Senators to baseball: ban smokeless tobacco

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I’m torn: on the one hand I would love Major League Baseball to ban the use of smokeless tobacco by players.  On the other hand, there aren’t many things I hate more than when Congress decides to stick its nose in baseball’s business:

Two Democratic senators are asking baseball commissioner Bud Selig to ban all tobacco use in the sport, specifically citing smokeless products. Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey are suggesting that Selig push for a ban as part of the negotiations in the players’ collective bargaining agreement later this year.

They sent letters to Bud Selig and Michael Weiner to that effect. They said that they were inspired by the same Washington Post article we all read a couple of weeks ago in which Stephen Strasburg said that Tony Gwynn’s battle with cancer inspired him to try to quit dipping.  You know, the cancer Gwynn had that was almost certainly not caused by smokeless tobacco.

Between Congress’ involvement and that Gwynn misinformation, all of this is is going to lead me into a deep “is it OK to do the right thing for the wrong reasons?” think-hole that will render me unproductive for the rest of the day.

Didi Gregorius continues to be ridiculous

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Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.

For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.

After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:

“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”

Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:

 

We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.