Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Cubs prospect Jorge Soler threatens opposing team with bat
|04.11.13 at 8:03 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Indians, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Islanders at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN Plus)
NHL: Penguins at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Yale vs. UMass-Lowell, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Frozen Four, St. Cloud v. Quinnipiac, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Knicks at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Thunder at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Wednesday was an interesting day for the Cubs franchise. In Daytona Beach, Fla., highly touted prospect Jorge Soler, an outfielder for the Class-A Daytona Cubs, was ejected from Wednesday’s game after racing toward the Clearwater Threshers dugout with a bat in hand following a confrontation on the field.
Soler, a 21-year-old who defected from Cuba last year and signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs, exchanged words with Threshers second baseman Carlos Alonzo after a collision at second on the final play of the seventh inning. Players from both sides separated the two before Soler grabbed a bat and ran toward the opposing dugout. He was stopped by teammates.
“I think that he was frustrated by some things and there was some emotional things he was fighting with,” Daytona manager Dave Keller told the Daytona Beach News Journal after his team squandered a two-run lead at the time of the incident and lost 14-9 in 11 innings. “Why he did that, I don’t know. I think he was frustrated by what happened. When he slid into second base, [Alonso] ended up laying on top of him. He was laying on him so [Soler] pushed with his arm to get him off him, and I think the second baseman interpreted that the wrong way like he wanted to fight or something.”
Added Keller: “There were two separate incidents, and there was really no fight. But because nobody was around him when he was running across the field with a bat … that makes things a little bit crazy.”
♦ In other Cubs news, police in Chicago are investigating after a severed goat’s head was delivered to Wrigley Field on Wednesday, in a package addressed to team owner Tom Ricketts.
A man drove up to the park’s security gate and left the package with a guard, asking him to give it to Ricketts and then driving away. The package, which was not accompanied by a note, was given instead to the city’s animal control department after police were contacted.
While the intention of this fan in unclear, legend has it that in 1945 a man placed a curse on the team after he was denied entrance into a World Series game that year because he had a billy goat with him.
There has been speculation that Wednesday’s incident is related to contentious negotiations between the team and the city regarding proposed changes to the stadium that could have a negative effect on neighbors.
♦ There has been a movement to get college athletes paid, but Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops said Wednesday they already are compensated plenty.
“You know what school would cost here for non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else,” Stoops said. “That’s a lot of money. Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10-15 years with student loans. You get room and board, and we’ll give you the best nutritionist, the best strength coach to develop you, the best tutors to help you academically, and coaches to teach you and help you develop. How much do you think it would cost to hire a personal trainer and tutor for 4-5 years?
“I don’t get why people say these guys don’t get paid. It’s simple, they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely.”
Added Stoops: “A lot of our guys wouldn’t be here if they were like every other student. I hear what they’re being fed on the outside. Sometimes we have to feed them some perspective.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 11, 1998, which Red Sox pitcher — in his first season in Boston — recorded his 1,000th career strikeout?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We know that part of the reason it’s over is because we failed last year. So we take that on us and take responsibility for that. … Hopefully we’ll start a new one. I know the work that needed to be done to start a new one has started. It ends tonight and it was a great run.” – Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, on the team’s 794-game regular-season sellout streak that ended Wednesday night
STAT OF THE DAY: 17-2-1 – The Bruins’ record when scoring first, including Wednesday night’s 5-4 victory over the Devils
‘NET RESULTS: Lakers star Kobe Bryant tells Showtime’s Jim Rome he would have “smacked the hell out of” Mike Rice if the former Rutgers coach would have been Bryant’s coach.
Dude Perfect’s Final Four Edition features a basket made from the top of a Ferris wheel.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Pedro Martinez, who was making his Fenway Park debut as a member of the Red Sox after being acquired from the Expos
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Joss Stone was born on this day in 1975.
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