I haven’t checked in with the NFL reporters and PR men since Thursday night. I hope they’ve gotten over the tragedy visited upon them by the Orioles insisting on playing their home game as scheduled, but from the sturm und drang about it all I feel like they still might be working their way through the stages of grief.
They better get over it soon, though, because they only have a couple of weeks to get worked up about it anew. Seems that an Oakland A’s home playoff game on October 6th could force the Raiders to swap home dates with the Chargers. The NFL’s official position:
“We monitor the baseball playoff situation every year,” a league spokesman said. “If there is any change to our schedule, we would announce it at the appropriate time.”
But I presume they’ll first want to start a media campaign asking the A’s to “do the right thing” and tank its remaining games, miss the playoffs and thereby avoid interrupting a more popular and financially-successful sport.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.