Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders why
a right-handed power hitter like the Mets covet — i.e., Jason Bay or
Matt Holliday — would want to play in Citi Field, calling it a “death
valley for righthanded hitters.”
Cafardo is surely using David Wright
as his case-and-point, which is just lazy journalism when you realize
that he hit just as many home runs at Citi Field (five) as he did on
the road (five). It’s throwaway lines like Cafardo’s that have
perpetuated Citi Field’s reputation as a park where home runs go to
die, which really couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Consider for a moment that according to homerun park factor
Citi Field was actually 12th in majors in 2009 at 1.057, higher than
even Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. This means that 5.7% more home
runs were in games at Citi Field than in games played on the road.
Only 81 regular season games have
been played at Citi Field thus far, and for the great majority of them,
the Mets were a poor hitting team, especially when it came to power (last in the majors with 95 home runs).
The dip in team home runs isn’t much of a surprise when you remember that Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran were sidelined for most of the season.
The truth is that nobody can be certain of how Citi Field will play, as these park factors can fluctuate from year-to-year. However, what is certain is that the Mets are among a select
few teams who can afford to give Bay or Holliday the money they want.
If tonight was his last night in a Cardinals uniform, Matt Holliday made the most of it.
After sitting out most of the second half with a fractured thumb, the 36-year-old was activated from the disabled list on Friday and slotted in as a pinch-hitter during the seventh inning of the Cardinals’ 7-0 shutout. What happened next could hardly have elicited more sentiment had it been scripted:
The solo shot was Holliday’s first home run as a pinch-hitter, and his first home run of any kind since August 9. The triumphant moment might have been the last of its kind in St. Louis, as it was reported earlier today that the Cardinals do not plan to exercise Holliday’s option in 2017.
Prior to the game, the left fielder released a statement in which he expressed his gratitude for the past eight seasons with the Cardinals’ organization:
I would like to thank Mr. Dewitt, Mo and the entire ownership group for the opportunity to play for the St. Louis Cardinals.
I am proud of what we have accomplished on and off the field during the past seven years. I have also been humbled by the incredible support and participation in our Homers for Health program.
It has been an honor to play in front of such great fans and for such a historic organization. I can honestly say it has been a dream come true.
While I’m disappointed this could be it here in St. Louis, I understand that it might be time to move on.
I’d like to express my love and admiration for Tony, Mike and all of the coaches and staff that I have had the pleasure to do life with these past seven-plus years.
The most emotional part of this is my teammates and the relationships I’ve built with some of these guys over the years. Particularly, Adam and Yadi, to be considered part of the core with two of the finest human beings I’ve ever known.
Finally, I’m eternally thankful for the Lord bringing me to the city of St. Louis in August of 2008. Lots of cool stuff has happened since then. On behalf of my wife Leslee and our children Jackson, Ethan, Gracyn and Reed: Thank you!
Don’t interrupt Angel Pagan in the middle of a wild card race. Better yet, don’t interrupt him at all.
A fan learned that the hard way during Friday’s Giants-Dodgers game. In the fourth inning, a group of fans ran onto the field with white flowers in their hands, presumably to hand to Giants players. According to eyewitness accounts, one player was reprimanded by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, while Buster Posey fended off another.
Angel Pagan, however, took more extreme and inventive measures.
On-field security started closing in on the fan as he approached Pagan, but didn’t appear to pick up the pace until the outfielder dropped him on the field.
Vin Scully, who was wrapping up the third-to-last game of his career, provided play-by-play of the incident.
A couple of kids, trying to steal a moment, slow down the game, running on the field and just taking a big moment on the big stage. They’ve got one of them in right field, and the other one is nailed down by Pagan in left field. And the crowd loved that! They went up to do something with Angel Pagan, but [Pagan] grabbed him and slammed him to the ground, and they’re taking him off the field. […] Doesn’t that bring you back to the ’60s, and the flower children? Oh what, you don’t remember the ’60s? Okay.
The next time you want to send a message to a player, maybe try a tweet (throw in a flower emoji or two if you feel so inclined). Just don’t make a showy display of affection in the middle of a game. It’s bound to go badly, at least where Angel Pagan is concerned.