There was a ton of speculation about Joe Girardi leaving the Yankees for the Cubs as a free agent manager, but New York general manager Brian Cashman said yesterday that he was never all that worried.
Cashman told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com that the Cubs’ interest in Girardi was “expected” after they fired Dale Sveum, but added:
I went to Joe. I said: “If this is something you want, let me know and we’ll let you go.” But he said he wanted to stay, so we were able to work it out. I never felt he was leaving us. If he wasn’t on board, then we would have cut him loose and let him talk to anybody.
And of course Girardi got a nice bump in salary for staying, so it worked out well for him too.
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.