After a bit of a slow start in the majors, Astros rookie outfielder George Springer is beginning to figure things out.
Springer homered in his fourth straight game tonight while going 4-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI, a walk, and five runs scored in a 9-2 victory over the Royals. The 24-year-old has five home runs and 11 RBI during this recent stretch and is now batting .268/.348/.500 with eight home runs and 25 RBI over his first 35 games in the majors. Among players with at least 150 plate appearances, he’s tied for 14th in the American League in slugging percentage and ranks 17th with an .848 OPS.
Springer scuffled to the tune of a .170 batting average through his first 12 games in the majors, but he’s hitting .319 over his last 23 games. Strikeouts have still been an issue for him even during his recent run of success, but there’s reason for Astros fans to be very excited here.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.