HOUSTON – No offense meant none taken.
At least, that’s the public line from the clubs.
As Astros manager A.J. Hinch put it: “It’s all in good fun.”
Monday, an off day in the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Astros, brought about a social media hubbub, if one can even call it that.
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman posted a video on his Instagram account of George Springer, Bregman and Jose Altuve hitting back-to-back-to-back homers against Boston’s Game 3 starter, Nathan Eovaldi, on June 20 when the righthander was with the Rays.
The caption: “lil pregame video work.”
It brought to mind Aaron Judge walking past the Red Sox home clubhouse playing “New York, New York” on a speaker after the Yankees took Game 2 of the Division Series at Fenway Park. Though the Red Sox said they weren’t bothered by it, after winning Game 4 of the series at the Stadium, they blasted the song at one point during their clubhouse celebration.
Eovaldi, who allowed one run and struck out five over seven terrific innings against the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS, beyond saying “the guys told me about it,” shrugged it off.
“I still have a job to do,” Eovaldi said. “I can't have any distractions.”
With the best-of-seven series tied at one game apiece, the Astros did not work out Monday, so Bregman was not at Minute Maid Park.
When asked about the “trolling,” Hinch smiled and said, “That's the first question I've ever had in my career that had the word ‘trolling’ in it.”
Bregman, of course, is among the biggest personalities in an Astros clubhouse full of them, something Hinch encourages.
“We have a sport full of great personalities and there's a fine line,” Hinch said. “Is it disrespectful? No. If it crosses a line, if you have to question whether it crosses the line, it probably does. And so I don't look any further into that. We want guys to have their personalities, have their fun. Then go out and back it up. If you're going to put yourself out there you've got to back it up a little bit. But this is all in fun banter and competition. And we're playing a baseball game against a really good team in front of millions and millions of people. Let your personality shine a little bit.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora at first joked about it.
“We don't know about that,” he said. “We didn't know about Judge, and we didn't know about what Alex did.”
He added later: “People are paying attention, you know? Like the Judge thing was in every sports show, which is cool, I think. We need more people to talk about the game.
Sale released from hospital
hris Sale, Boston’s Game 1 starter who was hospitalized Sunday with a stomach illness, was released Monday and will rejoin the team Tuesday, Cora said. The manager said it was too soon to say when Sale will pitch again in the series.
“We'll see how he feels physically, and then after that we'll decide what we're going to do," Cora said.