I’ve talked about my love-hate relationship with T.J. Simers before. Sometimes he’s nasty, cheap and intolerable. Sometimes, though, he’s pretty funny. Today is a good day.
Seems the Dodgers have sent out fan surveys about their announcing crew. Which is pretty cool. Nothin’ wrong with getting fan feedback. Except, as Simers notes, it’s a bit awkward in that it includes Vin Scully. And Vin Scully is not exactly a guy who is or should be subject to fan referendum at this point in his illustrious career. Any negative feedback he receives is almost, by definition, insane. He’s the beloved tenured professor who isn’t gonna have anything bad happen to him if an undergrad says his exams were too hard during evaluations. But he’s on the survey anyway because it would probably make Charlie Steiner and Steve Lyons and those other guys feel bad if they were reminded so clearly that they are not the top dog.
Anyway, Simers fills out a survey for Scully and the results are funny, clever and have the enjoyable effect of slamming the McCourts even though this column isn’t really about them. Can’t ask for much more.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.