This is interesting and, thankfully, has nothing to do with the Hall of Fame: Jeff Pearlman sat down and talked with former major leaguer Brian Johnson, who currently serves as a scout with the San Francisco Giants. The entire podcast is here, but Jeff has extensive excerpts from his conversation over at theScore.
Johnson has a lot of interesting things to say about scouting. He also talks a lot about PEDs. And while I take issue with a lot of what he says, it’s interesting simply to hear someone in his position say it. Stuff like how he could tell you, just by watching Jhonny Peralta play, when his PED supply ran out. But then, in the next paragraph, he admits that he’s the guy who signed off on Melky Cabrera for the Giants and that he saw no evidence of PED use, just a guy in shape.
Guess that tells you about the old eye test.
Anyway, I feel like this is the kind of stuff that scouts say among themselves but it’s not often you hear it said publicly, so even if you want to take it with a grain of salt, it’s interesting to hear it all the same.
Oh, and be sure to listen for Jeff Pearlman asking Johnson if he has permission to kick Barry Bonds’ ass. Which, however silly that is, leads to an interesting conversation about Bonds’ personality.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.