Jose Bautista hits homers 53 and 54, including first opposite field blast of the season

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Jose Bautista broke out of a 0-for-20 slump in a big way last night, smacking his 53rd and 54th homers of the season. And remarkably No. 54 was the first homer all year he’s hit to the opposite field.
Seriously, look at this mesmerizing MLB.com video showing Bautista’s first 52 homers in two minutes and see how many aren’t pulled to left field or, in a few instances, smashed to left-center field.
“I was actually just trying to make contact,” Bautista told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. “I can’t even, I don’t even know what happened with that one. Somehow it went over, but I’ll take it.”
As a team the Blue Jays have 253 homers this season, which is 46 more than any other team in baseball this year and the fourth-most homers in baseball history behind the 1997 Mariners (264), 2005 Rangers (260), and 1996 Orioles (257).
Bautista is now up to 19th on the single-season homer list, tied with Alex Rodriguez in 2007, David Ortiz in 2006, Mickey Mantle in 1961, Ralph Kiner in 1949, and Babe Ruth in 1920 and 1928.

MLB may introduce “tacky” baseballs in 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.

They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.

As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.

Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.

Here we go: Tim Tebow reports to Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets speaks at a press conference after a work out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.

Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.

The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.

In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: