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Nicholas Castellanos on Comerica Park: ‘This park’s a joke’

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Tigers outfielder Nicholas Castellanos hit a walk-off solo home run in the 10th inning on Sunday afternoon against the Blue Jays. Nevertheless, he wasn’t a happy camper. Talking to the press after the game, Castellanos used his platform to bash Comerica Park. Per 97.1 The Ticket, Castellanos said, “This park’s a joke. It’s to the point where, how are we going to be compared to the rest of the people in the league for power numbers and OPS and slugging and all this stuff, when we’ve got a yard out here that’s 420 feet straight across to center field? We get on second base, third base, and (opposing players) looking like, ‘how do you guys do this?’ We play 81 games here, I don’t want to hear it about your two you hit that are questionable.”

Castellanos added, “There’s no reason that I hit a ball 434 feet off Aníbal Sánchez and it goes in the first row. That shouldn’t happen.” He is referencing the June 28 home run he hit off of the Nationals’ pitcher.

Castellanos, 27, is batting .284/.342/.480 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI in 409 plate appearances this season. He leads the majors with 34 doubles. A free agent after the season, the 30-65 Tigers seem quite likely to trade Castellanos to a contender ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. The Cubs have reportedly expressed interest. In the event Castellanos does leave Detroit, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be all that broken up about it.

Interestingly enough, Castellanos — who has spent his entire career with the Tigers — has slightly better numbers at home than on the road, with an .808 home OPS and a .766 road OPS. Baseball Reference has Comerica Park’s one-year batting park factor at 104. 100 is set as the average and anything over is considered above-average. Its multi-year park factor is 101. As a point of comparison, the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park is at 102 for both its one-year and multi-year batting park factors.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).