Last month Joe Torre was said to be “leaning toward” taking a job with Major League Baseball and now Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that commissioner Bud Selig will officially announce tomorrow that Torre has joined MLB as executive vice president for baseball operations.
According to Heyman he’ll be “overseeing on-field activity for MLB” in a role previously filled by Sandy Alderson, who left the job to take over as the Mets’ general manager this offseason.
Torre, who announced with two weeks remaining on the schedule that he’d be stepping down as Dodgers manager following last season, has been a big-league manager for each of the past 21 seasons and the 71-year-old future Hall of Famer has a total of 29 seasons of managing experience. Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that Torre will be working out of New York rather than staying in Los Angeles.
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.