Brewers star Ryan Braun feels the pain of his friend, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Because it’s federally mandated to obsess over the Seahawks’ disputed victory over the Packers on Monday, here’s a baseball angle.
You might remember that Aaron Rodgers is a close friend of the Brewers’ Ryan Braun, having vehemently defended Braun during last year’s (and this spring’s) steroids dispute.
The two had a telephone conversation after the Seahawks game, during which Braun commiserated with Rodgers over the controversial, and costly, loss.
“It’s the equivalent of 10 games for us because it’s a 16-game season. One game for them is like the difference in us going 10-0 or 0-10,” Braun told The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “It means so much more. When you think about that, it doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t feel right. Everybody was mad, angry, disgusted.
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“We all watched the game. We saw the same thing everybody else saw. Everybody knows what happened.”
Well, Seahawks fans might have something different to say, but they’ll like another aspect of the conversation relayed by Braun.
“He felt like they shouldn’t have put themselves in that position,” said Braun. “He wished they had played better. But they’ll be all right.”
Indians’ Acta had to pay
With the Indians collapsing after a promising start for the second year in a row, losing 24 of 29 games in August, it seemed inevitable that manager Manny Acta would pay the price.
And sure enough, Acta was fired Thursday, three seasons after replacing current Mariners manager Eric Wedge in Cleveland.
It appears the next permanent manager of the Indians will be either Sandy Alomar Jr., the interim replacement, or former Phillies and Red Sox manager Terry Francona, currently a broadcaster.
Francona worked in the Cleveland front office in between managing gigs and has a good relationship with team president Mark Shapiro and GM Chris Antonetti.
If the Indians decide to go a different direction, here’s an intriguing dark-horse candidate: Omar Vizquel, the Indians’ longtime shortstop, still active at age 45 with the Blue Jays (who might have an opening themselves if John Farrell replaces Bobby Valentine in Boston, as has been rumored). Vizquel has indicated he will retire after the season.
Pirates stay the course
The Pirates, who were 16 games over .500 (63-47) on Aug. 8, were eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday and likely headed for their 20th consecutive losing season.
Nevertheless, team president Frank Coonelly announced Wednesday that general manager Neal Huntington, assistant GMs Kyle Stark and Greg Smith and manager Clint Hurdle will return next year.
That didn’t sit well with many frustrated Pirates fans, but Coonelly pointed out that the team increased its win total for the second year in a row.
Scioscia will be back
Another manager who will be returning is Mike Scioscia of the Angels.
Speculation about Scioscia’s job security had picked up in recent weeks, but Angels owner Arte Moreno told MLB.com that it’s “100 percent” Scioscia will be back in 2013. His contract runs potentially through 2018 with an opt-out clause in 2016.
Moreno, who hasn’t done many interviews this year, told Angels pregame radio host Roger Lodge that he hopes to bring back potential free agent Torii Hunter.
“I tell you what — if we don’t figure out a way to re-sign him, we’re going to get hung, aren’t we?” Moreno said.
Mauer into the mix
Josh Hamilton isn’t the only one trying to mess up Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown chances. While Hamilton battles Cabrera for the home-run lead, Joe Mauer is surging in the race for the batting title.
Entering Friday’s games, Mauer trailed Cabrera, .326 to .323. Mauer — who won batting titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009 — entered September hitting .312 but has put up a .394 average in the month (28 for 71).
“He’s totally incredible,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.