Last week’s Winter Meetings had a couple of scares. First, it was Jayson Werth’s humongous seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals that sent a shockwave of dollar signs through the baseball world. Then it was Rockies manager Jim Tracy collapsing in the hotel lobby.
Werth is still counting his money. Tracy, too, is doing just fine.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post passes along word that the 54-year-old skipper was in Colorado for organizational meetings this week and is now back at his part-time Bradenton, Florida home, free of the symptoms that caused him to lose his balance in Orlando 11 days ago.
Tracy was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, but cardiologists found no reason to keep him hospitalized longer than a day. Well, 12 hours to be exact.
“I feel strong. And I really do believe that I will feel better than ever this spring,” Tracy told Renck. “I can’t wait to get the season going again. It was scary, but this could end up helping me. … It did make me think about a lot of things.”
The Rockies begin Cactus League play in Arizona on February 26 against the Diamondbacks.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.