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Baseball Twitter loses its mind over the silliest things - collisions and juicy balls

Baseball Twitter loses its mind over the silliest things - collisions and juicy balls
Justin Verlander. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The All-Star break has come and gone, and baseball is set up for the second half of the season. The Astros are well on their way to another postseason run, and as they continue to get healthy, the post-All-Star break should be an easy coast to the wire. Yes, they need another starting pitcher before the playoffs, but the odds are good they will make a move.

But in the silly season of summer, the slowest time of year, baseball Twitter is losing its mind over goofy topics, and the Astros are at the center of both.

Overreaction to a play

You can tell the sports world is slow when Jake Marisnick is a topic for two days. If you have not seen the play, well, you have been living under a rock. The overreactions were instant. "Dirty player!" if you aren't an Astros fan. "He did nothing wrong" if you are. Almost every take was overly simplistic and patently biased. People had their minds made up and used whatever they saw to back up their argument. That unfortunately is the way of the world.

Did it warrant endless debate where everyone had to have an opinion? Of course not. Was it intentional? Probably not. But there is no way of truly judging that. Was it the right call? Yes. Should he get suspended? Possibly. You can not intend to hurt someone, but actions matter. Could it have been avoided? Maybe. The guy who drinks a fifth of Jack Daniels and gets in his car does not intend to slam into a minivan, either. But there is punishment. A play might not be intentionally dirty, but it can still be dirty.

Still, it is absolutely ridiculous to look at a bang bang play in slow motion and determine intent. An athlete has less than a second to make that decision in real time. You have 20 seconds in slow motion hindsight. Does it mean you should not have an opinion? Of course not. But bumper sticker takes and ripping anyone who disagrees? Save that for our uplifting political Twitter.

I do get where it comes from. There are a lot of hot take TV screamers making a lot of money doing the same thing. So many people feel the need to parrot the takes or take the opposite side. We have lost the "debate" part of debates.

Regardless, MLB should make a decision and move on and Twitter should find something else to pontificate about. Oh, wait...

Your balls are juiced

Justin Verlander started the discussion on juiced up balls by calling out MLB. "It's a (bleeping) joke," he said.

Verlander is refreshing. He speaks his mind, and is not afraid to take a stand, even if it is something you disagree with. It is much better than athletes who give stock answers.

It started a debate on whether or not he was correct. Several players disagreed, including his own teammate, Carlos Correa, the victim of a vicious massage assault.

Does it really matter? Home runs sell tickets. Just look at the steroid era. And if you don't believe there are PEDs out there that can't be masked or have not been discovered, then you are just naive. If they have juiced the balls? Fine. There are other, more detailed possibilities. But let's not worry about stuff like that, right?

If these are the topics that people are concerned with...It's time for a change in your life. Go on a date. Watch Stranger Things. Get out of your parent's house and go do something fun and put the Twitter machine away for a while. Don't turn simple comments or actions into endless debate. Be more than a Fortune Cookie philosopher or have better than a bumper sticker hot take.

What's next?

I get things are slow. But by now, we should have all moved on. Yet here I am writing about it. I can't wait for football season, when we can dive into real takes.

Like "was that really targeting?" "Did he intend to hurt the player?"

Oh, wait...

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Welcome back, Justin! Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night at the Washington Nationals.

Houston manager Joe Espada made the announcement Wednesday.

“Getting him back is huge because it brings a level of confidence to our team, a boost of confidence that we’re going to get someone who’s been an MVP, a Cy Young (winner) on the mound,” Espada said. “It's (good) for the morale and to get stuff started and moving in the right direction.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two rehabilitation starts, the first for Triple-A Sugar Land on April 7 before Saturday’s start for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Espada wouldn't say how many pitches the 41-year-old would be limited to but said they'll keep an eye on his workload.

“We've got to be careful how hard we push him early,” Espada said. “I know he’s going to want to go and stay out there and give us an opportunity to win, but we've got to be cautious of how hard we push him early in the season.”

Verlander wasn’t thrilled with the results in his rehabilitation starts, but he said Monday that those games were valuable in getting him prepared to come off the IL.

He allowed seven hits and six runs — five earned — in four innings against Frisco on Saturday. He struck out three, walked one and threw 51 of 77 pitches for strikes.

Verlander allowed six earned runs and struck out six while pitching into the fourth inning for Sugar Land on April 7.

The Astros have gotten off to a tough start with Verlander and fellow starters Framber Valdez and José Urquidy on the injured list. They enter Wednesday's games last in the AL West with a 6-13 record.

Espada hopes Verlander can be the boost the team needs to get on track.

“It’s good to get him back in the rotation,” Espada said. “With what he means to this club just to get him back on track, getting some innings from him (to) build our rotation with the pieces that we need to move forward is exciting.”

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