Some ballparks have a ton of statues. Others, not so many. Boston’s Fenway Park is in the not so many camp, with current statues of Ted Williams and a “Teammates” statue featuring Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr being the only ones.
But Fenway is about to get a third: Carl Yastrzemski’s statue will be unveiled on Sunday, Sept. 22 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his retirement.
Yaz is definitely worthy. After Williams, Yaz — winner of the 1967 Triple Crown, MVP Award and leader of the “Impossible Dream” Red Sox — is probably the best and most significant Red Sox in the team’s history. Indeed, even as he started to be surpassed in terms of production — and pushed out of the outfield — by Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans as the 1970s wore on, Yaz was undoubtedly the face of the team and the hero of Sox fans who came of age at any time between the early 60s and early 80s.
Yastrzemski hit 452 home runs, drove in 1,844 runs and batted .285 while playing 3,308 games for Boston. And now he’s getting the bronze treatment.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.