The other night golfer Hunter Mahan, obviously a baseball fan, tweeted something about the unwritten rules hubbub involving Yasiel Puig:
That’s the top retort for most folks who don’t take issue with on-field demonstrativeness and makes a lot of sense.
Fox’s producers decided to run with that, however, and had Tim McCarver reference the tweet and jokingly argue that if a golfer had no problem with a violation of unwritten rules in baseball, then he’d clearly have no problem with violations in golf too. So he suggested some violations, such as letting pro golfers wear shorts, talking while one’s opponent is hitting, walking over putting lines and to driving into foursomes in front of you. Here’s a screen grab:
Two problems with this, of course. First: these wouldn’t be violations of any unwritten rules. They’d be violations of actual rules. Pro golfers are not permitted to wear shorts by explicit PGA rules. USGA rule 16 prohibits players from touching putting lines. The USGA also explicitly spells out the contours of golf etiquette with respect to talking while other players are hitting and allowing space between you and the group in front of you.
The second, and much bigger, problem with this: looking at golf as any sort of model of behavior and decorum for baseball in the first place. Golf has a stick so far up its hind end that even Brian McCann, Chris Carpenter and Tony La Russa would tell golfers to chill the heck out, dude, and try to have a little fun out there. The last thing I’d ever want is anything akin to a golf sensibility spilling into baseball.
In any event: until the MLB rules talk about what one can and one cannot do when they do something good in a baseball game, all of this talk remains ridiculous.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.