Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell and it was so hot Wednesday that I saw a dog chasing a cat…. and they were both walking.
Don’t worry, I don’t plan on leading the newsletter every day with the Dodgers. I mean, after all, there is a Dodgers newsletter we have (go sign up here) and I don’t want to continuously scoop myself. But, what was a big story Tuesday, the injury to and blown save by Kenley Jansen, became slightly bigger Wednesday. It turns out manager Dave Roberts, unhappy that Jansen said he was OK to stay in the game and then after the game said he wasn’t, did something I can’t really remember him doing: He criticized one of his players.
“When you give certainty that you’re not compromising yourself or the team, then I’m going to trust it,” Roberts said Wednesday. “And so to then go back and say, ‘I should’ve come out of the game,’ then it’s a little bit tough to swallow.”
The swelling in Jansen’s ankle went down Wednesday, but he wasn’t available to pitch against the Phillies.
The Dodgers defeated the Phillies, 7-2, on the strength of home runs by David Freese and Justin Turner.
Oh, and for those of you who emailed to say the Dodgers should demote Jansen from the closer role, don’t hold your breath.
“When we give him a baseball, I expect the game to be over,” Roberts said. “Obviously, the results aren’t what they were in ’17. And you can say that about a lot of players. So I think it’s just one of those things that he’s just got to continue to make pitches. But he’s the best we have and I still have full confidence when we give him the baseball.”
In the olden days of baseball, the players policed themselves. Hit one of our guys with a pitch, we’ll hit one of yours. Go in spikes high on our shortstop, we’ll knock yours into left field.
Those days are over, or at least it appears MLB would like them to be.
Remember when Houston’s Jake Marisnick clobbered Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy at home plate recently, giving Lucroy a concussion and a broken nose? When the Angels faced the Astros on Tuesday, pitcher Noe Ramirez hit him with a pitch. That’s the way it was done in the old days.
On Wednesday, MLB suspended Ramirez for three days. They had suspended Marisnick for two days. Apparent message: Stop retaliating for things.
“I didn’t necessarily like it, but it is what it is,” Ramirez said. “I’m glad we can appeal it. It’s just about moving on.”
The less said about Wednesday’s game, the better. The Angels lost, 11-2.
We have reporters in Las Vegas this week to cover the big Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight this Saturday. Here’s an excerpt from this report by Norm Frauenheim .
“A compelling fight between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman might have become even more significant for the winner with the postponement Wednesday of Canelo Alvarez’s next bout from September to later in the year.
“Thurman called the postponement another opportunity.
“Sean Gibbons, Pacquiao’s advisor, said no Canelo fight in late summer represents a chance at more attention for the winner of a fight Saturday that is expected to lead to a welterweight unification bout with either Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter.
“One-hundred percent, this is an opportunity,’’ Gibbons said Wednesday after a Pacquiao-Thurman news conference for the Fox pay-per-view bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “Manny is still the biggest name in boxing. At 40, he can prove that all over again.’’
“Thurman said he would emerge from Saturday night’s bout with a better chance at bigger stardom and bigger money.
“Opportunities like this is when Keith Thurman has great fights,” Thurman said. “I do know that this is the biggest fight this summer. I’ve thought that all along.’’
“A fast-moving day of news began with a Golden Boy Promotions announcement that Canelo, the reigning middleweight champ and arguably the biggest name in boxing, had postponed a bout planned for Sept. 14, two days before the Sept. 16 holiday celebrating Mexican Independence.
“As a Mexican, it’s a responsibility and an honor to represent my country in both May and September,” Canelo said in a statement.
“Those are my dates. However, as a world champion in multiple weight classes, I also have the responsibility of delivering the most exciting and competitive fights possible. That’s why Golden Boy and my team have decided to postpone the date in order to do right by my fans by promoting the best fight possible and with the best opponent possible.”
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, but some fans are concerned that their bullpen will cost them a possible World Series title. So this week’s question is, do you think the Dodgers will win the World Series this year? Vote in our poll by clicking here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Results will be revealed next week.
Your favorite sports moment
What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Click here to tell me what it is and why, and I’ll start running them in future newsletters. And yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too. And the moment doesn’t have to have happened in L.A., just needs to involve an area team.
Today’s moment comes from Jim Beaumont of Lakewood:
“My favorite SoCal sports memory is from July 3, 1970. I was nine years old and sitting in the living room after dinner. My Dad and my older brother Ray walked in and Ray said, ‘Let’s go.’ I said, ‘Where are we going?’ Ray put his index finger up to his lips to let me know this was a secret mission. I quietly followed. When you have five sisters and a kid brother you have to sneak out to the Angels game. My Dad drove us down Batavia Ave. because he figured State College Blvd. would be too crowded (if the Angels drew 20,000 in those days it was a big deal). So we sneaked out of the house and down Batavia to Anaheim Stadium.
“My Dad got us really good seats on the first base side about 20 rows from the field. Clyde Wright was pitching that night for the Angels. I was out of my mind! I’m at the Angels game. We have great seats. And it’s just me, my older brother, and my Dad. Somewhere around the fourth or fifth inning, at which time Clyde Wright had still not allowed a hit, the vendor came by selling cokes. My Dad looked at me and asked if I wanted a coke. I thought it was a trick question. We had already sneaked out of the house without the girls and have great seats at the stadium… and we get a coke on top of this? I didn’t know what to do, so I looked at Ray who was going through the same mental gymnastics. He semi-confidently nodded yes and then so did I.
“So here we are, taking in what would be Clyde Wright’s masterpiece no-hitter, the girls are at home, and I’m sipping a coke. Perfection for a nine year old. Ken McMullen’s 3 run homer iced it for the Angels. The game ended on a nifty double play turned by second baseman Sandy Alomar. The only problem was that, because of Wright’s efficiency, the game took just over two hours and we were home early.
“It would be the only game the three of us would ever take in together. My father died about a year and a half later. Ray and I saw plenty of games, but he died in the fall of 1988 as the Dodgers were winning the World Series… but that’s a story for another day. It’s bittersweet, but a beautiful memory. Thank you Clyde. Thank you Dad. Thank you Ray.
Odds and ends
British Open returns 68 years later to a changed Northern Ireland…. Caddies for Koepka, McIlroy help solve the mystery of Portrush…. Del Mar opens 80th summer meet with feeling all is well in horse racing…. Sparks might have only seven players available for game against Wings…. Dodgers’ Kiké Hernandez calls for Puerto Rico governor to resign…. Fans relish chance to see Arsenal and Bayern Munich in ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
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Today’s local major sports schedule
Dodgers at Philadelphia, 9:30 a.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570
Houston at Angels, 6 p.m., FSW, AM 830
Dallas at Sparks, 12:30 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet
Born on this date
1929: Figure skater Dick Button
1935: Figure skater Tenley Albright
1940: Baseball player/manager Joe Torre
1943: Golfer Calvin Peete
1951: Golfer Bruce Lietzke
1957: Golfer Nick Faldo
1966: Decathlete Dan O’Brien
1972: NBA player Penny Hardaway
1975: Former Angel Torii Hunter
1990: Boxer Canelo Alvarez
Died on this date
1989: Former Angels pitcher Donnie Moore, 35
Torii Hunter robs Barry Bonds of All-Star game home run. Watch it here.