My friend Michele has a son named Whitaker who is into baseball. Really into baseball. Like, I can’t tell you how much he’s into baseball. He plays on a traveling team called the Central Ohio Saints. Go to that link. Of the two tall kids, he’s the one on the left. By the way: he’s 12, so yeah, he’s gonna totally be starting at first base for the Reds around the time Joey Votto retires. Or, I dunno, as you can see, he pitches too, so maybe he’ll be CC Sabathia.
The upshot: baseball is really a big deal for Whitaker and you’re probably gonna see that kid get drafted some day.
He’s also a huge Reds fan. Billy Hamilton is his favorite player. His mom is an MVP, though. Here’s the note that she sent with him to school today:
That’s right. “An appointment with Mr. Redlegs.” His mom is bailing him out of school so he can go to a party with his teammates to watch the Reds game at 4pm.
Mom of the Year.
Austin Romine is starting at catcher and batting ninth for the Yankees in today’s ALCS Game 4 versus the Astros.
Gary Sanchez is still in the lineup, but he’s the DH. That means Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Matt Holliday are all on the bench.
Sanchez was lambasted for not holding on to the relay throw in Game 2, allowing Jose Altuve to score the winning run despite getting beat to the plate by the ball by several feet. That, combined with earlier passed balls, led some in the press to lobby for Romine to get the call behind the plate. Those calls tended to ignore the fact that Romine can’t hit a lick and that he is inferior to Sanchez when it comes to gunning down runners. Maybe a ball doesn’t skip by Romine that would have eluded Sanchez, but if I’m Jose Altuve or Alex Bregman or one of the speedier Astros, I’m running wild on Romine any time I get on base today.
The offensive knock is not quite as big a deal at the moment as it normally would be. Sanchez is in an 0-for-16 slump, but Romine isn’t replacing his bat he’s replacing either Ellsbury, Headley or Holliday. None of those guys are hitting at all, so I don’t suppose this is that big of a deal. Discuss amongst yourselves if you’d rather have a guy who is as cold as ice in the lineup who might hit versus a guy you can be pretty sure isn’t gonna hit regardless.
Either way, it’s a different look for the Yankees in Game 4.