This picture of a second grader dressed as Rangers manager Ron Washington got a lot of play on the worldwide web this past week.
It also got the Rangers’ attention and they have invited the young man, seven-year-old Liam Roybal, to exclaim “Play Ball!” before Sunday’s World Series Game 3 in Texas.
Leigh Munsil of The Dallas Morning News caught up with Roybal this weekend. He first wore the costume at a church festival in the Dallas area and then at a Career Day. His parents eventually posted pictures of the getup on Facebook, and it spread from there.
“He is absolutely excited, he’s kind of bouncing off the walls right now,” mother Ami Roybal said. “We all sat around the table and laughed about it. We said, ‘You might really look like Ron Washington when you shave your head.'”
And he most definitely does. Lineups and pregame notes should be coming out shortly for Game 4.
The Red Sox reportedly inked free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million contract last Monday, but there appears to be a slight hitch in the process. According to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, the team is sorting through a medical issue that has delayed the signing. The specific nature of the issue has yet to be revealed, though Drellich adds that both the team and agent Scott Boras have involved additional medical experts in the process.
For what it’s worth, Martinez remained fairly healthy during his 2017 run with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old outfielder spent six weeks on the disabled list after suffering a right foot sprain during camp, but managed to make a full recovery by mid-May and didn’t relapse once throughout the rest of the year. Of course, the medical issue holding up his new contract could be of an entirely different nature.
While spring training is already underway for the rest of the Red Sox, club manager Alex Cora doesn’t appear too concerned by Martinez’s absence — yet. “The thing I can do is my thing,” he told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “My job here is to show up every day and get ’em ready.”