White Sox

Matt Davidson produced the most fun thing from an ugly White Sox loss


Matt Davidson produced the most fun thing from an ugly White Sox loss

Matt Davidson was supposed to have an off night Friday and he didn't bat, but he still managed to be the most fun part of the White Sox loss at Texas.

With the White Sox getting pummeled, Davidson came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning. Not only did he have a 1-2-3 inning, but he did so in style.

After a first-pitch ball, Davidson got Ryan Rua to pop up to shallow right on the second pitch. Cool, good start by the position player. Not bad, Matt. Way to not get totally embarrassed out there.

But that wasn't enough. Davidson battled with Carlos Tocci for a six-pitch at-bat before Tocci hammered a ball back at Davidson. This is where Davidson's third base instincts kicked in.

Davidson caught the liner, which was off to Davidson's right. He had to reach across his body to snag it with his glove. A legit web gem. Not bad for a guy who has been used mostly as a designated hitter this year.

That was the best highlight, but Davidson had to prove he was more than just a good-fielding pitcher. It was time to bring out the nasty stuff.

Next up was Rougned Odor, who combined to hit 63 home runs in 2016 and 2017. He can hit major league pitches a long way, but has he faced anything like Matt Davidson's offspeed stuff?

It sure didn't look like it. Davidson got Odor to whiff on a 79 mph offspeed pitch and then a 72 mph offspeed pitch. The insanity meter for this at-bat went up a notch when Davidson brought out the heat for the 0-2 pitch. He threw what MLB.com's pitch-by-pitch called a 91.9 mph fastball. It was way out of the zone, but Davidson was just setting Odor up.

After Odor fouled off another curve, Davidson got Odor on the next one. Three swinging strikes.

In one of the more horrifying stats of the night, Davidson had more strikeouts than starting pitcher Dylan Covey, who didn't get any strikeouts in a third straight rough start. Davidson had three swinging strikes in 13 pitches. That's as many as actual reliever Juan Minaya had in 16 pitches, more than Chris Volstad had in 58 pitches and one shy of Covey in 74 pitches.

After the game, Davidson talked about the experience, saying it was "a dream come true," courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times reporter Daryl Van Schouwen.

NBC Sports Chicago's Chris Kamka compiled a list of position player to pitch for the White Sox since 1990:

6/29/2018 Matt Davidson

9/7/2017 Rob Brantly

6/8/2016 J.B. Shuck

9/15/2015 Leury García & Alexei Ramírez

7/31/2015 Adam LaRoche

8/5/2014 Adam Dunn

4/16/2014 Leury García

6/28/2013 Casper Wells (Game 1 of a doubleheader)

9/4/2012 DeWayne Wise

8/4/1995 Dave Martinez

6/16/1990 Steve Lyons

Tim Anderson calls out MLB commish Rob Manfred with 2020 season up in the air

Tim Anderson calls out MLB commish Rob Manfred with 2020 season up in the air

Will there be baseball in 2020? It's a question that's still without an answer.

And folks are getting restless.

As mad as baseball fans might be over hearing the latest from the negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players' union, the guys sitting at home waiting to hear when they'll go back to work are irritated, too.

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson vented Wednesday, following word that the league had rejected the players' latest proposal for a shortened season, taking aim at commissioner Rob Manfred on Twitter.

RELATED: MLB rejects players' 114-game proposal, making 50-game season look possible

As team owners continue to insist they'd be unable to pay players the full prorated salaries they agreed to in March, the players are adamant they haven't yet seen enough economic proof of that claim to warrant agreeing to another pay cut.

In the absence of an agreement with the players' union, the league could take the step of implementing a season of roughly 50 games, preventing players from earning more money on a per-game basis and robbing fans of a whole lot of baseball.

Even with some players expressing concerns over playing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many have stated how eager they are to get back to work.

While simultaneously saying that it's been tough to think about baseball during the nationwide protests over the police killings of Black people in the wake of George Floyd's murder in Minnesota, Anderson said Monday that he is itching to get back on the field.

"I think this problem is bigger than baseball at the moment," he said. "But can’t wait to get back out there when the time is right."

We'll have to wait and see if and when he'll have that chance.

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MLB rejects players' 114-game proposal, making 50-game season look possible

MLB rejects players' 114-game proposal, making 50-game season look possible

That 114-game season that the players’ union wanted?

Yeah, that’s not happening.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Major League Baseball rejected the union’s proposal for a 114-game schedule during which they would receive the full prorated salaries they agreed to in March.

Rosenthal also reported that the league does not plan to make a counter proposal, potentially lining things up for the 50-game season that was reported on earlier this week.

That same March agreement gave the league the authority to set a schedule for the 2020 season, a route the league could take if it cannot come to an agreement with the players.

And so the options for a shortened 2020 season, as presented by the owners, seem to be down to two, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman: an approximately 50-game season in which players receive their full prorated salaries, or an 82-game season in which players take another big pay cut, one the league has proposed will most dramatically impact its highest paid stars.

There might also be a third option, though it's not one any baseball fan wants to hear about.

RELATED: MLB could shrink season to 50 games if no deal reached with players

Team owners claim that the more games that are played without paying customers in the stands, the more money they lose, making it more difficult to pay the players the salaries they agreed to.

The players argue they haven’t seen sufficient reason to take another big pay cut and insist the owners, by refusing to open their books, have not shared enough proof of the losses they are forecasting.

It’s obvious that a season played without ticket sales and all the other sales that come from filling up stadiums with tens of thousands of people every day for six months would see a dramatic decline in revenue. But lucrative TV contracts would still mean revenue — and perhaps a lot of it, even if it pales in comparison to the record $10.7 billion Forbes reported the league took in last year.

The owners don't seem to think it would be anywhere close to enough to pay the players their full prorated salaries, though. They seem to have settled on the message that there is a certain amount of money they're capable of paying the players, and that if the players want it as part of full prorated salaries, they'll get it in only about 50 games, but if they want it over the course of 82 games, then it won't be a part of full prorated salaries.

While there are some health-related benefits to scattering 50 games over the course of three months, both pertaining to regular baseball stuff and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a 50-game schedule would rob fans of an awful lot of baseball. It could be argued that setting a playoff field — expected to expand from 10 teams to 14 — based off 50 games is an illegitimate way to crown a champion. It could be argued that the sprint of a shortened season would be a fascinating change of pace from baseball's typical marathon, which earns criticism for being, at times, glacially paced.

But the loss of roughly 110 games would be nothing compared to the loss of an entire season.

Any understanding over a season impeded by the coronavirus — not an impossibility, considering just one day after beginning exhibition play in Japan, two players tested positive — would be severely contrasted by the lack of sympathy stemming from a failed money fight.

So is it a league-mandated 50 games? A different, negotiated number of games? Or zero games?

Time will tell. But time is also of the essence if baseball wants to wrap up the postseason by the fall.


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