I’m not quite sure where Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle is going here. He starts off strong with an amusing compare and contrast between a softball home-run-hitting exhibition which took place before last night’s Cubs-Giants game and the feckless Giants’ bats.
But then he got into some commentary about Giants fans and their seeming obliviousness to the bad baseball with which they have recently been presented and which is sinking the Giants’ playoff chances like a stone:
On any given night, your favorite Giant goes 0-for-4 against a team long dismissed from relevance. And every night, without fail, the park is filled with enthusiastic patrons, still wrapped in the comfort of last year’s world championship and getting only mildly upset with the proceedings.
I think Jenkins is OK with the show of loyalty — he favorably compares Giants fans to “Boston or Philadelphia, where the folks would be hurling insults, obscenities and Double-A batteries,” but there seems to be a bit of an exasperated “wake up you idiots!” tone to this.
I guess it just goes back to the never-resolvable argument about whether “good fans” continue to come out and cheer for a team going sideways or, rather, if they make the team pay for its incompetence at the turnstile.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.