Fun little post-All-Star Game anecdote from FanHouse’s Josh Alper involving Jon Lester:
Jon Lester and Hanley Ramirez were once teammates in the Red Sox
minor league system but were on opposite sides of the All-Star Game on
Tuesday night. Lester retired Ramirez on a bouncer back to the mound and
after the game he was asked if he and Ramirez had ever gone out for
pizza and fantasized about being in the Midsummer Classic while they
were on their way up the baseball ladder.
It’s a silly question, but Lester didn’t have a particularly jokey
“I’d have a better chance of being struck by lightning than me and
him getting a pizza together,” Lester said. “You can take that for what
it’s worth. But there was no chance on God’s green earth that I was
getting a pizza with him.”
Lester hasn’t played with Ramirez for five years. If his response is that sharp now, imagine how he felt about old Hanley back in the day. Wowza.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.