President Obama throws out first pitch

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The President threw out the first pitch at the Phillies-Nats game a little over an hour ago.  You can see video of it here, at least until Major League Baseball’s lawyers go and shut down the Sporting News for what I presume is some retransmitting and/or rebroadcasting the descriptions and/or accounts of the game without express written consent.  In the meantime, a couple of observations:

  • When I saw the Nationals jacket I was prepared to call the nation’s most famous White Sox fan a flip flopper;
  • When I saw him break out the Sox cap, I was once again pleased with our nation’s leader.  It would have been better if he ripped off the Nats jacket to reveal a Gordon Beckham jersey, thrown the jacket on the ground and then spit on it, but we’ll take what we can get;
  • I have no idea why he wore the glove. Was he expecting a comebacker? Are his mechanics so delicate that he has to have the glove so as not to throw off his weight distribution during his windup?
  • The ball as juuuuuuust a bit high.  Beats bouncing it, sure, but Michelle had better get him breathing through his eyelids stat, because that stuff won’t play in the show, Meat.

Can you call the President “Meat?”  Yeah, I think you can.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.