When the Cardinals named Mark McGwire as their hitting coach last offseason it was first met with shock. Then criticism. Then questions. Then McGwire apologized, the season started and all of the media hype sort of just … went away.
Would we see the same reaction if Rafael Palmeiro was suddenly named the Orioles’ hitting coach? Or if a major league team hired Jose Canseco?
How about Barry Bonds?
The former Giants slugger told the Associated Press before Wednesday’s World Series Game 1 that he would love to enter the coaching side of the baseball world and that San Francisco would be an ideal place for his debut.
“I have a gift and sooner or later I have to give it away,” Bonds said. “I have to share it. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity here.”
The post-PED baseball world is filled with a lot of unknowns. McGwire was embraced because he apologized — live, on MLB Network with Bob Costas — and because he opened himself to all questions when reporters came crawling during spring training. Can Bonds do that? He has battled the media since the early days of his playing career and he’s yet to hint at any sort of remorse for cheating the game back in the early 2000s.
Until he apologizes, and until he is able to handle a serious line of questioning, it’s highly doubtful that Bonds will be hired as an instructor anywhere.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.