In 1973, the Mets won the N.L. pennant. Their slogan that year was ‘Ya Gotta Believe.” As Tyler Kepner of the New York Times points out, the Phillies have put that slogan on the wall of their clubhouse of their spring training facility down in Clearwater.
This year, on the wall of a hallway at their spring complex in Clearwater, Fla., the Phillies have honored their best teams with large photos of McGraw and Ryan Howard, a slugger for the 2008 World Series champions. Between the photos are the words “Ya Gotta Believe,” attributed to McGraw.
To be fair, as Kepner notes, that phrase was coined by Tug McGraw, then of the Mets but later, and for a longer period of time, a member of the Phillies. McGraw continued to use the phrase as something of a personal mantra and even titled his memoir with it, so I think it’s fair to say that he took ownership of it when he and the Mets divorced at the end of the 1974 season. In short: we’ll allow it.
Now, if the Braves unfurl a banner that says “Amazin’!” in Sun Trust Park on Opening Day there is a more substantive beef.
Here’s hoping they do it.
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.