Ben Kabak of River Avenue Blues has a good review of the new Ian O’Connor book about Derek Jeter. Which I haven’t read and I don’t really plan to, on the basis that no really good biography can be written about someone whose story is not complete. Which is basically where Ben comes down too.
As I said in an interview a couple of years ago, the Derek Jeter book I want to read is a salacious tell-all book of interviews of Derek Jeter’s doormen, personal assistants, maids, butlers, valets, neighbors, and pharmacists over the past 15 years. And sure, I want it to be fair and accurate too — we’re not savages here — but I do think that when it comes to major figures like Jeter, you’re not going to get the full story from someone who still needs to maintain access to the Yankees as a featured columnist for ESPN New York.
Which is not, by the way, a slam on O’Connor. I think Ben is fair with his review about the good points and the bad points about O’Connor’s book, and the good points do sound good. It’s merely an observation about the inherent difficulty of covering a current player from the inside like O’Connor is trying to do. Lips get looser as time goes on. Publicists and handlers become fewer and farther between. In other words, the stuff people really want to know becomes much more easy to come by after the figure has left the limelight.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.