The Yankees batted around in the first inning of Sunday’s series finale against the Mariners, and boy, did they get a nice helping of runs from the Mariners’ defense. With one out and Starlin Castro hovering on second base, Gary Sanchez lined a single into left field. Left fielder Ben Gamel reached for the ball, but it deflected off of his glove and rolled out to the warning track, allowing Sanchez to reach second base and giving Castro plenty of time to score the Yankees’ first run of the afternoon.
Aaron Judge took a four-pitch walk from Andrew Albers and Didi Gregorius reached first base following another blunder from shortstop Jean Segura, loading the bases for Chase Headley. This time, former Gold Glove winner Kyle Seager tripped up, botching a catch at third base and bobbling the ball to allow Sanchez to score.
The kicker came two at-bats later, when Jacoby Ellsbury lofted a double to left-center field with two outs and the bases loaded. Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius came home to score the Yankees’ third and fourth runs of the game, while Headley ran home after Segura dropped the cutoff throw from Gamel. Segura was also charged with a throwing error after allowing Ellsbury to reach third base.
They Yankees got in a sixth and final run on Ronald Torreyes‘ legitimate, non-error RBI single, then brought the inning to a merciful close after Hicks struck a fly ball for the third out. When the dust settled, they stood atop a 6-1 lead and the Mariners were charged with five total errors — more than any team has committed in a single inning since the Cubs imploded during a 10-3 loss to the Cardinals in 1977.
The Yankees, meanwhile, couldn’t resist an opportunity to poke a little fun at their opponent’s gaffes:
They currently lead the Mariners 8-1 in the bottom of the seventh.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.