Matthew Pouliot

America's Cup Training

Bay Bridge shutdown forces detour for Angels

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The Bay Bridge was closed down this afternoon after someone reported a suspicious device on an offramp. That wouldn’t seem to be much of a baseball issue, except the Angels were staying in a San Francisco hotel despite playing in Oakland tonight.

This happened early enough in the day that it seems unlikely any players will show up late to the ballpark tonight. But it is a little interesting that a) the Angels prefer to stay in San Fran when they’re playing in Oakland and b) Albert Pujols is still showing up early to the park, yet the .223-hitting Josh Hamilton doesn’t feel the need.

The home run that got Miguel Sano benched

Miguel Sano
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Twins prospect Miguel Sano hasn’t played the last two days after being benched as a result of his antics during this home run Tuesday in Double-A New Britain’s game against Portland.

Apparently, New Britain manager Jeff Smith had two problems with the homer. First, it was the pause Sano did a couple of steps away from home plate that was mostly missed by the video. The other issue was the slow jog around the bases. The homer is hit at the 34 second mark in Tbautos512’s video, and Sano doesn’t come around to touch home plate until the 1:03 mark. That 28-29 second trip is David Ortiz territory; while Ortiz averages 28 seconds around the bases on his home runs, according to Tater Trot Tracker, no one else in the majors tops 26 seconds.

The Twins haven’t announced when Sano will be back in the lineup, though it figures to happen this weekend. The Pioneer-Press’s Mike Berardino notes that another one of the  Twins’ best prospects, Eddie Rosario, was benched for a similar offense earlier this season.

Sano, 20, is hitting .294/.390/.621 with 26 homers and 76 RBI in 327 at-bats between Single-A Fort Myers and New Britain this season.  His homer Tuesday was his fourth in six games.

Passan: No Manny Ramirez callup on the way

BASEBALL-TPE-US-RAMIREZ
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Sources tell Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan that the Rangers have no plans to call up Manny Ramirez, even with regular designated hitter Lance Berkman making little progress with his leg problems and weighing retirement.

Ramirez went 1-for-4 on Thursday and is hitting .250/.318/.417 with three homers in 15 games for Triple-A Round Rock as he attempts a major league comeback after playing in Taiwan earlier this season.

“This isn’t Manny Ramirez,” a scout told Passan. “This is a 41-year-old still trying to play baseball and not doing it very well.”

At least, he’s not doing it very well two-thirds of the time. Ramirez has actually destroyed left-handers so far, hitting all three of his homers off them. He’s 7-for-21 against southpaws, compared to 8-for-39 with just one extra-base hit (a double) against righties.

But even if Manny could still hit lefties in the majors, there just isn’t much room for platoon DHs on teams with 12-man pitching staffs. The Rangers probably won’t give him a look unless they think he can handle a bigger role.