Keith Hernandez

Great Moments in Labor Relations: Keith Hernandez crosses picket line; gets taunted

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In the places I grew up the unions were strong but the strikes, when they happened, were somewhat out of sight of our day-to-day lives. I mean, regular folks don’t have to worry about crossing a picket line at a Chevy truck plant or a coal mine when they’re just trying to go about their day. Upshot: I was never quite sure of the politics of picket lines.

I know you shouldn’t cross them if you’re sympathetic to the cause.  But is that in all instances? Like, if they’re picketing at the grocery store is it enough to give them the thumbs up and shop anyway?  If not, do you go to the next nearest store? What if it’s a non-union shop?  There’s probably somewhere I can read about the etiquette on all of this, but I just don’t know how it works in practice.

And maybe Keith Hernandez doesn’t either. According to Ben Maller at Yahoo!’s The Postgame, it seems that Mex ate at a New York restaurant where the workers were on strike.  When he left, picketers gave him an earful. The best nugget: “Mark Teixeira is a better fielder.”  It’s funnier because it’s not true.

Anyway, Hernandez didn’t much care for it.  I hope he didn’t undermine the union cause.

Curtis Granderson is close to making history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets connects on a three-run home run in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.

There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.

Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.

Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.

MLB teams pay tribute to José Fernández’s memory

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Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.

Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:

The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:

Rest in peace, Fernández.