Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner knows the Seattle Mariners better than anyone, and last night he completely nailed the whole Griffey sleeping in the clubhouse thing. It’s not the nap per se; it’s what it represents:
. . . the fact that two teammates would talk to a reporter about Junior being
asleep during a game is perhaps the more telling aspect of this story.
If Griffey really commanded the respect of the entire clubhouse, and
they loved having him around, no one talks about this to a member of the
media. But they did, and that they were willing to bring this up to
someone who they had to suspect would write about it suggests that
perhaps Griffey’s influence in the clubhouse either isn’t as great as
some would suggest, or perhaps more likely, that it only matters while a
player is producing.
The kicker: no one bothered to wake Griffey up. Cameron: “My guess is that most of them probably didn’t want him hitting in that
situation anyway, so maybe deep down, they feel like he did them a
My response to this story yesterday was that you need to cut Griffey or urge him to retire because you simply can’t be a Major League ballplayer and sleep on the job. Based on the comments to that post it’s quite obvious that many disagree with that sentiment and think that Griffey has earned the benefit of the doubt. Fair enough.
But he’s not getting the benefit of the doubt from his teammates. They’re totally fine with him sleeping on the job because it keeps him out of the batter’s box. And that’s far more damning for Griffey than the mere fact that he was snoozing during a ballgame.
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.