Barry Bonds is a nice guy. Don’t believe me? Well let’s lay forth the evidence.
On Tuesday, the news came out that the all-time home run king had donated $20,000 to a group of journalists. JOURNALISTS!?! That’s like Lex Luthor and the Riddler holding a bake sale in support of the Justice League. It’s just hard to imagine it happening — unless that check was carved in kryptonite.
But wait there’s more. On Wednesday, just after Alex Rodriguez became the seventh member of the 600-homer club and we started talking about him one day becoming the all-time record holder, this messages pops up on Bonds’ web site:
“Congratulations Alex on hitting your 600th home run today, welcome to the club. Stay healthy and focused, you only have 163 to go. I’ll be watching and rooting for you along the way. Good Luck.”
And that’s it. No snarky remarks. No jealousy. No evil cackling accompanied with the promise to “get you if it’s the last thing I do!” The old guy sounds like he’s turning over a new leaf.
Unless, of course, this is all part of the plan …
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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.