Happy hump-day everyone. In our never-ending quest to help you get through the week with quality baseball coverage, here’s today’s First Pitch, with five columns that caught our attention this Wednesday afternoon:
The tragic passing of Yordano “Ace” Ventura will stick with the Kansas City Royals, from the owner to the players to the fans and everyone in between, forever. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan on how pitcher Danny Duffy tries to cope with the situation — a powerful read.
Last season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon famously pitched around Bryce Harper for an entire May series. From that point on, it seemed something with Harper was off. Was he hurt? Slumping? Or, as ESPN’s Eddie Matz explains, did Maddon break him?
Doubling up today on Jeff Passan, this piece is from last week but deserves attention. With Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria reportedly looking/trying/preparing to sell his team, Passan explains why it’s about time Loria left the game.
A World Series champion and, at his best, one of baseball’s premier players with the Philadelphia Phillies, Jimmy Rollins is nearing the end of his career. Signing with the Giants this winter to pursue one more ring, CSN’s Alex Pavlovic got some great insight from Rollins before what could be his final season.
Tragically, Yordano Ventura’s wasn’t the only death to shock the baseball world in the last several months. In this piece, Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller looked at the everlasting legacy left by the late Jose Fernandez in Miami and across the baseball world.