The Boston Red Sox have announced that David Ortiz’s number 34 will be retired in a ceremony on June 23, at Fenway Park.
Ortiz’s number will be the tenth to officially be retired by the Red Sox, following Bobby Doerr (1); Joe Cronin (4); Jonny Pesky (6); Carl Yastrzemski (8); Ted Williams (9); Jim Rice (14); Wade Boggs (26); Carlton Fisk (27); Pedro Martinez (45) and Jackie Robinson (42), as all of Major League Baseball has. The Sox have a few “unofficial” retired numbers — Roger Clemens (21); Jason Varitek (33); and Tim Wakefield (49) — which have not been issued to any other players since those players left Boston.
The Sox used to have some strict rules about number retiring, doing so only for players who made the Hall of Fame, played in Boston for at least a decade and ended their career in Boston. They have made several exceptions to that rule in recent years, for good reason. Ortiz will, in all likelihood, have fulfilled even the old requirements if the Sox were to have waited for five years, but as it is, doing so now is eminently appropriate.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.