Earlier this month, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was the recipient of some hateful actions at Fenway Park. One fan attempted to throw peanuts at him while another shouted a racist epithet at him from the center field seats. The Red Sox handled the situation well, apologizing to Jones and vowing to do better than it comes to handling fan misconduct.
Unfortunately, Jones’ story is all too common. Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia backed up Jones’ story, saying he’d only been called the N-word in Boston. Red Sox pitcher David Price said he was the recipient of racist slurs from Boston fans last year when he struggled. Outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. said the same when he got off to a slow start in 2014. Barry Bonds, in 2004, said he’d never play in Boston because the city is “too racist for me.” Vernon Wells said Fenway Park was one of the only two stadiums he was warned about where racially motivated comments might occur.
Despite the preponderance of testimony from players past and present, as well as the statistics which show that black people face a totally different reality than white people, Jones still found skeptics. Given his platform, Curt Schilling was the loudest, claiming Jones made the whole thing up for attention.
Jones wrote a short column and shot a video for The Players’ Tribune addressing the situation as well as his skeptics.
Kudos to Jones for continuing to speak up about this. The aim of Jones’ skeptics is not just to dissuade Jones from pressing the issue, but to dissuade other people who face similar issues every day from speaking up. The end result, they hope, is a society that remains unchanged despite its fatal flaws.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”