If it weren’t for that “the Braves shouldn’t have kept Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz” thing earlier this morning this would have been the silliest thing I read all day:
[Manny] Ramirez complained toward the end of last season that playing the
outfield wore down his legs. He seriously considered opting out of his
contract to return to the American League for a designated-hitter role,
but instead exercised a $20 million option to remain a Dodger when it
was clear no other club would come close to that salary.
The notion that Ramirez would have even considered walking away from $20 million for a shot at some of those big, big DH dollars everyone is throwing out these days is pretty laughable. Less laughable than disturbing is the notion that Manny Ramirez — who, you may recall, took an extended breather during the middle of last season — says he needs even more rest for his weary legs. Because unless he’s back on the hormones, he’s gonna be expected to play more than 104 games out there this year.
Despite all of the offseason turmoil, I still think the Dodgers are the favorites in the NL West, but if Manny Ramirez is truly breaking down as fast as he claims to be, it may very well be a long season in Los Angeles.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.