UPDATE: John Fay tweets that Joe Morgan’s job with the Reds will not affect his Sunday Night Baseball job because (a) his job with the Reds will not be in day-to-day operations and (b) the Reds aren’t scheduled to be on Sunday Night Baseball this year.
In other words, because the job is merely ceremonial and because the Reds kind of stink, we get to continue to invite Joe Morgan into our homes every Sunday evening. Glad tidings!
1:15 P.M: No idea if this will impact his ESPN duties in any way, shape or form, but the Cincinnati Reds are holding a press conference at 4:30 today to introduce Joe Morgan as a “Special Advisor for Baseball Operations.”
One would think such a title — unless totally ceremonial — would present some sort of conflict of interest issue for ESPN given that, you know, the guy does opine on other baseball teams for a living. If he’s doing substantive work for the Reds, wouldn’t the media access provided by his credential provide some sort of unfair scouting advantage? How many teams allow other teams’ front office personnel in their clubhouse and talk about injuries and hitting approaches and stuff with them?
But I’m sure we’ll learn more about that at the press conference.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.