Paul Konerko

Someone really good is getting snubbed from the All-Star Game next year

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The American League now has all of the following at first base (presented with 2011 stats):

Albert Pujols (Angels): .299/.366/.541, 37 HR, 99 RBI
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): .344/.448/.586, 30 HR, 105 RBI
Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox): .338/.410/.548, 27 HR, 117 RBI
Mark Teixeira (Yankees): .248/.341/.494, 39 HR, 111 RBI
Paul Konerko (White Sox): .300/.388/.518, 31 HR, 105 RBI

There’s also a very promising 22-year-old in Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer who seems poised to join the elite in short order, though All-Star appearances figure to elude him for a few years yet.

It brings to mind the mid-to-late 90s, when Mark McGwire, Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Carlos Delgado, Mo Vaughn, Rafael Palmeiro and Tino Martinez were all gunning for All-Star appearances in the AL. That crunch resulted in Delgado participating in just two All-Star Games as a Blue Jay. Palmeiro had a stretch of five straight years from 1993-97 in which he received MVP votes every years, yet never went to an All-Star Game. After Tino was voted in as the starter in 1997, McGwire, Thomas and Thome all made the team as backups.

Settling the Scores: Tuesday’s results

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27:  Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees celebrates his first inning two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox with teammate Jacoby Ellsbury #22 at Yankee Stadium on September 27, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Sox’ winning streak ends at 11, thanks in part to Gary Sanchez continuing to hit like Barry Bonds or someone. Well, not quite Bonds, but his 20 homers in 49 games is ridiculous. I’d say “at some point pitchers need to stop giving him stuff to hit,” but this dude drove in a run when someone tried to intentionally walk him a week or two ago, so maybe there is nothing that can be done. In any event, Boston’s loss, along with the Blue Jays win, means that the AL East is not quite settled. It likely is practically, but not technically!

In other news, the Tigers pounded the Indians and their post-clinch, hungover lineup and, with the Orioles’ loss, pull a game closer in the Wild Card. The Mets pounded the Marlins who, one suspects, can only run on emotion so long and desperately want and ned to be with their loved ones to process this past week. The Cards and Giants both won as well, keeping the NL Wild Card at the status quo for another day: the Mets and Giants in, if the season ended today, the Cards one back.

The scores:

Yankees 6, Red Sox 4
Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 2
Cubs 6, Pirates 4
Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1
Tigers 12, Indians 0
Braves 7, Phillies 6
Mets 12, Marlins 1
Royals 4, Twins 3
Rangers 6, Brewers 4
White Sox 13, Rays 6
Astros 8, Mariners 4
Cardinals 12, Reds 5
Angels 8, Athletics 1
Padres 7, Dodgers 1
Giants 12, Rockies 3

Video: Aledmys Diaz hits a grand slam in remembrance of Jose Fernandez

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 21: Aledmys Diaz #36 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against San Diego Padres in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on July 21, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.

In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.

Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”

Here’s the video.