Jacoby Ellsbury becomes Red Sox’s first 30/30 man

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The Red Sox may have collapsed, but their MVP certainly isn’t to blame.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a pair of solo homers Sunday off the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett to become the first member of the 30 HR/30 SB club in Red Sox history.

It’s the 57th 30/30 season in major league history.  Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun have also pulled it off this year.  Kemp has 37 homers and 40 steals for the Dodgers, while Braun has 33 homers and 31 steals for the Brewers.  Ellsbury currently has 38 steals.

Ellsbury’s second homer also gave him 100 RBI for the season.

Ellsbury is the first American Leaguer to go 30/30 since the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler in 2009.  He’s the first American League to amass 30 homers, 30 steals and 100 RBI since the Rangers’ Alfonso Soriano in 2005.

While Ellsbury was always a good bet to get the required steals needed to pull off such a feat, none were expecting this kind of power from him.  He has 10 more homers in 639 at-bats this season than he did in 1,372 at-bats entering the year.

Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game

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The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.

Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.

There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.

That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.

The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.

One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.

Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.

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