MLB’s Roberto Clemente Award is handed out annually to a player who “combines on-field excellence with extraordinary community endeavors.” Or so says Alex Speier of the great WEEI.com. This year, Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield was given the honor at a press conference before Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco. A note from the commish:
“Major League Baseball congratulates Tim Wakefield for being named the recipient of the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “While Tim has put together a wonderful career on the field, his efforts off the field have had a lasting impact on the lives of young people, particularly in New England and Melbourne, Florida. We are proud to honor him with this prestigious Award.”
Wakefield has played a major role in a variety of charities over the past few years in the New England Area, including “Pitching For Kids,” which provides educational grants to needy children in the great Northeast. Also, he’s raised over $10 million through his annual Tim Wakefield Celebrity Golf Classic and Memorabilia Auction. It’s great to see those efforts rewarded and Wakefield told reporters that it was the “greatest honor of his career … the ultimate.”
Past Roberto Clemente Award recipients include Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Craig Biggio, Carlos Delgado, John Smoltz, Edgar Martinez, Jamie Moyer and Jim Thome.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.