MLB News: Mets Accuse Braves of Cheating, Angels, Ackley's Debut

| by

Foul Play or Fair Game?

Jose Reyes slipped three times and fell twice running the bases in 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, prompting the New York Mets to contact the league, accusing the Atlanta Braves of intentionally saturating the infield dirt to slow down the Mets speedster. Yesterday, Reyes switched to a different pair of cleats. Jose is one of the few players in the league that wears plastic cleats, something he has done since he had an injury scare catching his metal spikes in the ground early on in his career.

Publicly the Mets are not making a big deal about it. “That’s just part of the game,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We all know that a lot of times you alter your field to benefit your own team. That’s no big deal.” Privately however, the Mets notified MLB of their concern that the Braves intentionally tried to slow Reyes down. 

On Wednesday night the Mets beat the Braves 4-0, reaching .500 for the first time since May 20th as rookie Dillon Gee and three relievers combined on a two hit shutout. Much of Wednesday’s pregame conversation revolved around Turner Field’s infield dirt. While Reyes changed his cleats for Wednesday’s game, there were no further accusations of trickery. In fact there was nothing the grounds crew could have been accused of for this game as they spent most of the evening attempting to dry the field.  A massive thunderstorm moved over downtown Atlanta shortly after 7 p.m. ET, causing a one-hour, 22-minute rain delay to start the game and another one-hour, 11 minute minute rain delay during the game as Mets and Braves played a 2:27 baseball game with 2:33 of rain delays.

Let’s be clear, while I am a Mets fan, objectively speaking there in fact was no foul play involved. “Nothing to see here move along, nothing to see.” Teams routinely customize their home field’s dirt / grass to enhance the strengths of their team and thwart the players on the opposition. It’s called home field advantage.

Angels Release Scott Kazmir

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (god I hate saying that) have released lefthander Scott Kazmir, closing the door on one of the worst trades in franchise history.

In 2009 the Angels traded away two minor leaguers, left-hander Alex Torres and infielder Matt Sweeney and second baseman Sean Rodriguez. At this point, it’s not the players that they gave away that makes it an awful trade, it’s the cost of $22.5 million for nothing! Kazmir went 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA in 28 starts for the Angels in 2010, when he made $8 million, and he made only one start for the Angels this season, giving up five runs and five hits, walking two and hitting two batters, in 1 2/3 innings against Kansas City on April 3.

The Angels / Kazmir trade gone wrong is sort of an ironic twist. In 2004 when Kazmir was a stud prospect he was involved on the other side of an awful trade as the New York Mets traded him away to the Tampa Bay Rays for Victor Zambrano. In that trade the Mets also received pitcher Bartolome Fortunato from the Rays and the Mets sent Tampa Bay pitcher Jose Diaz. Neither of the other players involved ever amounted to anything.

Dustin Ackley to Make MLB Debut on Friday

The much-anticipated Major League debut of super prospect Dustin Ackley will come on Friday, as the Seattle Mariners will add the 2009 first-round draft choice to the roster on Thursday. Ackley, the second overall pick in the ’09 Draft, is expected to step in immediately at second base for a Mariners squad that is 35-34 despite ranking last in the American League in batting average and scoring.

The 23-year old Ackley was hitting .303 with 57 runs scored, nine home runs and 35 RBIs with Triple-A Tacoma. In a trait not often seen by youngsters, Ackley has shown veteran patience and discipline in the minor league walking 55 times in 66 games this year with a .421 on-base percentage.

Adam Kennedy who leads the Mariners with a .275 batting average, had been getting the bulk of the playing time at second base and was seen taking ground balls at third before yesterday’s game. Fantasy Baseball participants, the bidding for Dustin Ackley is now open….

Joe Mauer’s Return Set For Friday

Random Musings

It’s good to be the King, but it may be even better to be one of his “subjects”. Our Scott Engel of is known as “The King” on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. Faithful listener Brett Cassidy says he won his Fantasy Football league last season through Scott’s tips, and saluted him by ordering this specialized league trophy with the “It’s Good to be the King” inscription. Listen to Scott and co-host Adam Ronis weekday mornings on XM 87, Sirius 210 from 7 to 11 am ET and become one of The King’s subjects too.

More MLB