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José Ramírez joins 30-30 club

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With a first-inning stolen base against the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, Indians third baseman José Ramírez joined the 30-30 club. He is the first player to join the club this season and is, in fact, the first 30-30 player since the Angels’ Mike Trout had 49 steals and 30 homers in 2012. Ramírez is the third Indian with a 30-30 season, joining Joe Carter (1987) and Grady Sizemore (2008).

Mookie Betts (29 HR, 27 SB), Trevor Story (31 HR, 25 SB), Francisco Lindor (33 HR, 23 SB), Trout (33 HR, 22 SB), and Javier Báez (30 HR, 21 SB) are all close to joining the 30-30 club with Ramírez this season. There have been 61 total 30-30 seasons since 1871, according to Baseball Reference. 24 of them have come since 2000. We hadn’t seen a 20-20 season in five years because teams aren’t attempting steals the way they used to. In 2012, all 30 teams combined for 3,229 stolen bases. Last year, they combined for 2,527.

Ramírez finished 0-for-4 in the Indians’ 6-2 loss to the Jays on Sunday. On the season, he’s batting .282/.395/.574 with 37 home runs, 97 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases in 620 plate appearances. Ramírez will certainly be in the discussion for the AL MVP Award.

A.J. Hinch responds to Ken Giles’ negative comments about Astros

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On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:

I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.

While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”

Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.

At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.