ESPN The Magazine conducted a survey of a handful of MLB players and asked their attitudes about A-Rod, his suspension and the whole drama with Ryan Dempster plunking him last week. You may be surprised at the results.
Go read the specific questions asked, the breakdown and some select quotes from the anonymous respondents, but the upshot is that way more players think less of Dempster than A-Rod, the vast majority have no issue with him playing pending his appeal and recognize his right to do so as a matter of collective bargaining. A much larger number than you might think thinks Bud Selig is out of line in giving A-Rod a 211-game suspension.
Is it scientific? Nope. But I think it’s more reflective of player views than any given column in which the columnist — who already believes A-Rod is History’s Greatest Monster — finds a player or two who will go on record echoing those sentiments.
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.