As I mentioned in this morning’s recaps, I’m going to be taking a little time off. All next week to be precise. I’ll be back on Monday, August 30th. Yes, I’m going out of town, but it’s to a secret undisclosed location that may or may not look like the pic to the right.
I don’t relish the idea
of a vacation. I love my job, I live for baseball and blogging and being away from the
computer for a week is going test the limits of my patience and maybe
even my sanity.
But that’s also probably evidence that I really do need a vacation. With
the exception of an odd Friday here or there it’s been a while since I took any real time off and I probably could use the time to sharpen the saw or whatever those doorknobs who put together those motivational posters say. Probably also worth noting that my wife told me that if I don’t disconnect from the web for a few days she’ll kill me, so there’s that too.
So, for me anyway, it’s
lights out for a bit. Aaron, D.J., Drew, Matthew and Bob will provide
you with more than enough baseball juju between now and when I come back. Here’s hoping Roger Clemens doesn’t take a hostage or something, because that’s the kind of story I really don’t want to miss.
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 homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.