MLB.com writers challenge each other to a race

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This is meta, even for our usual meta-fueled standards, but MLB.com beat writers Jordan Bastian and Anthony DiComo have challenged each other to a half-mile race following tomorrow’s Rays-Blue Jays game in Florida.
Bastian (on the right) is the Blue Jays’ beat reporter while DiComo (on the left) covers both the Yankees and Mets, and here’s what passes for trash talk when writers and Twitter are involved:

@AnthonyDiComo: It’s on. I will race @MLBastian in a half-mile event tomorrow in Port Charlotte, following the conclusion of Rays-Jays.



@MLBastian: You will lose. RT @AnthonyDiComo: It’s on. I will race @MLBastian in a half-mile event tomorrow in Port Charlotte, following the Rays-Jays.

Straight and to the point, although the presence of a re-tweet removes a bit of the sting for some reason.
Anyway, because I’m willing to gamble on literally anything my money is on Bastian. Why? No good reason, but I know from reading his various tweets that he’s a distance runner who’s done multiple marathons. For all I know the same is true about DiComo, but I haven’t been following his Twitter feed for as long. And yes, this is what the world has come to now that we’re communicating 140 characters at a time.
Most of all I’m hoping that one of them gets to the start line and announces, Jerry Seinfeld-style: “I choose not to run.” Barring that, my official prediction is pulled hamstrings for both runners, just because it seems like that’s how a race between baseball writers should go.
Godspeed, gentlemen.

Gary Sanchez stays red hot, homers again as Yankees blank Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 22:  Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees hits a home run against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 22, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has wasted no time acclimating himself to major league competition. Since getting called back up on August 3, Sanchez has smacked nine homers and driven in 16 runs in a span of 18 games. In fact, since August 3, no hitter has homered more than Sanchez and only Charlie Blackmon and Brian Dozier have matched him, Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues notes.

One of those homers came in Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It was a first-inning blast off of Hisashi Iwakuma, quickly giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They would go on to win 5-0. Sanchez finished 2-for-3 with a pair of intentional walks, a double, and the homer.

Some more fun facts about Sanchez, courtesy Sharp:

  • Sanchez is the first Yankee in club history with nine home runs in his first 21 career games [Link]
  • Sanchez is the third American League player in the last 100 years to hit at least nine home runs in his first 21 career games, joining George Scott and Alvin Davis [Link]
  • Sanchez and Joe DiMaggio are the only Yankees with 15 or more extra-base hits in their first 21 career games [Link]

Sanchez was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Yankees’ minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline. In the majors, he’s carrying a .389/.450/.847 triple-slash line in 79 plate appearances. He has also thrown out five of seven would-be base-stealers.

Katie Ledecky made Bryce Harper hold her medals while she threw the first pitch at Nationals Park

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13:  (BROADCAST - OUT) Swimmer, Katie Ledecky of the United States poses for a photo with her five medals on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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American swimmer Katie Ledecky, fresh off of winning four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Nationals’ game against the Orioles.

As NHL.com’s Katie Brown notes, Ledecky’s favorite player is Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who was on the field with her. So what did she make him do? Hold all of her medals while she threw out the first pitch.

Harper has his fair share of hardware, including a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP Award, but no gold medals. For shame.