Struggling Todd Helton fitted for contact lenses

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Todd Helton, who was dropped to the sixth spot in the batting order on Sunday, was fitted with contact lenses on Monday, according to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post.

The 36-year-old first baseman entered play on Monday with a .250 batting average to go along with just
one home run and 10 RBI. Helton told Armstrong that he had 20/15 vision in the past, but indicated that his vision might be a factor in his recent slump.

“Could be. I wasn’t seeing the ball. It was
either my eyes or my head. I didn’t know if there was anything wrong.
It was just one of those things were I wanted to make sure.”

Helton is currently third among active players (min. 3000 plate appearances)
with a .326 batting average. Only Albert Pujols tops his .426 career on-base percentage.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.