Rod Carew picked a convenient time to "boycott the Hall of Fame" on Bert Blyleven's behalf

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Rod Carew, who was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991, said earlier this week that he’ll “boycott the Hall of Fame” if Bert Blyleven “doesn’t get in this year” during his 14th appearance on the ballot.
That’s a very nice gesture by a former teammate, but also one that would have been far more meaningful a decade ago when Blyleven was actually struggling to receive votes. Threatening the boycott now is essentially meaningless, because Blyleven is all but guaranteed to get into the Hall of Fame after falling just five votes short last year.
Blyleven needs 75 percent of the vote for induction and last year he was at 74.2 percent, which was up from 62.7 percent in 2008, 47.7 percent in 2007, and a low of 14.1 percent in 1999. He should get in with votes to spare this time around, and deservedly so, but Carew may want to get behind his next cause a little earlier.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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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.