Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Friday, June 17.
Victor Martinez is known as one of the power threats for the Tigers, but the fact that he hit 3 home runs in last night’s game was too much for the Royals as the Tigers beat them 10-4. Martinez had to take a few days off with a cranky right knee but when he came back it was like he’d never been gone. All 3 were hit when Martinez led off an inning for the visitors. It’s been a dozen long years since Martinez had a 3-home-run night, back when he played for Cleveland. While it was a great night for Victor and the Tigers, there was bad news for outfielder J.D. Martinez. He broke a bone in his elbow slamming in to the wall trying to make a catch. He’s on the shelf for 4-6 weeks.
The Orioles passed up the Red Sox and are now in first in the American League East. They took the series 2 games to 1 as Tyler Wilson quieted the Boston bats and the Birds took a 5-1 win. The Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez now has an ERA approaching 7, but as thin as the talent pool is Boston hasn’t found a way to replace him.
There’s a full Friday of action today including a matinee at Wrigley. in that game, the Pirates who just dropped 2 out of 3 only have to face Jake Arrieta and the Cubs’ booming bats after the visitors have flown to Chicago and gotten short rest. Just an average day. As if he weren’t one of the great pitchers in the game today, Arrieta even got a couple of hits last time he took the hill. The only things he can’t do are pull the tarp and sell hot dogs and Old Style beer. All the other action is under the lights. The Phillies will be glad to see anybody_ except the Bluejays, who slaughtered them 11-3, 7-2 and 13-2 in the last 3 games in Toronto. They return home to host Arizona. Matt Harvey’s last 3 starts for the Mets have looked more like what Mets’ fans expect of him, and he hopes to continue that trend against the Braves. The Rockies emerge from the rarified air of Denver to the almost palpable air of Miami to face the Marlins. It’s offensive to me that Yordano Ventura is pitching for the Royals tonight while his suspension is being appealed. That takes any sting out of the punishment. When Judge Landis ruled baseball, punishment was swift and sure, and the players had no doubt they were being punished for their sins which were even more unsavory than what Ventura did. He needed at least a month’s suspension, no appeal to begin the day after he plunked Manny Machado of the Orioles with a 99-MPH heater. That isn’t what happened because of the sad state of baseball’s administration. OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Before i get to today’s birthdays, it isn’t just young players who begin pro careers after their high school or college seasons end. This is the time for young broadcasters-the few fortunate ones who can get work-to begin to cut their teeth. One such fortunate man is Chris Jones, who broadcast UConn baseball for the last few years on their campus station WHUS. As such he followed Anthony Kay, the Mets’ first-round pick this year along with L.J. Mazilli who the Mets took a couple of years back. Jones will begin his broadcasting career with the Connecticut Tigers, an A-ball team in the Detroit Tigers organization playing in Norwich, CT. The stadium, named for former senator Thomas Dodd has played host to a few teams since it opened in 1995. the Norwich Navigators and Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League played there. in the past few years the large park has hosted a short-season New York Penn League team playing there. They play such foes as the Staten Island Yankees, the Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets,) and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Indians.) They also have a team with one of the weirdest nicknames around, the Batavia MuckDogs. The Cyclones will be the Brooklyn Franks for one day, July 3 as Nathan’s celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Pitcher Matt Barnes of the Red Sox is 26 today. The Bethel, CT. native played for UConn until being drafted by the Soxin round 1 in 2011. He reached the show in September 2014.
The shortstop of the Big Red Machine, Dave Concepcion is 68 today. While he’s not as famous as Rose, Bench and Perez, any baseball person will tell you the shortstop is the glu that holds the infield together. He had over 2300 hits in a career with the Reds from 1970-1988. He was an All-Star 9 times between 1973 and 1982, and his teams won 2 World Series and played in two more. He was a bank teller in Venezuela before signing with the Reds in 1967. In 1971, his walk was the only base runner as the Phillies’ Rick Wise no-hit the Reds. After his career he managed the Aragua Tigers, a Venezuelan team he had played for in his younger days. He is now a team vice-president. Both the Aragua 9 and the Reds have retired Concepcion’s number 13-a number he wore to honor his mother who was born in 1913.0