White Sox

David Robertson: Mike Scioscia's actions were 'bush league'

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David Robertson: Mike Scioscia's actions were 'bush league'

David Robertson normally isn’t a fiery guy but Mike Scioscia’s “bush league” actions got him riled up on Wednesday night.

The White Sox closer didn’t like how the Los Angeles Angels manager conducted himself after replay officials in New York ruled against Scioscia’s team on a play to start the ninth inning. In particular Robertson didn’t like that Scioscia returned to the field to argue the call and in doing so, blocked the plate, which Robertson said prevented him from making any warm-up tosses during the lengthy delay. Robertson allowed the game-tying run to score on anothereye-opening play later in the frame, but the White Sox eventually won in 13innings, 3-2, to close out a series sweep of the Angels.

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“I thought there were a lot of ridiculous things that went on in that inning,” Robertson said. “I feel like Scioscia was very bush league going out there and standing in front of home plate after the play had already been reviewed. I feel like once it has been reviewed, it’s been reviewed on film, he’s called out, there’s no reason for you to come back out and argue a call.”

Scioscia didn’t see it the same way.

Erick Aybar struck out on a pitch that bounced in the dirt and though Tyler Flowers lunged to tag him, the catcher appeared to miss Aybar’s leg. But plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth signaled out and Flowers held the ball instead of throwing to first even though Aybar ran to the base.

Aybar stayed at first and asked for a review. Replays indicated that Flowers missed the tag but after several minutes, league officials ruled that the call stood, which brought Scioscia back out of the dugout.

Scioscia told ESPN Chicago there was no gamesmanship on his part.

[MORE: Garcia's walkoff hit gives White Sox sweep over Angels]

“Absolutely that was not my intent,” Scioscia said. “Absolutely not. It was an important part because it was a possible protest. In fact, I thought I moved out of the way so he could throw. But he would have gotten a chance to throw anyway. Absolutely not -- not one iota of my intent was any gamesmanship. I had to get a reason for the ruling because if the ruling was that he killed the play then it was something I could protest. I had to get a ruling.”

Los Angeles still rallied despite the out as C.J. Cronsingled and pinch runner Taylor Featherston scooted to third on Johnny Giovatella’s single. Conor Gillaspie hit a chopper to Jose Abreu and instead of throwing home, Abreu stepped on first and then tried to throw out Giovatella. But Giovatella got into a rundown long enough for Featherston to score and eventually was ruled safe at second because of obstruction on Alexei Ramirez -- even though replays showed no contact on the play.

“Things just didn’t work out,” Robertson said. “But that happens in baseball, mistakes like that happen on the field. But other thanthat I was really frustrated with how that ninth inning went. I don’t think it’s fair for (Scioscia) to be able to come out and do that. It’s not what this review system is about. Once they’ve reviewed it and it’s called out, it should be an out. There’s no reason for him to come back out and make any comments about it.”

In stellar return from injured list, only Yoan Moncada's pride hurt in embarrassing tumble

In stellar return from injured list, only Yoan Moncada's pride hurt in embarrassing tumble

On the day he returned from a weeks-long stay on the injured list with a hamstring strain, the sight of Yoan Moncada face-planting coming out of the batter's box was enough to make an entire fan base hold its breath.

Fans weren't alone, either. Asked if his heart skipped a beat when Moncada hit the ground in the seventh-inning, manager Rick Renteria went a step further.

"Two beats," he laughed.

Moncada was fine, it turned out, hurting nothing but his pride on that embarrassing tumble. The longest lasting effect will be the continued ribbing from his teammates. Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez wouldn't let him hear the end of it before, during or after the third baseman's postgame meeting with the media.

"They've been all over me about that," Moncada said through team interpreter Billy Russo. "They say I have weak legs and I need to more work in the gym.

"Everything's good. I have a scratch on my knee, but it's OK."

Other than that on-field folly, Moncada was stellar in his first game back from the IL. He blasted a homer into The Goose Island in his second trip to the plate, a two-run shot that kind of busted things open in what was a dominant 6-1 victory over the visiting Texas Rangers. He added a double in his third at-bat.

Moncada's 2019 slash line is up to .303/.359/.545 after picking up those two extra-base knocks Thursday night, continuing a breakout season that's seen him go from 217 strikeouts in 2018 to the White Sox best hitter a year later.

The 2019 season is about the development of the young, core guys much more than it is about the win-loss record at the end of the year. Moncada is one of those young, core guys, and his big season has been one of the things that has fans and onlookers thinking about 2020 as the year that could see the White Sox move from rebuilding mode to contention mode.

Moncada and the rest of these young White Sox have a handful of weeks remaining in the 2019 to create some momentum for 2020. While offseason additions, the return of a healthy Michael Kopech and the eventual arrivals of top-ranked prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal will have plenty to do with changing the landscape over the coming months, Moncada and Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez and James McCann and Jose Abreu and Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease can move the ball closer to the goal, to borrow a sports metaphor from a different sport, with their efforts over the next month and change.

For Moncada, the easiest way to do that is to simply stay on the field.

"I think our goal right now is just to stay healthy and play as free as we can," he said before Thursday's game. "Just try to do the things we know we can do and just take advantage of being healthy and being on the field.

"I think we're going to have a strong finish to the season and hopefully we're going to carry that to next season."

Fans know that importance, too, still waiting for the young trio of Moncada, Anderson and Jimenez to all play together in a full game for the first time since late June. That was supposed to happen Thursday, before Jimenez was scratched from the lineup with some mild hip soreness that neither general manager Rick Hahn nor Renteria seemed too concerned about.

But that heightened alertness for the health of these young, core players caused that brief second of panic when Moncada hit the dirt Thursday night.

Thankfully for the White Sox, Dr. Renteria got to the bottom of things rather quickly.

"It looked awkward, but you could tell he stumbled out of the box," Renteria said. "He was staying down there for a little bit. That’s when I started getting concerned.

"But when I go out there, he gets up right away. I said, 'You are little embarrassed right now, aren’t you?' He said, ‘No, it’s my knee.’

"I said, ‘You are embarrassed.' And he started smiling. That’s all it was. He was fine."

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Behind the scenes with Lucas Giolito

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Behind the scenes with Lucas Giolito

Fresh off his complete game shutout against the Twins, Lucas Giolito goes in-depth with Chuck Garfien about his impressive victory and all that went on behind the scenes.

-What it was like striking out White Sox killer Nelson Cruz to end the game (7:30)

-How he beat a Twins team that's trying to hit a home run almost every time they come to the plate (10:00)

-What it will mean to get 200 strikeouts this season (11:10)

-What's different about the baseball (14:40)

-How he's helped Evan Marshall get in touch with actor Jason Segel (16:10)

-Making it a priority to beat the Twins to win a series against them (17:40)

-What he's doing mentally before each game that's different this year (18:30) and more.

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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