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Links: The World Series is fun!

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Game 2 started out as expected, but then things got hairy.

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World Series - Washington Nationals v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After a rather tumultuous past two days, it is time to get back to the levity that sports can often bring into our lives. There were plenty of high points during Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series, from the hilarity of Justin Verlander’s defensive boner to Kurt Suzuki’s list of firsts with his go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh inning. Add an appearance from a very old friend, and you have a recipe for fun.

LOL JV

Justin Verlander has an impressive pedigree when it comes to playoff performances, but the World Series have not historically been kind to him. His very first appearance back in 2006 was marred by some Benny Hill-level defensive blunders, and from what was seen on Wednesday night, some things never change.

In the top of the fourth inning, Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit a little nubber to Verlander’s right, which he attempted to field in a less than acrobatic fashion. As they say, the rest is history.

As a result, the meme monkeys of social media got to work and blew up the baseball internet with various jokes and images making light of JV’s blunder. It also gave Yu Darvish a chance at a little bit of payback for one of his previous mistakes that Verlander mocked him for.

To be fair, Justin, neither did you.

Kurt Suzuki and his list of firsts

Kurt Suzuki’s go-ahead home run began a massive hemorrhage that resulted in the lopsided final score. The dinger also had several more World Series distinctions, beginning with the first by a catcher in the seventh inning or later since Game 2 back in 1981.

It was also the first go-ahead home run in the World Series since 2012 when Buster Posey did it against the Tigers.

The round-tripper is also the first in the World Series by a Hawaiian-born player, a subtle nod to recently deceased Tigers farmhand catcher Chace Numata, who was also born in the island state.

But wait, there’s more!

The oldest friend alert

Fernando Rodney is currently the oldest player in Major League Baseball — and the last player who is older than your humble author remaining — so when he started warming up to pitch in Game 2, the excitement began to build. His appearance ended up being quite a historic one: he has now pitched in the World Baseball Classic, an American and National League All-Star Game, an American and National League Wildcard Game, an American and National League Divisional Series, an American and National League Championship Series, and for both the American and National Leagues in the World Series.

... and also

Two more managers sign

As the game of manager musical chairs continues, two more skippers have found a seat when the music stopped. First off, the Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly hired veteran Joe Girardi to replace Gabe Kapler. Girardi has one World Series ring with the Yankees in 2009 and offers to bring a great deal of stability to the managerial position.

The other news is that 70-grade named Jayce Tingler has been tapped to take over for the San Diego Padres. While Tingler has no managerial experience, he served as the Texas Rangers’ field coordinator in 2019 after spending time in their front office, including two years as an assistant general manager. Current Padres GM A.J. Preller is familiar with Tingler, as he was the assistant GM during part of his tenure back in Texas.

Tigers outright four to Toledo

The Tigers have outrighted four players to Toledo: RHP Zac Reininger, RHP Eduardo Jimenez, LHP Nick Ramirez and 1B Dustin Peterson. Because none of the players have been outrighted previously, they have to accept the assignment after passing through waivers. However, all four could be eligible to become minor league free agents five days after the final game of the World Series, having accumulated MiLB service time of six years or more.

Base hits

  • Tigers place Blaine Hardy on outright waivers, per report. Assuming he clears waivers, Hardy will become a free agent.
  • 2019 Tigers Review: Niko Goodrum was the Tigers’ most consistent player. He was no star, but Goodrum turned in another solid season in his second year with Detroit.
  • 2019 Tigers Review: Gregory Soto made his debut, but it could have gone better. It was a tough rookie year for the lefty.
  • 2019 Tigers Review: Victor Reyes showed some modest improvements. He did enough for a return ticket in 2020, but he’s still a long way from being a major league starter.
  • 2019 Tigers Review: Grayson Greiner let opportunity slip through his fingers. Gifted the starting job in 2019, he did little to convince anyone he has a long-term role to play in the major leagues.

Baseball is awesome: one more look