Last night Carlos Pena hit his 13th homer of the year, setting the Tampa Bay franchise record with 129 homers as a member of the Rays. Here’s the rest of the top 10:
CARLOS PENA 129
Aubrey Huff 128
Fred McGriff 99
Carl Crawford 90
Evan Longoria 71
Jonny Gomes 66
Greg Vaughn 60
B.J. Upton 55
Rocco Baldelli 52
Ben Zobrist 47
You know a team hasn’t been around very long when only four players in franchise history have more homers than the MLB single-season record. Slightly more impressive than topping Aubrey Huff for the Rays’ record is Pena’s homer rank among all players over the past four seasons:
Ryan Howard 150
Prince Fielder 139
Adam Dunn 131
Albert Pujols 130
CARLOS PENA 129
Alex Rodriguez 127
Miguel Cabrera 123
Adrian Gonzalez 119
Ryan Braun 111
Mark Teixeira 111
Particularly impressive once you consider that Pena missed the final 25 games of last season when a CC Sabathia fastball to the left hand broke two fingers. Despite that injury he still has more homers than anyone else in the AL since 2007. Of course, Pena is also hitting just .186 with a league-high 66 strikeouts so far this season, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of market there is for the 32-year-old impending free agent this winter. My guess is he won’t be back in Tampa Bay.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.