Sunday, June 28, 2020

MLB Is Set To Return, July 1st Spring Training 2.0 Starts!

On July 1st, all 30 Major League Baseball teams are set to officially begin preparing again for the 2020 season a mere 97 days after it was supposed to start.
The Red Sox will train and play at Fenway Park. JetBlue Park in Fort Myers has been grounded. The number of COVID-19 cases in Florida has spiked. 
According to MLB, players will undergo coronavirus testing upon arrival, then begin workouts if they test negative. Players, coaches and support staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day during training camps, the regular season and postseason. Anybody testing positive will be quarantined. Two negative tests are reportedly required for a return. Players will also receive temperature/symptom checks at least twice per day, and antibody testing will be conducted approximately once per month.
Three Rockies, including 4-time All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Rookie Phenom Pete Alonso Hits 53rd Homer, Sets New Record!

CNN reports:
Slugger Pete Alonso has been a bright spot in an otherwise so-so season for the New York Mets. And now he's broken Major League Baseball's rookie home run record.
"Polar Bear," as he's nicknamed, hit his 53rd home run during this past Saturday's game against the Atlanta Braves. The record-breaking blast came in the third inning against Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz.
The fan favorite and 2019 Home Run Derby champion raised his arms to the sky as the ball soared over the wall at New York's Citi Field. Mets fans gave him a standing ovation as he rounded the bases.
"To be a part of Major League Baseball history, to be number one out of every single guy that ever played the game, it's humbling and it's such just a ridiculously awesome feeling," an emotional Alonso told reporters after the game. "That moment was just pure magic."
    "I didn't know that I was going to be overcome with all that emotion," added Alonso, who got teary on the field as fans cheered him. "At that point, might as well just let it out."
    Alonso bested another New York player -- Yankees star Aaron Judge -- in becoming MLB's all-time home run leader for rookies. The Yankees outfielder had set the record in 2017 with 52 home runs.
    The Mets won Saturday's game 3-0. Although the team was officially eliminated from postseason contention earlier this week, at least Alonso gave their fans something to celebrate.

    Saturday, September 28, 2019

    Mets Slugger Pete Alonso Hits 52nd Homer, Ties Rookie Record reports:
    Because Pete Alonso is a walking, talking, home run-bashing superlative, it seems only natural that his vocabulary should mirror his production. When asked earlier this week about the possibility of hitting as many home runs as any rookie in Major League history, Alonso described the idea as “super, incredibly, amazingly awesome.”
    For Alonso, everything seems to be “amazing” and “fun” and “special” and “a dream come true.” And why shouldn’t it be? During a seven-minute interview last week, Alonso used the words “awesome” and “miraculous” eight times. Teammate Marcus Stroman described him as “a big kid” with “true joy every time he comes in the clubhouse to play baseball.” Manager Mickey Callaway gushed: “There’s just something about Pete that draws everybody in.”
    Part of it is recognition of the sublime. Alonso, who spent his summer ripping Major League Baseball’s record book into pieces with his bare hands, reached one more significant milestone Friday in the Mets’ 4-2 win over the Braves. Batting against Dallas Keuchel in the first inning, Alonso lined his 52nd homer just over the orange line painted onto Citi Field’s left-field wall. In so doing, he matched Aaron Judge for the most by a rookie in Major League history.
    "There is no better person to share it with," Judge said after the Yankees' game in Texas. "He’s eventually going to break it. I know that for sure."

    Thursday, September 26, 2019

    Astros Slugger George Springer Hits 3 Homers To Help Team Clinch AL West

     Denver Post reports:
    George Springer has hit a career-high three homers for the Houston Astros, all of them in the first four innings against the Los Angeles Angels on this past Sunday.
    The MLB record of four home runs in a game has been done 18 times. J.D. Martinez did it most recently for Arizona on Sept. 4, 2017.
    In his first chance at tying the mark, Springer popped up with the bases loaded in the fifth. He then grounded out in the seventh. 
     Springer got to work immediately, sending Jose Rodriguez’s first pitch into left-center field for his franchise-record 12th leadoff homer this season. That left the 2017 World Series MVP one shy of the MLB record for leadoff homers in a season set by Alfonso Soriano with the Yankees in 2003. 
    The game was tied in the second when Springer connected off Rodriguez again, this time for a two-run shot that put the Astros up 3-1.
    There were two outs in the fourth when Springer sent a fastball from José Suárez into the seats in left field to make it 4-2.
    It is the 14th time in a regular season game in franchise history that an Astros player has hit three homers and the second time this season after rookie Yordan Alvarez also did it.
    A win would clinch the AL West for the Astros.

    Sunday, September 22, 2019

    Rookie Sensation Pete Alonso Hits 50th Homer

    CBS Sports reports:

    New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso became the first player in Major League Baseball to reach the 50-home run mark this season on Friday night, delivering the big 5-0 in a winning effort against the Cincinnati Reds.

    Alonso's home run is significant for a number of reasons. He already possessed the single-season franchise record, but he's now closing in on the all-time rookie record, set previously by New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who hit 52 in 2017. With more than a week remaining in the season, Alonso would seem to have a fair shot at dethroning Judge.

    Alonso's home run also ensured that he'll finish the season having hit at least one against every other National League team. Alonso has done the most damage against the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins (seven apiece), and has hit one dinger or more versus every team he's taken at least 10 plate appearances against except one -- the Chicago White Sox.

    Friday, September 20, 2019

    Astros Flamethrower Gerrit Cole Reaches 300 Strikeouts In 2019 Season

    MSN reports:
    Gerrit Cole has been dealing all year in his second campaign donning an Astros' uniform. Now he owns a piece of team history.
    Cole became just the 18th different pitcher since 1900 and the third Houston arm to rack up 300 strikeouts in a season.
    He rounded his total by striking out Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in the top of the sixth inning of Wednesday's game against Texas with his team leading 2-0.
    Mike Scott (1986) and J.R. Richard (1978-79) were the other two Houston arms to reach the mark. Pedro Martinez in 1999 was the last American League pitcher to do it.
    Cole managed to reach the milestone in 198.1 innings, the second fewest of any pitcher in history. Randy Johnson, one of the most prolific strikeout artists of all time, did it in 197.2 innings in 2001. Johnson had five consecutive 300-strikeout seasons between 1998 and 2002. He finished his career with six 300-strikeout seasons, which is tied with all-time strikeout leader Nolan Ryan for the most in MLB history.
    There have been four 300-strikeout seasons in the 2010 decade, with Max Scherzer reaching exactly 300 last season, Clayton Kershaw hitting the mark at 301 in 2015 and Chris Sale topping out at 308 in 2017.
    Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, oozed potential in Pittsburgh before seemingly reaching his ceiling in Houston with back-to-back 6-plus WAR seasons since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He posted a 2.88 ERA in 2018 and has been even better in 2019, having posted a 2.54 mark so far in 2019.
    The right-handed fireballer, whose fastball has always averaged 95-plus miles per hour, maintained strikeout rates below 25 percent when he was with the Pirates, peaking at 24.2 percent in 2014. With the Astros, that number sky-rocketed in his first season alone, reaching 34.5 percent. It has been at 39.4 percent in 2019.
    Cole finds himself in the midst of a battle for the American League Cy Young with teammate Justin Verlander, who leads the league with a 2.50 ERA. Cole's 6.5 WAR, according to Fangraphs, leads the majors above Scherzer's 6.4 mark in the National League.

    Giants Skipper Bruce Bochy Notches 2,000th Win As A Manager

    CBS Sports reports:

    There is a new member of the managerial 2,000-win club. 
    This past Wednesday night at Fenway Park (SF 11, BOS 3), San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy notched the 2,000th win in what will soon be a Hall of Fame career. It is his 1,049th win with the Giants after 951 with the Padres. He is the 11th manager in history with 2,000 wins.
    Here are the 11 members of the 2,000-win club:
    1. Connie Mack: 3,731 wins
    2. John McGraw: 2,763
    3. Tony La Russa: 2,728
    4. Bobby Cox: 2,504
    5. Joe Torre: 2,326
    6. Sparky Anderson: 2,194
    7. Bucky Harris: 2,158
    8. Joe McCarthy: 2,125
    9. Walter Alston: 2,040
    10. Leo Durocher: 2,008
    11. Bruce Bochy: 2,000
    The first 10 men on the all-time wins list are in the Hall of Fame. Bochy will join them in Cooperstown soon enough even though he will retire with a losing record (currently 2,000-2,022). Bochy, Mack (3,731-3,948), and Harris (2,158-2,219) are the only managers with 2,000 wins and a career losing record.
    Earlier this year Bochy, 64, announced he will retire following the season. He is the longest tenured manager in baseball. This is his 13th season with the Giants -- he was at the helm for the team's World Series championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014 -- after spending 12 years with San Diego. He's been managing since 1995.