John Kruk once famously told a woman he was not an athlete, he was a ballplayer. Albert Pujols, in contrast, embraces the label of athlete.
We know this because He’s making a guest appearance on Sesame Street on Thursday, explaining to Grover what the word “athlete” means. And it’s fantastic:
- I’m going to start calling Grover “Mike Trout” because, like Trout, he flat carries Pujols here. But that’s not a shock. Grover is an 80-Muppet. He is so much better than just about every other Muppet there is. In a just world he’s making Elmo money. He’s that good;
- Watch Pujols look away at the cue card as he identifies himself by name. Seriously.
- “Yes. I train to play baseball. And I am good at baseball.” That’s quote of the year material there.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays will start a reliever in each of the three games of the club’s weekend series at home against the Orioles. Sergio Romo will start Friday, Ryne Stanek will start Saturday, and Romo will start again Sunday. The Orioles’ starters are TBA at the moment.
This continues the trend that drew attention last weekend, resulting in Angels third baseman calling the strategy “bad for baseball.” I wrote about the potential labor impacts of this strategy as well. The Rays did it against the Angels because they had a right-hander-heavy top of the lineup and didn’t want lefty Ryan Yarbrough to have to face that top of the lineup three times.
The O’s have a righty-heavy top of the lineup as well, as various combinations of Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop have batted 1-2-3-4 for most of the season. Romo has limited right-handers to a .702 OPS this season.