacramento Kings broadcaster Jerry Reynolds who is retiring from broadcasting after 20-plus seasons calling games alongside Grant Napear.
“I feel like this is the time for me to make a transition in my career. I just don’t feel like I have the interest or the capabilities to be a full-time employee, as much as I’ve enjoyed my time with the Kings,” Reynolds said on The Kings Insider Podcast on NBC Sports California.
Reynolds is known for folksy,Midwest demeanor and his charming nicknames for players and is a favorite among fans. One big reason Reynolds is stepping away from the broadcasting sidelines is health concerns.
“I am a 20-year diabetic and honestly, the last year was tough on me,” Reynolds said. “I’m not trying to work up a pity contest here, but it was a lot tougher for me to take care of my disease.”
Reynolds turned down a long-term deal to remain the color analyst for the team,instead taking a one-year deal to see how things played out.
“As a broadcast partner, I just have been so blessed,” Napear told NBC Sports California, “I can’t adequately put into words what it’s meant to be with him 82 games a year doing NBA basketball. It’s effortless. It’s fun. It’s not work in any capacity.”
Doug Christie,Napear’s co-host on KHTK, will succeed Reynolds on game day. Reynolds will still be around to contribute to game broadcasts and Pre/Post shows on NBC Sports California as well as Kings coverage on KHTK.
I will miss Jerry greatly, he and Grant made a great team and made the games during both good and bad years fun to watch just by those guys being them. I wish him the very best and hope he takes great care of himself.
That’s all for Odds & Ends this week, we’ll catch you next time!