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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.

Dexter Fowler: “I didn’t say anything wrong.”

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Dexter Fowler #81 poses for a portrait during St Louis Cardinals Photo Day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2017 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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New Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler was recently asked by ESPN’s Mark Saxon how President Trump’s efforts to institute a travel ban affected him and his family. Fowler’s wife is from Iran and Fowler said that he had reconsidered traveling with his daughter to Iran to visit her family. His wife’s sister also delayed her return from a business trip to Qatar as a result of Trump’s executive order. “It’s huge,” Fowler said. “Especially anytime you’re not able to see family, it’s unfortunate.”

Fowler’s statement was pretty bland as far as athletes wading into political waters go. He didn’t criticize Trump or conservatives, nor did he espouse support for liberals or Democrats. It was a simple statement that his life had been adversely impacted by an executive order.

The responses to Fowler’s comment were mostly awful. The @BestFansStLouis Twitter account highlighted this, as did Jeff Passan for Yahoo Sports and Will Leitch for Sports on Earth. Fans suggested that Fowler “shut up and play” because “nobody cares” and that Fowler is “property” of the Cardinals. The responses were so negative that Fowler tweeted about it:

Fowler, however, isn’t backing down. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Fowler said. “I think it was taken out of context [by other outlets]. I don’t think people read the article. I think people made their own [headlines]. The question was asked out of empathy to my family, and I appreciate that. If anybody is asking about my family, then I’m going to let them know that, ‘Yeah, obviously it affected my family. My wife is Iranian.’ … I think it’s kind of ignorant of people to just come at me like that and not read the article.”

[…]

“I’m always going to care for my family,” Fowler said. “And if a question is asked out of concern, I’m going to answer the question. And I’m going to answer it truthfully. It’s not to hurt anybody. It’s unfortunate that people think of things that way. I believe they’re sensitive. I’m not the sensitive one. I appreciate the ones that understood.”

Manager Mike Matheny has Fowler’s back. He said, “I think he handled it correctly. He was very clear that he was trying to make a statement about his family [and it] ended up becoming a political statement.”

Tony Clark, executive director of the MLBPA, also expressed support for Fowler:

“Baseball players are a microcosm of society, and I was a grown man before I was a baseball player,” Clark said. “If I have a view, I should be willing to share it, while understanding what I’m a part of and what my responsibilities are. Any player understands that when they take a particular position, it may not be a popular one.

“There may be pushback. That shouldn’t be a reason not to have an opinion. In this instance, it’s a very personal one to Dex. I respect the commentators that responded. I respect their freedom to respond to it.”

Indeed, Fowler had every right to say what he said and it’s good to see that both his manager and the head of the MLBPA support him fully. It would have been easy and politically safe to allow Fowler to hang out to dry.

Report: Extension talks between Mets, Neil Walker are “probably dead”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.

The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.