There will come a time when Albert Pujols getting the start at third base will no longer be newsworthy. To be honest, it probably came the last time he started at third base. But hey, it’s almost 5, I’ve been up since 4AM, I’m getting punchy and posting about this seems better than trying to get worked up about something.
So, Pujols at third against the Astros. This will be his third start and fourth overall appearance there. So far he hasn’t done himself or his team any harm. But of greater interest to people is that, if he keeps doing this, he’s going to give fantasy owners a midsummer bonus, inasmuch as in some fantasy leagues like Yahoo!’s, he’ll have third base eligibility with two more starts or six more spot appearances. Then you can just trot him out over there all willy nilly.
All of which explains my vague distaste for fantasy baseball and, in this instance, real baseball. Because no matter how he does over there, having Albert Pujols as your third baseman at this stage of his career seems to violate the laws of man and God. But I guess that’s my problem, not Pujols’, Tony La Russa’s or that guy in your fantasy league who is going to get all giddy when he can use Pujols at third.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.