This morning Mike Lupica spent two nearly incoherent pages complaining about the Yankees not giving Johnny Damon whatever he wanted to play in New York and scoffing at the notion that the Bombers would impose a budget.
Ten years ago Mike Lupica spent two nearly incoherent pages complaining that the Yankees threw money at all of their problems, causing “baseball to die a little bit at a time” due to the Yankees “living big,” and pining for a salary cap. And I recall him making that same complaint several times since then, but this is the first one I found.
These aren’t necessarily inconsistent statements — Lupica is probably still angry at the Yankees for spending a lot of money in a general sense and may merely not believe Cashman’s claim that he has a budget now — but one definitely gets the sense that, to Mike Lupica anyway, the Yankees front office is damned if they exercise a bit of financial sense and damned if they don’t.
(thanks to TheYankeeU for pointing out this morning’s Lupicapalooza)
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.