Last week the New York Times ran a story about discrimination claims lodged against Jim Crane’s company several years ago and wondered if the existence of such claims could complicate his approval as the new owner of the Houston Astros. I was highly skeptical that would be an obstacle because if Bud Selig had any issues with Crane over this his bid for the Astros a couple of years ago would have been squashed, as would his bid for the Rangers last year. That the present sale of the Astros has gotten this far is pretty clear evidence that, as far as baseball is concerned, Crane has no worries.
Today Richard Justice confirms that, reporting that Crane met with Selig yesterday and that it’s full steam ahead. In the course of the article he notes how, if anyone was going to have a trouble with the discrimination allegations it would be Selig, and the fact that he’s cool with it means that everyone will be cool with it.
Now, we still await word as to whether anyone cares about those reports that Crane’s ownership group is debt heavy. For that I’m not holding my breath.
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.