The Red Sox have announced that they will have a moment of silence in honor of George Steinbrenner’s passing before Thursday night’s game in Fenway Park.
Highly appropriate. For as much as we get caught up in The Rivalry, it’s long been a mutually-beneficial one. Neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees would be the same without the other, and George Steinbrenner’s passion for winning did more than anything to animate the arms race which has made both the Sox and the Yankees the juggernauts that they are. The bad blood, to the extent any exists in this rivalry, are highest on the part of the fans, far less so on the part of the players and probably fairly minimal on the part of the front offices. I would be shocked if there was anything but mutual, professional respect on the executives’ part, and I totally see why they’re doing this.
Now, I’m not saying I’d bet more than a nickel on every single Sox fan in Fenway remaining silent and composed for the moment of silence, but the gesture itself is a very classy and very welcome one on behalf of the team.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.