I generally stay out of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry because I really don’t have a dog in the hunt. There are years that I like to see the Giants get the best of the Dodgers and vice-versa. It usually depends on the makeup of the rosters, how it impacts postseason matchups, and whether or not one or the other of them beat up on the Braves that given year. At present I’m favoring the Giants because of my
crush on admiration for Tim Lincecum and the fact that the Dodgers media people are acting like jerks. That could easily change, however depending on how awesome Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw decide to be this year or whatever.
But after scanning the newspapers this morning, I may have to go all-in with the Giants. Why? Owner Bill Neukom has made retro-style, orange-striped socks available to his players and strongly encourages their use:
In addition to the standard sanitaries and the all-black socks, the
Giants also made a deluxe version available to their major leaguers
this spring. They’re black with three horizontal orange stripes that
are only visible when their pant legs are worn high.
They’ll be required at Single-A San Jose and other minor league stops that share the Giants’ color schemes.
“I think it’s a great look,” Neukom said. “I think it looks like baseball. I also think it’ll make them faster runners.”
Frank McCourt can have his Chinese soccer team and football stadium in the parking lot. I’d prefer the owner of my team to care about baseball stuff. Especially trivial and wonderful baseball stuff like striped socks.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.