Ron Santo’s Wrigley Field statue unveiled

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The Cubs on Wednesday unveiled the statue of former third baseman and longtime broadcaster Ron Santo, who passed away last Dec. 3 at age 70.

The statue, which features a blue cap and stirrups, depicts Santo, a nine-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glover with the Cubs, throwing to first after handling a grounder.

Santo played from the Cubs from 1960-74 and was in the team’s radio booth from 1990 until his passing.  He ranks fourth in franchise history with 337 homers.  WAR rates him as the No. 2 Cub all-time behind Cap Anson and ahead of Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams.

Santo, though, is not yet in the Hall of Fame after being passed over by both the BBWAA and the Veterans Committee.

Santo joins Banks, Williams and Harry Caray in having statues outside Wrigley.  Banks and Williams were among those in attendence for today’s ceremony.

“He was a remarkable person,” Banks said. “Ron Santo did not have an enemy. He loved everybody.”

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.