Can the Red Sox keep both Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Valentine?

59 Comments

It was mostly “no comment” in the Red Sox clubhouse this afternoon after the Yahoo! Sports report stating that Red Sox players met with ownership to try to get Bobby Valentine fired as manager.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty has the quotes:

“I just want to play baseball, man,” Dustin Pedroia said, declining to confirm or deny Jeff Passan’s report.

Adrian Gonzalez, the reported ringleader, admitted to a meeting, but when asked if he was trying to get Valentine fired, he said “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He went on bash Passan’s article: “I’ve never seen that guy in our clubhouse before. He doesn’t know what’s going on with us.”

Red Sox upper management must not believe that things are quite as bad as Passan presented, given that the team neither fired Valentine nor weighed dealing Gonzalez when the Dodgers came calling before the trade deadline. The meeting happened last month, so the Sox could have parted ways with Gonzalez if they thought he was a driving force in a clubhouse full of malcontents.

Of course, there are two other possibilities: things really are that bad and upper management either just doesn’t realize it or is divided on what to do about it. That division does seem to exist, after all; it’s why Valentine, Larry Lucchino’s choice, got the job when GM Ben Cherington reportedly preferred Dale Sveum and Gene Lamont.

On the plus side, at least the players are now united in a common cause. Score one for Bobby V.

Major League Baseball issues a statement on Trump’s latest travel ban order

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Last night the Trump Administration announced a new batch of restrictions on people traveling from foreign countries, following up on its previous travel ban on persons from six predominately Muslim countries. The latest restriction could potentially touch on Major League Baseball, however, as it includes Venezuela.

The restriction for Venezuela is far narrower than the others, only blocking visas for government officials on business or tourist travel from Venezuela. There has been considerable uncertainty about the scope and enforcement mechanisms for the previous travel ban, however, and the entire matter is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. With that uncertainty, many around Major League Baseball have asked how and if the league or the union might respond to an order that, while seemingly not facially impacting baseball personnel or their families, could impact them in practice.

To that end, Major League Baseball issued a statement this afternoon, saying “MLB is aware of the travel ban that involves Venezuela and we have contacted the appropriate government officials to confirm that it will not have an effect on our players traveling to the U.S.” It is not clear whether it has, in fact, received such confirmation or if its an ongoing dialog or what.

Again: the ban shouldn’t impact baseball players or their families based on its terms. But based on what we saw with the enforcement of the previous one — and based the unexpected consequences many major leaguers faced when international travel restrictions were tightened following the 9/11 attacks — it’s only prudent for Major League Baseball to make such inquiries and get whatever assurances it can well in advance of next February when players from Venezuela will be coming back to the United States for spring training.

 

Aaron Judge breaks rookie home run record with 49th, 50th blasts

Getty Images
18 Comments

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge made history today, hitting his 49th and 50th home runs, tying and then breaking the rookie record previously held by Mark McGwire of the Oakland Athletics.

Judge’s first dinger came in the third inning of this afternoon’s Royals-Yankees tilt. It was the sixth pitch from Jake Junis and left via right field. His second came in the bottom of the seventh against Trevor Cahill.

McGwire set his record in 1987, needing 151 games to do it. Judge hit his 50th in his 150th game of the season. He has five more games after today to add to that mark. Through his latest at bat in this game Judge is hitting .283/.417/.620 on the year with 50 HR, 108 RBI, 124 runs scored and 119 walks. Given Judge’s strong finish to the season, the AL MVP race should come down to a contest between him and Jose Altuve. It’s hard to argue against either one.

Here’s Judge’s first bomb:

And here’s the second: