Justin Upton missed two weeks with a strained left shoulder, returned to the lineup for two games earlier this week, and is now sidelined again by the same injury.
Upton is out of the Diamondbacks’ lineup this afternoon for the second straight game, but downplayed the seriousness of the injury last night:
It’s really sore. My timing was off the first night, and I was playing catch-up and it was causing me to swing a little harder. It’s just sore.
Interim manager Kirk Gibson indicated that the last-place Diamondbacks may simply decide to shut Upton down for the final three weeks of the season.
After a 2009 breakout that ranked among the best seasons by a 21-year-old hitter in baseball history Upton has taken a step backward this season, with his OPS dropping 100 points. Of course, a 22-year-old batting .274/.356/.442 with 47 extra-base hits, 64 walks, and 16 steals in 131 games is still pretty damn impressive and Upton remains one of the best young players in baseball.
In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.
As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.
While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.
RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.
With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.
The retired pinstripes break down as follows:
1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams