The moment Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels I began wondering when T.J. Simers would saunter up to him and do his usual antagonistic shtick. The answer: yesterday. And what’s Hamilton’s awful transgression for which Simers demands answers: he smiles.
Uh-oh, we’ve got another smiler. This catches on and we won’t have any athletes around town who appear as if they give a rip … Worse yet, and you would hope there is a competitor brewing down deep there, Hamilton comes across like the poster child for every athlete who knows he has guaranteed money coming.
It’s never good when the fans seem to care more than the guys competing to win or lose.
Because everyone knows that a player who is struggling but looks upset and angry is better to have than a player who is struggling and looks calm. And everyone knows you can tell how much someone cares by how agitated they appear to be.
Hamilton hit two home runs in the past two games. Simers credits himself for that, of course. The guy is just … man.
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.