The Best: The Mets have stayed pretty steady over the years. The biggest change has been the introduction of black a few years ago (more on that below) and disappearing pinstripes. Otherwise, it has been a pretty classic design. Inspired, even, taking some elements from the Yankees (pinstripes), some from the Dodgers (blue) and some from the Giants (orange). As the only team whose very existence can be explained as a reaction to that which other teams did, this is rather appropriate. My favorite — and I bet the favorites of every Mets fan over the age of 12 — is the classic, Seaver-era look, closely tracked by the new alternate/retro home uniform.
The Worst: They’ve never been horrendous — kudos to the Mets for keeping their heads about them through the 1970s — but one of the worst things they ever did was to go wacky with the black caps and alternate jerseys they introduced a few years ago. Less offensive are the solid home whites, but they’re still sub-optimal, as this is one of the few teams who should be pinstriped. And the less said about those blue things from the 80s the better. But while the blues may look terrible, I’ll go with the blacks being the actual worst. Why? Because they were obviously calculated to sell product whereas those blues were just the Mets getting on the multi-color 70s bus a bit later than everyone else. We’re all allowed an occasional transgression, right?
Assessment: There should be a law against the Mets wearing anything but the classic blue, white, and orange getup, preferably with the pinstripes.
The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.
Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.
Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.