Ian Kinsler: Rays fans were too hung up on the umpiring

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Well, someone’s gotta be, right?

“It’s tough to win when you’re (complaining) about a call from the
previous day,” Kinsler said Friday at Rangers Ballpark, where the series
resumes Saturday. “It seems like they were still talking about the
Carlos Pena call, which is basically a non-issue because it hit the bat.
And it’s tough to be a good crowd when you’re worried about umpires. We
were able to take them out; they were interested in the umpires and it
worked out well for us.”

He’s right about dwelling on it. I may drop a comment here or there because I have a blog and all I do is empty my head into it all day, but I’m more or less moving on from the Posey call. Life’s too short and it’s a damn ballgame so just put your big boy pants on and get on with it, ya know?

Still, I’d be curious how much the crowd being in or out of it really matters to the players. I’ve seen some stuff recently trying to figure out if attendance has an impact on winning, but I’d really like to know if ballplayers actually perform better based on how pumped up the crowd is.

Sure, playing in a sensory deprivation tank like a Florida Marlins makeup game is awful, but do players notice a big difference between, say, 30,000 psyched fans and 30,000 conflicted, dwelling-on-the-past fans? Do they feed off the crowd the same way basketball players seem to do (and I don’t know if they really do either)? 

Screw “which pitches were working for you tonight, Bob.” If I was asking ballplayers questions I’d probably ask them stuff like that.

Curtis Granderson is close to making history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets connects on a three-run home run in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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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.

MLB teams pay tribute to José Fernández’s memory

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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.