I’m not sure why anyone would find that sentiment, voiced by Barry Bonds to Bob Nightengale, to be controversial. But I imagine they will. Anyway, here were the Home Run King’s exact words about Miguel Cabrera:
“He’s definitely the best. It’s not rocket science here. He’s the best. By far. Without a doubt. The absolute best … I don’t try to compare me to anybody. I was the best on the field. I did more things than he did. My game was different than his game. So comparing him, to me, there’s no comparison. He doesn’t have my MVPs. He doesn’t have my numbers. Well, not yet, anyways. But does he have that ability? Yes, he does. Does he have that gift? Yes, he does.”
Again, this shouldn’t be a point of debate. As Aaron noted yesterday:
There will always be a “best hitter in the game.” At the moment it’s Miguel Cabrera. For a while it was Albert Pujols. Manny Ramirez may have had a claim there for a few years. But when you’re talking about all-time accolades, you can’t avoid the fact that Barry Bonds walked the baseball earth for a couple of decades and out up mind-bending numbers.
Now, which of you will be the first to rush to the comments and tell us that he took performance enhancing drugs as if we were unaware of this fact and as if it totally obliterates all of Bonds’ accomplishments as opposed to merely your opinion of them and his personal morals and ethics?
The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.
It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.