That incessant Manny-chatter was further proof that nationally broadcast
games are now pitched only to baseball-ignorant audiences who know zip
about the game, the teams, and the history of the game. It makes
televised games virtually unwatchable. Every game has to have a
pre-agreed “story line,” and that’s its context—not the pennant race,
not the real team issues. This game was, according to ESPN, about Manny
Ramirez. It was crucial not to let him get to the plate as the tying
run…that was all we heard. Disgusting, boring, and incompetent.
— Jack Marshall, Red Sox fan, perfectly capturing what I think about the direction the commentary so often takes in the big nationally-broadcast games anymore.
Drop the incessant harping on the “storylines,” networks. Thanks to the blogs and the nightly recaps on Baseball Tonight and MLB Network and everywhere else, most of them are old news by the time Saturday and Sunday roll around anyway. When it comes to the game itself, let’s talk about . . . the game itself.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has wasted no time acclimating himself to major league competition. Since getting called back up on August 3, Sanchez has smacked nine homers and driven in 16 runs in a span of 18 games. In fact, since August 3, no hitter has homered more than Sanchez and only Charlie Blackmon and Brian Dozier have matched him, Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues notes.
One of those homers came in Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It was a first-inning blast off of Hisashi Iwakuma, quickly giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They would go on to win 5-0. Sanchez finished 2-for-3 with a pair of intentional walks, a double, and the homer.
Some more fun facts about Sanchez, courtesy Sharp:
- Sanchez is the first Yankee in club history with nine home runs in his first 21 career games [Link]
- Sanchez is the third American League player in the last 100 years to hit at least nine home runs in his first 21 career games, joining George Scott and Alvin Davis [Link]
- Sanchez and Joe DiMaggio are the only Yankees with 15 or more extra-base hits in their first 21 career games [Link]
Sanchez was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Yankees’ minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline. In the majors, he’s carrying a .389/.450/.847 triple-slash line in 79 plate appearances. He has also thrown out five of seven would-be base-stealers.
American swimmer Katie Ledecky, fresh off of winning four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Nationals’ game against the Orioles.
As NHL.com’s Katie Brown notes, Ledecky’s favorite player is Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who was on the field with her. So what did she make him do? Hold all of her medals while she threw out the first pitch.
Harper has his fair share of hardware, including a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP Award, but no gold medals. For shame.