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.
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.