Getty Images

Chris Paddack on Pete Alonso: ‘I’m coming for him’

33 Comments

Padres rookie starter Chris Paddack is a good one. Over six starts he’s got a 1.91 ERA and an excellent K/BB ratio of 35/9 over 33 innings. He throws gas but changes speeds wonderfully and doesn’t walk many guys. He’s only 23 but he’s exactly what you want in an ace. All he lacks is the experience.

Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso is a good one. Over 34 games he’s got a line of .280/.364/.600 with 10 homers and 27 driven in. He also just won Rookie of the Month honors for April. He’s only 24 but he’s exactly the sort of slugger Mets fans had been hoping the team would develop for many, many years.

Tonight they’ll face each other in San Diego as Paddack starts for the Padres against the Mets.

Yesterday Paddack did what not many baseball players do: he name-checked Alonso as a guy he perceives as a rival with specific reference to Rookie of the Month/Rookie of the Year honors and said, in no uncertain terms, that he’s gunning for him:

“He’s a great player, no doubt. Does he deserve (the Rookie of the Month honor)? Absolutely. But I’m coming for him. We’ll see Monday who the top dog is. That’s something I’m looking forward to, for sure. And I’m not saying that in a cocky way. I’m saying that because I know what I want, just like I’m sure he knows what he wants. It’ll be a fun little matchup.

“Do I wish it was me? Yeah. But the way I look at it is, do you want to be Rookie of the Month or Rookie of the Year? We’ll see, man. We’ve got a long season and I’m looking forward to Monday, competing against him.”

Given all the “he’s a great player” and the comment that Alonso “absolutely” deserved Rookie of the Month honors, that’s not really even close to trash talk, even if the New York tabloids portray it as trash talk after today’s game. But it’s a lot closer to it than the typically bland mutual admiration society that you tend to see from ballplayers talking about other ballplayers.

Thing is, almost all of them think the way Paddack talks. It’s rather refreshing to hear him be so honest about it.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

Getty Images
1 Comment

Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports