VIDEO: Billy Hamilton goes all Matrix to avoid a tag

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There’s increasing evidence that Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton is not of this world. For instance, watch this ridiculous play last night against the Pirates.

Hamilton dropped down a bunt to lead of the bottom of the first inning. It looked like an easy play for first baseman Gaby Sanchez, but Hamilton somehow managed to wiggle around the tag and dive head-first into first base for a single. Watch it. I promise you’ll like it.

Amazing stuff. You could almost say that he became unstuck in time. Hamilton went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored last night and is batting .285/.318/.424 with 29 extra-base hits (including five home runs) and 37 stolen bases over 88 games this season. He’s been a .300 hitter since mid-April and has played excellent defense in center field. The 23-year-old speedster has quickly become one of exciting players in the game.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.