The Marlins to hire Valentine; kill Puerto Rico's buzz

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UPDATE:  Maybe my indignation is premature: Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post quotes Valentine as saying it’s “absolutely not true” that he’d be starting the Marlins job by Monday.  Was this all a misreport by Heyman, or is this an example of Bobby Valentine having way more sense about all of this than Loria?  We’ll likely know more as the day goes on.

10:05 A.M.: It will surprise absolutely no one that the Marlins, as reported by Jon Heyman, have decided to hire Bobby Valentine.  We knew that was happening yesterday.  What is surprising, I think, is the timing of it: According to Heyman, Valentine is to start no later than Monday.

The significance of Monday? That’s when the Marlins start a three-game series with the Mets in Puerto Rico.  The same Puerto Rico in which Marlins’ interim manager Edwin Rodriguez was born, raised and where he calls home. The same Puerto Rico that, according to MLB.com, is going nuts with joy over the fact that Rodriguez is their first native son to be a big league manager, even if everyone knows it’s just an interim job.

Jeff Loria, however, doesn’t seem to care.  He can’t be bothered to let Rodriguez and the fans in Puerto Rico have three freakin’ days of national pride over his ascendancy to a major league managerial job.  Gotta get Bobby V. in there now!  Why? Who knows. Maybe Loria’s clueless and doesn’t realize how important this would be to Puerto Rico and, in all likelihood, Rodriguez. Maybe he thinks that having Valentine in uniform to manage against the Mets will somehow stick it to New York. I have no idea.

Whatever the reason, though, it’s a poor, poor move on Loria’s part. These three games aren’t going to make a huge difference in the Marlins’ season. They would, however, make a huge difference to Puerto Rico and Rodriguez if he were still at the helm.

Bobby V. has been waiting for months for a major league job, Loria.  I’m sure he’d have no problem waiting a couple of days longer and take over the Marlins on Friday.  Cut Puerto Rico and Rodriguez a break, would ya? Let the man manage in Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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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.