Monday, July 5, 2021

Baseball this 'n' that

 Mets fans are likely circling the dates when the team will play the Los Angeles Dodgers. In red ink.

This is because Dodger manager Dave Roberts decided to be an idiot and chose only one Met, that being ace pitcher Jacob deGrom, who might not even see the mound at Coors Field next week if his current schedule holds, for next week's All-Star game. The NL East leaders and their fans have a right to feel slighted. Roberts, to be fair, had a deep pool of pitching talent to pick from, and deGrom was a slam dunk pick, despite the scheduling working against him.

Since none of the reigning World Champions were selected by fan vote to start, Roberts picked three of his players as reserves, no pitchers, which means Clayton Kershaw won't be in Denver. Hankook Tires probably needs him for another commercial anyway. NY media assumed, as did the fan base, that starters Taijuan Walker & Marcus Stroman and/or closer Edwin Diaz would also be picked, but that was not to be.

This will come back to bite Roberts when the teams meet as early as August.
Speaking of the Dodgers, their prize free agent pick up, Trevor Bauer, may be done.

Bauer was placed on administrative leave as of Friday due to MLB and local police investigating allegations of sexual assault. Atlanta outfielder Marcel Ozuna was placed on the league's restricted list, but Bauer gets "administrative leave". And no one's complaining about double standards? I've a feeling we've seen the last of both Ozuna & Bauer, as their megabucks deals will be voided before too long.

Slowly, but surely, the wolves are being rooted out of the game.
Back to the Mets, their comeback in game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Yankees, in many respects, was a microcosm of what has bedeviled the Bombers this season. Closer Aroldis Chapman, who was not in a save situation when he was brought in against the Angels last Wednesday, was in for a save chance Sunday, and Pete Alonso promptly took him out of the yard.

Now, Aaron Boone, whose decision making of late will never confuse him with Daniel Boone, is non-committal on keeping Chapman as his closer. Chad Green picked up the save in game 2 as the Yankees salvaged one game in the first half of the Subway Series, with the conclusion at Citi Field in September.

If you believe the nay-sayers, the Yankees are seemingly falling close to where the team was 50 years ago. Remember these promos (before cable came to upstate NY)?

Ah, those were the days when night games started at 8 pm (ET), and matinees at 2 pm. Today, games start at 7:05 at the Stadium at night, sometimes a half hour sooner, and are played at a pace that would make snails, slugs, and turtles jealous.
Angels DH/pitcher Shohei Ohtani will make history in Denver next week.

Ohtani, the major league leader with 31 homers as of Sunday, was voted as the AL DH last week, and, on Sunday, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash, the AL skipper, decided that he wanted Ohtani to pitch as well. We're talking going old school here, gang, but don't expect Ohtani to hit 9th. Angels manager Joe Maddon has him batting 2nd, even when he isn't pitching, and it's paid dividends.

Ohtani will also seek to dethrone the Mets' Pete Alonso in the Home Run Derby one week from tonight, and could reach 35 homers before the break. Alonso had 30 by the break two years ago, then won the Derby, and, well, you know the rest of the story.

Prediction: Ohtani will crack 50 homers himself, probably by Labor Day at the rate he's going.

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