White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu entered play Tuesday with 22 home runs — third in MLB behind only Edwin Encarnacion (24) of the Blue Jays and Nelson Cruz (23) of the Orioles. But the sensational rookie slugger doesn’t have any desire to strut his stuff in the 2014 Home Run Derby at Target Field.
“Home Run Derby is not something I’m too crazy about,” Abreu told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday through a translator. “It’s a good thing but I am not really interested or looking forward to. I really wouldn’t want to do it. I did it in Cuba several times and I wasn’t much into it.”
“The first thing it does is affect you mentally,” he continued. “You go out and try to hit home runs. I’m not a guy who tries to hit homers. I let them come when they come .. sometimes it messes with your mechanics.”
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista was named the American League captain for the Home Run Derby and is in charge of finding four players to join him. Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is the NL captain.
Abreu signed a six-year, $68 million contract with Chicago last October after defecting from Cuba.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.