Ryan Braun continued to own the Phillies yesterday, hitting a big RBI triple the day after hitting three homers. When he got to third base he made a gesture of sorts. A gesture he claimed was aimed at his dugout but which, I dunno, may have been a taunt of the Philly fans. The 700 Level investigates with video and GIFy evidence.
I’m gonna say it’s a taunt. Partially because Ryan Braun has pretty much forfeited the benefit of the doubt on any subject whatsoever, partially because I really, really want it to have been a taunt. Baseball and its code of professionalism and humility gets so old sometimes. It could use some arrogant villains. Like, real ones, who embrace their unpopularity, not imaginary villains like Puig.
Go full-heel, Ryan. Go full-heel.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.