It’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. But the Nationals are considering it. Here’s general manager Mike Rizzo:
“I think already he’s a leader of the club and kind of a pseudo-captain
already,” Rizzo said. “We’ve kicked around the premise of making
somebody the captain of the team, with a ‘C’ on their jersey. I haven’t
come to any conclusion. Zim, obviously, is the leader of the franchise.”
The whole idea of a captain is silly to begin with — and better reserved for the tradition of hockey, in my opinion — but for Rizzo to hedge about who the captain would be is just plain stupid. What, having a hard time deciding between Zimmerman and Alberto Gonzalez?
On a related note, Bill Ladson of MLB.com took an informal poll of his Twitter followers the other day when the idea was originally floated about. Out of 21 polled, 11 felt that Zimmerman deserved the honor, while nine felt he was too young or the Nationals didn’t need a special leader. One said it didn’t matter. Coincidentally, that person is also a genius.
Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres was born on December 13, 1996. That year, Bartolo Colon (who turns 45 years old on Thursday) was wrapping up a season he spent with Double-A Canton-Akron and Triple-A Buffalo. He would debut in the majors the following April.
In a clash of generations, the 21-year-old Torres and Colon squared off on Monday as the Yankees visited the Rangers. Torres won the battle twice, drilling a two-run home run off of Colon in the second inning and a solo shot off of Colon in the fourth. Colon wound up giving up six runs in total on eight hits (including four homers) and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Here is video of the first homer Torres hit:
Torres is the second-youngest Yankee in club history with a multi-homer game. Mickey Mantle was 20 years and 296 days old when he went yard twice on August 11, 1952. Torres is 21 years, 159 days old. Joe DiMaggio was 21-212 when he hit two on June 24, 1936.
So much for respecting one’s elders. We’re currently seeing a youth movement in baseball. 19-year-old Juan Soto hit his first major league homer on Monday against the Padres. 20-year-olds Ronald Acuña and Mike Soroka debuted for the Braves earlier this year. Could 19-year-old Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. join them soon?