Hired as the Mariners’ new manager yesterday, Eric Wedge’s ugly history with Milton Bradley from their time together with the Indians in 2003/2004 seemingly makes it unlikely that they’ll be asked to co-exist again in Seattle.
That may prove true–Wedge hasn’t even been officially introduced to the local media yet–but in the meantime Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that after hearing about Wedge’s hiring yesterday Bradley did his best to clear the air by text messaging the following note to an unnamed member of the Mariners organization:
Whatever took place was six or seven years ago and I’m over it. He was a disciplinarian and I felt our team lacked discipline last year. Hopefully, he instills some of that.
That’s nice and all, but coming from a guy who’s worn out his welcome with seven different teams and engaged in some pretty serious insubordination against Wedge the first time around … well, it doesn’t carry much weight.
Stone suggests that “perhaps this marriage can work the second time around” but I’d certainly bet against Bradley and Wedge being in the same dugout come Opening Day.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.