An 8th grade social studies assignment is pulled after criticism from a police group and Texas governor
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the National Fraternal Order of Police are denouncing a social studies assignment that included political cartoons depicting the treatment of Black people in American history. © George Frey/Getty Images A social studies assignment led to controversy at a school district near Dallas, Texas. One cartoon, which was used at Cooper Junior High School in Wylie, Texas, in mid-August, sparked outrage on social media, with critics saying it compared police to the Ku Klux Klan.
The Rockies are designating reliever Wade Davis for assignment, per Nick Groke of the Athletic (via Twitter). This brings to end a three-year tenure in Denver that never really got off the ground. © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Wade Davis has been DFA'd.
Davis entered free agency on the heels of a four-year run as one of the sport’s most dominant late-inning arms. Between 2014-17, Davis combined for 241.1 innings of 1.45 ERA/2.23 FIP ball for the Royals and Cubs. He was a vital piece of World Series winners in Kansas City in 2015 and Chicago in 2017.
Betts, Dodgers set season high for runs, rout Rox 15-6
DENVER (AP) For his prodigious power, the 5-foot-9 Mookie Betts credits listening to his parents in the backyard. ''When I was a kid, 4 or 5 years old, mom and dad would always tell me hit it over their head,'' Betts explained.He's been doing that to everyone ever since.Betts hit his NL-leading 16th homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers set a season high for runs in their 15-6 romp past the Colorado Rockies on Friday night to move closer to clinching their eighth straight NL West title.
The Rockies surely envisioned much of the same when they embarked on a bullpen-focused spending spree in the 2017-18 offseason. Colorado brought in Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee on three-year, $27M deals before finishing with a flourish, inking Davis to a $52M guarantee over the same term.
There were some warning signs the 32-year-old Davis wasn’t going to be able to sustain that level of elite production. His walk rate spiked to a lofty 11.6% rate in his platform season, while his 94.4MPH fastball that year was down a tick from his unhittable peak with the Royals.
That said, it would’ve been impossible to predict Davis’ career going off the rails the way it has since. His first season as a Rockie was actually solid, as he managed a 4.13 ERA in 65.1 innings. That was a far cry from his peak, although it was still solidly better than average when adjusting for the hitter-friendly context of Coors Field.
A's designate righty Daniel Mengden for assignment
Mengden’s skillset would seemingly make him a useful bullpen piece for the A’s during the playoffs, making the DFA placement a bit of a surprise. But, with a relief corps that is arguably already the best in baseball, the Athletics simply might have decided that they didn’t have room for Mengden. Opening up a roster spot could also hint at a future move to come in the season’s final days.Mengden has a 4.64 ERA, 2.20 K/BB rate, and 6.7 K/9 over 302 2/3 career innings (starting 48 of 60 games), all with the A’s since making his major league debut in 2016.
Last season, though, proved to be an unmitigated disaster. Davis pitched to an 8.65 ERA in 42.2 innings with a massive spike in walk rate (to 14.1%) and a precipitous drop in strikeout rate (to 20.4%). His attempt at a 2020 bounceback never really got off the ground. He only got into five games, with a shoulder strain knocking him out of action for more than a month. Davis’ fate was sealed after he got tagged for four runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning in Friday’s game against the Dodgers.
Davis will surely clear waivers, since any claiming team would be on the hook for the remainder of his contract. It’s possible he tries to latch on with another club for the season’s final week, but he’d been ineligible for another team’s postseason roster at this point. To that end, Davis will probably turn his attention to 2021. After back-to-back lost seasons, the 35-year-old may have to settle for minor-league opportunities this offseason.
Rockies place Nolan Arenado on injured list
The Rockies announced that they’ve placed third baseman Nolan Arenado on the 10-day injured list with left AC joint inflammation and a left shoulder bone bruise. This will end the 2020 campaign for Arenado, a five-time All-Star who posted the worst numbers of his career this year. In fairness to Arenado, he only played 48 games and accrued 201 plate appearances, but no one expected the big-hitting 29-year-old to slash .253/.303/.434 – way down from the .295/.351/.546 line he owned entering the season.
Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸
- Rockies' Jon Gray likely done for season due to shoulder inflammation
- Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire retires
- The 'Strikeout to end the World Series' quiz
Related slideshow: The best-hitting pitchers of all time (Provided by Yardbarker)
The best-hitting pitchers of all time
The designated hitter is now being used by both leagues. Most insiders think that the DH is now here to stay in the National League, so with hitting pitchers about to go the way of the dinosaur, it's worth taking a look at those hurlers who raked (relatively speaking).
Backe played eight seasons, from 2002-2009, and most of them were undistinguished, posting a 31-29 career record, with a mediocre 5.23 ERA. However, as a hitter with the Astros — they were still in the National League during his stint — he showed some serious potential. He had four home runs in 133 career at-bats, but power wasn’t the most impressive part of his game; Backe was an overall solid hitter. He finished his career with a .256 average and a .731 OPS.
George Brett’s older brother was a pretty fair player in his own right, posting a career 3.93 ERA in 14 seasons. Given his family history, it’s unsurprising that there was some thunder in his bat. Brett’s two best years as a hitter came in 1973 and 1974, when he combined to hit .281 with six home runs in 167 at-bats, and post a .766 OPS. When accounting for the offensive environment of that era, Brett was, amazingly enough, an above-average hitter relative to his non-pitching peers.
Bullet Joe Bush
Bush possessed both an all-time great nickname and some serious chops as a hitter. His career straddled the end of the Dead-ball era, and the beginning of the Live-ball era. When Bush got significant plate appearances in 1921 and 1922, he proved that not only was he not a pushover, but he also was a tough out. Bush hit .325 in 1921 and .326 the following season and then topped both of those years by hitting .339 in 1924. For his career, he finished with a .253 average and seven home runs.
As far as hitting pitchers go, Drysdale is a legend. He hit 29 home runs in 1,169 career at-bats, but what is particularly amazing about his work as a hitter is that the majority of his production came in two flukish, outlier seasons. As a 21-year-old in 1958, Drysdale hit an astounding seven home runs in just 66 at-bats, good for a .591 slugging percentage and an .852 OPS. Seven years later, at age 28, he hit .300 in 130 at-bats, cracked seven more home runs and had an .839 OPS. Oh, and he won a Cy Young and is in the Hall of Fame. Not bad, not bad at all.
Here’s a pretty good synopsis of Ferrell’s talents as a hitter: His 38 career home runs are the all-time record for a pitcher, he was so good as a hitter that he was often used in a pinch-hitting capacity, and he had two seasons with an OPS better than .950, not to mention two more above .800. Ferrell might have been playing in the 1930s, but those numbers are impressive in any era. He wasn’t too shabby as a pitcher, either, winning 193 games in a 15-year career.
Gallardo had an impressive early start to his career, finishing seventh in the National League Cy Young race in 2010, but his talents weren’t limited to the mound. That same season, he slugged four home runs and finished with an .837 OPS while also managing to hit .254. That was by far his best offensive season. A move to the American League in 2015 finished him as a hitter, but he made the bottom of the Brewers lineup formidable every time he pitched.
A Hall of Famer, and one of the best, most intimidating pitchers in baseball history, Gibson was also no slouch when it came to hitting. He managed to stay above the Mendoza Line for his career, finishing with a .206 average, and he also hit 24 home runs. What was most impressive about his hitting prowess was that he did it while having to deal with headhunting opposing pitchers unhappy about his aggressive inside pitching.
A Hall of Famer and member of the 300-win club, Glavine was always a great natural athlete; good enough to get drafted in the NHL and MLB. He made the right choice when he went with baseball, and his natural athletic talents allowed him to shine at the plate. Glavine had virtually no power, but he was an outstanding bunter, leading the league in sacrifices in 2001 and finishing with 216 for his career. He also managed to hit above .200 in nine of 22 seasons.
A two-time All-Star and 22-game winner in 1999, Hampton’s career was derailed late by injuries, but for a time he was one of baseball’s better starters and possibly its best hitting pitcher. Hampton swatted seven home runs in 2001 and finished the season with a .291 average and an .891 OPS. He hit .300 or better in four separate seasons, though some were small sample sizes, even for a pitcher. Still, Hampton more than earned his reputation as one of the most dangerous hitting pitchers in the league.
Harshman dabbled as a first baseman before switching over to pitcher full time in his mid-20s, and he finished his career with a 69-65 mark and a 3.50 ERA. His work as a hitter was impressive, as he hit 18 home runs in a five-season stretch from 1954-1958. Harshman never hit for great average, as he finished with a .179 career mark, but he took a surprising number of walks, was tough to strike out and had legitimate pop in his bat.
One of the game’s all-time best pitchers, The Big Train was also a fearsome hitter in his day. Johnson won 417 games for Washington, six times leading the league in wins. Johnson hit 24 home runs in a 21-year career and was a .235 career hitter. He was a model of consistency, rarely seeing his average dip below .200 for an entire season, putting up solid numbers. His best season as a hitter came at age 36 when he managed a .433 average and a 1.033 OPS in 97 at-bats.
Larsen is most famous for throwing what remains the only perfect game in postseason history in the 1956 World Series, when he blanked the Brooklyn Dodgers while a member of the Yankees. Larsen could also hit, finishing his career with 14 home runs, a .242 average and a tremendous 1958 campaign, when he hit four home runs and finished with a .935 OPS in just 49 at-bats.
Look at that picture and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Michael Lorenzen got lost on his way to the gym and ended up a member of a Major League Baseball team. The Reds reliever is coming off his best season as a pro, with a 2.92 ERA in 73 appearances, but he’s truly noteworthy because he cuts a physically imposing profile and can also hit the daylights out of the ball. Never was this more evident than in 2018 when Lorenzen hit .290 with four home runs in just 31 at-bats, good for a 1.043 OPS.
Newcombe pulled off a rare MVP-Cy Young sweep with his 27-7 campaign in 1956. In his 10-year career, he won 149 games, the 1949 Rookie of the Year Award and a World Series. Newcombe was also a dangerous hitter. His 1955 season is one of the best you’ll ever see from a pitcher at the plate (non-Babe Ruth category). That year, Newcombe hit .359 in 117 at-bats, with seven home runs, 23 RBI and a 1.028 OPS. He never came all that close to any of those numbers again, but that level of sustained brilliance deserves recognition, as does his excellent career .271 average.
Nuxhall is notable for the fact that he made his MLB debut at age 15, but he carved out a solid career, winning 135 games with a career 3.90 ERA. While he only hit .198 in his 16 seasons, he did have some consistent pop in his bat, with 15 career home runs. Early on he was particularly fearsome, piling up 11 home runs from 1953-1956. He was particularly great in 1953, finishing the year with a .327 average and a .928 OPS.
Owings the pitcher? Nothing to see here. He had a 32-33 record and a 4.86 ERA in a career that spanned six seasons. Ho-hum. Owings the hitter? That was an altogether different story. He burst onto the scenes as a rookie, hitting four home runs in just 60 at-bats and posting a .333 average for the year, not to mention a 1.033 OPS. He followed that up by hitting .304 the following year and then added three more home runs to his total the year after that. Owings hit nine home runs in the majors, and ended his career with a .283 average and an .813 OPS, the latter figure the best all time for a pitcher.
Pappas won 209 games during a 17-year career, and by some measures he doesn’t deserve to be called a great hitting pitcher. He finished his career with a paltry .354 OPS and hit just .123 as a pro. Still, he did manage to clobber 20 home runs, and while I never saw him hit, one gets the sense that he stepped into the batter’s box with one plan: Swing as hard as possible and hope for the best. Nothing but respect for that approach.
Peters won 124 games in a 14-year career and finished with a solid 3.25 ERA. He also made his mark as a hitter. His best season was his rookie campaign in 1963 with the White Sox, one that saw him win Rookie of the Year. That season, Peters hit .259 with three home runs. He would remain a consistent power threat throughout the rest of his career, finishing up with 19 home runs and a .222 average.
Three All-Star selections, the 1935 World Series with Detroit and a terrific nickname; Rowe had it all. He was also a good hitter. In 15 seasons, Rowe clobbered 18 home runs, hit .263, and had an OPS of .710. He hit .300 or better on three separate occasions and failed to hit .200 for a season just four times in those 15 years. And it bears repeating: He went by “Schoolboy.”
Pretty sure you know about this guy. As a pitcher, you might be interested to learn that he went 94-46 in his career with a 2.28 ERA and won the ERA title in 1916, at 1.75. Next!
Spahn won 363 games in a 21-year career, took home the National League Cy Young Award in 1957, was a 17-time All-Star and won a World Series in 1957. He also has the second-most home runs of any pitcher in history, with 35. Spahn was a model of consistency, never hitting more than four round-trippers in a single season but typically knocking a few out of the yard. Aside from a 1958 season that saw him hit .333, Spahn was not a particularly great hitter, but his power more than made up for that.
A guy who went by “Sloppy” doesn’t really need much else added to his story, but Thurston was a good hitting pitcher in the 1920s and 1930s. He finished his nine-year career with a .270 average and hit over .300 four separate times in his career. He never showed much power, with only five home runs, but he was a triples machine, with 10 to his credit.
Tobin had a losing record for his career despite a 3.44 career ERA. He led the league in losses in 1942 but did earn some small measure of revenge, hitting six home runs that season on the way to 17 for his career. Tobin’s career numbers would have looked poor for a position player, but his .230 average and .648 OPS were more than respectable for a pitcher, even in an era where solid hitting from that position was slightly more common.
The longtime Tigers hurler won 170 games in a 15-year career, posting impressive numbers in the process, including an ERA title in 1944. That wasn’t his only significant achievement that season; Trout also hit five home runs, a career best, and batted .271. Trout ended up with 20 home runs for his career and managed to hit better than .200, finishing his time in the majors with a .213 average.
Willis took the league by storm with his Rookie of the Year-winning performance in 2003, going 14-6 and helping lead the Marlins to a World Series in his age-21 season. He went on to lead the National League in wins in 2005, going 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA. Willis was known for his infectious energy and funky windup, but only the first quality applied to his hitting, which was quite traditional and quite dangerous. Willis had just nine home runs for his career, but he hit .244 overall and managed a .286 mark in 2007, with an .856 OPS to boot. Willis’ career might have been short, but he made his mark on the mound and in the batter’s box.
Wilson led the league with 22 wins for the Tigers in 1967, and while he was an above-average pitcher for the duration of his 11-year career, he was nearly as well-known for his prodigious power. Wilson hit 35 home runs in all, including 18 in a three-season stretch from 1964-1966 and was a classic feast-or-famine hitter. He managed just a .195 average overall, but the threat of his power forced opposing pitchers to deal carefully with them, and he still made them pay.
Zambrano was one of the league’s fieriest players over the course of his 12-year career, the kind of player worth the price of admission whether you were cheering for him or not. He led the league with 16 wins for the Cubs in 2006, but his prowess wasn’t limited to the mound. Zambrano was a menace at the plate, with 24 career home runs and a .238 average. Not only that: He was a switch-hitter, and his approach at the plate might have been more intense than it was on the mound. One of the most fun players to watch in recent baseball history, no matter what he was doing.
Gallery: The best-hitting pitchers of all time (Yardbarker)
Dwyane Wade answers million-dollar question about NBA Finals .
Wade spent 15 of his 17 NBA seasons playing for the Heat. But one of his best friends, LeBron James, plays for the Lakers.So who is Wade rooting for? Magic Johnson asked that question, and Wade answered. He says either way he will be happy with the outcome, but he is going pulling for the Heat. We call this a win/win but it’s #HeatNation over here! https://t.co/8ZfvEZurBR — DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 28, 2020 That’s how it should be.Wade is revered as a franchise icon and continues to have deep ties to the organization, its owners, members, and players.