Coincidence? I think not!
“I am honored and flattered that the Orioles reached out with this
potential opportunity, but at this time in my career, I feel I should
direct my energies in another direction,” Valentine said.
Of course there’s now an opening in another direction: southward, in Florida, where — Valentine’s coyness about it notwithstanding — it was widely reported he was offered a job last winter. Jeff Loria is a New York guy, you see, and probably wants to make a big splash with another big New York guy, so his desire to have Valentine skipper the Marlins is understandable.
I’ve seen some people say that maybe Valentine — a man who has never been accused of lacking in self-confidence — might have some issues with a boss like Jeff Loria. My response to that: he has dealt with way, way worse.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.
For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.
After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:
“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”
Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:
We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.