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Miguel Cabrera ties Hank Greenberg with 331st career homer

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With a three-run home run to right-center in the third inning and a solo shot to straightaway center in the fifth — his ninth and tenth of the season, respectively — against Rangers starter Derek Holland, Miguel Cabrera put himself in a tie with Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg with 331 career home runs.

Cabrera, the defending AL MVP and the first player in 45 years to win a Triple Crown, bumped his league-leading average up to .384 and league-leading RBI total to 46, putting himself in prime position to win another Triple Crown. You know, if he feels like it. Only two players have won multiple Triple Crowns: Rogers Hornsby in 1922 and ’25, and Ted Williams in 1942 and ’47.

Cabrera is one of 15 players all-time to have 330 or more career home runs before his 31st birthday. Assuming he hits at least another 30, he’ll move up to #12 on the list at least.

The list (as of this writing):

Rk Player HR From To Age PA
1 Alex Rodriguez 464 1994 2006 18-30 7774
2 Ken Griffey 438 1989 2000 19-30 7319
3 Jimmie Foxx 429 1925 1938 17-30 7293
4 Albert Pujols 408 2001 2010 21-30 6782
5 Mickey Mantle 404 1951 1962 19-30 7199
6 Eddie Mathews 399 1952 1962 20-30 7124
7 Frank Robinson 373 1956 1966 20-30 7088
8 Mel Ott 369 1926 1939 17-30 7808
9 Andruw Jones 368 1996 2007 19-30 7276
10 Hank Aaron 366 1954 1964 20-30 7216
11 Juan Gonzalez 362 1989 2000 19-30 5779
12 Adam Dunn 354 2001 2010 21-30 6065
13 Sammy Sosa 336 1989 1999 20-30 5808
14 Harmon Killebrew 336 1954 1966 18-30 5202
15 Miguel Cabrera 331 2003 2013 20-30 6669
16 Ralph Kiner 329 1946 1953 23-30 5223
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2013.

Update (11:35 PM): Miguel Cabrera hit his third home run of the night, a solo shot to center off of Tanner Scheppers. So he’s up to 332.

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before a start to deal with the yips

9 Apr 2000: Rick Ankiel #66 of the St. Louis Cardinals winds back to pitch the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Brweers at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch  /Allsport
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The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.

It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:

On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:

“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”

Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrate. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.

 

Justin Turner talks “Easy D”

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up prior to game six of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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A couple of weeks ago our president wrote one of his more . . . vexing tweets. He was talking about immigration when he whipped out the phrase . . . “Easy D”:

No one was quite sure what he meant by Easy D. Was it the older brother of N.W.A.’s founder? The third sequel to that Emma Stone movie from a few years back? So many questions!

Baseball Twitter had fun with it, though, with a lot of people wondering how they could work it in casually to their commentary:

It wasn’t a scout who did it, but twelve days after that, a player obliged Mr. McCullough:

I have no more idea what Turner was talking about with that than Trump was. We’ll have to wait for the full story in the L.A. Times. But I am going to assume Turner was doing McCullough a solid with that one rather than commenting on the president’s tweet. Either way, I’m glad he made the effort.

And before you ask: yes, it’s a slow news day.