It turns out sometimes a ballplayer getting into The Best Shape Of His Life isn’t such a good thing, as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes about Josh Hamilton:
Last offseason, he started a natural-juice diet–or “lifestyle change,” as he calls it–and entered at an estimated 227 pounds, roughly 20 pounds lighter than normal. For next year, he’s scrapping that. His goal is to enter at his traditional 245 pounds again.
“I’m going to try to put some weight on, but do it the right way–by doing a lot of the things I’m doing now, but adding more calories, things like that,” Hamilton said. “Because this year, I haven’t been weaker than I have–I’m just as strong in the weight room as I’ve ever been–but I think there’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you.”
“There’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you” is a pretty good motto, just for life in general. And oddly enough, on my podcast this week we spent a solid 15 minutes discussing the all-time best butts in Twins history.
Incidentally, while his overall numbers are awful and the Angels are no doubt regretting his $125 million contract in a huge way, Hamilton has hit .329 with five homers and a .916 OPS in his last 40 games.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.