A year ago the Miami Marlins adopted a ban on facial hair for players. They never gave a good reason for it apart from vague allusions to image and professionalism, but really, there was no and could be no good reason for it. They’re baseball players, not executives. Even if you tried to construct an argument about how they are ambassadors for the Miami Marlins brand, you have to contend with the fact that almost every other team allows facial hair and almost every other team has a superior brand to that of the Miami Marlins.
Thankfully, the Marlins have changed their mind about all of this and have gotten rid of the policy.
Don Mattingly says that players still have to be “groomed” which, I presume, means that they shouldn’t have lentil soup in their beards or whatever. Really, though, Mattingly — who wore a mustache in his playing days — sounds like he doesn’t give a rip about it, noting that it was a pain for him to enforce the ban last year. Not the sort of thing you want your manager concentrating on, obviously.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.