If Mike Trout was starting to bore you with all of his home runs and homer-stealing catches, the defending AL Most Valuable Player gave you another reason to admire his athletic prowess in Friday night’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
In the top of the fifth inning, Trout hit an RBI single to shallow left field past a diving Brock Holt to tie the game at 3-3. He moved to second base on an Albert Pujols ground out, then attempted to steal third base. The throw from catcher Blake Swihart appeared to be good enough to nab Trout, but he made an unbelievable slide to avoid the tag from Holt. Diving head-first, Trout tucked his left arm (the arm closest to Holt) back, while reaching with his other hand for the corner of the third base bag around and behind Holt’s left foot. Trout’s momentum took him past the bag, so he deftly turned on his back, hooked his right foot on the base, and stayed on the bag to continue avoiding the tag.
Trout was initially ruled out by third base umpire John Tumpane. Trout immediately shouted to the Angels’ dugout to challenge the ruling, and so manager Mike Scioscia did. Trout was ultimately ruled safe after review, and the Angels went on to put up a nine-spot against the Red Sox in the fifth inning.
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The stolen base is Trout’s eighth of the season in 10 attempts. He entered Friday’s action batting .295/.394/.564 with 11 home runs and 22 RBI.
The Atlanta Braves announced this morning that they have promoted general manager Alex Anthopoulos to President, Baseball Operations and General Manager and have extended his contract through 2024. They have likewise extended the contracts of manager Brian Snitker and his coaching staff through the 2021 season.
Anthopoulos’ promotion will not likely change his duties very much, as it’s become increasingly common for top baseball operations executives to be given the title of “president” as opposed to “GM.” Part of this is some expansion of the role of said executives. Some of it is simple title inflation. Some of it is to prevent other teams from being able to interview and potentially poach top executives without permission under the guise of promotion.
Anthopoulos was hired following the 2017 season, replacing former GM John Coppolella, who resigned and was subsequently permanently banned from baseball following his involvement in a scandal in which he breached rules in connection with signings of international players and obstructed Major League Baseball’s investigation into it all. Before that Antopoulos served as the Blue Jays’ GM for seven years.
Snitker took over as interim manager when the Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez in the middle of the 2016 season. He and Coppolella did not get along and there were strong suggestions that he would never lose the interim tag, but he has been on far steadier ground since Anthopoulos took over. Winning helps, of course, and under the leadership of Anthopoulos and Snitker, the Braves have won the last two NL East titles, going 187-137 in the past two seasons.