Joe Mauer isn’t spending all of his time these days hammering out the details of a potentially historic new contract with the Minnesota Twins. Nope, this guy can multi-task, which is only one reason he’s so valuable.
In addition to shopping for a new, umm, everything, Mauer also took time on Tuesday to don one of those funny-looking skintight suits with the sensors all over it so his motions could be captured for the upcoming video game MLB 10 The Show.
Mauer, the cover boy for the game, which hits shelves on March 2, told the AP that wearing the suit was “uncomfortable at first, but as I started doing it more and more, it started feeling more comfortable.”
The suit he wore contained sensors at all of his flex points so cameras, shooting at 120 frames per second, could capture his motions. I’m assuming the motions captured were things like his swing, his crouch behind the plate, and perhaps his throwing motion. But if they’re smart, they also captured what Mauer looks like when signing a huge contract, counting his money, and lifting MVP awards.
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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.