3 up, 3 down: Twins’ homer rampage continues; Tigers not so lucky
A look at who’s hot and who’s not in Major League Baseball:
1) The next home run Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco hits will be his 20th this year, and that would make the Twins the first team in major league history with eight players to hit 20. The Dodgers had seven players do it last year, but only three were in Friday’s lineup. Max Muncy is on the injured list, Yasmani Grandal is with the Brewers, Yasiel Puig is with the Indians, and Matt Kemp is home after the Mets released him from a minor league contract.
2) That 100 emoji? You can use it three times for Mike Trout, who is in triple digits in runs, walks and runs batted in, for the second time in his career. The last American League player to do all that twice, at such a young age? The Angels’ Troy Glaus, in 2000 and 2001. Trout, 28, is four home runs from Glaus’ franchise record of 47.
3) The A’s announced that they would retire the No. 34 jersey of Dave Stewart, the first time the A’s have retired the number of a player who did not make the Hall of Fame. Stewart won 20 games in four consecutive years, three of which ended with the A’s in the World Series. Stewart also went 8-0 against Roger Clemens, the dominant pitcher of the era. And, speaking of retiring No. 34 for a player not in the Hall of Fame, the Dodgers are overdue to confer that honor on Fernando Valenzuela.
1) When the Diamondbacks traded franchise slugger Paul Goldschmidt last winter, they did not follow by blowing up the team, and rookie first baseman Christian Walker has put up similar numbers to Goldschmidt this season. They finished two games above .500 last year, and they were no more than two games above or below .500 this year for 60 consecutive games, a major league record for mediocrity. Then, they beat the Dodgers on Friday, moving three games above .500 — and within 18 games of the Dodgers.
2) The Tigers set a modern AL record in 2003, when they lost 119 games. They finished 47 games out of first place. They’re already 43 games behind the Twins this season, even before the calendar turns to September. And remember all those guys the Twins have with 20 home runs this season? No one on the Tigers has more than 14. Outfielder Nicholas Castellanos hit 11 homers in four months for the Tigers, then 11 in one month for the Cubs.
3) The gentleman who is the self-appointed leader of the bid to bring a major league team to Nashville, John Loar, announced the club would be called the Stars. Yes, Nashville had a Negro League team called the Stars for one year, but, come on, an otherwise generic name is no way to go. Then again, usually the team comes before the name. The gentleman assisted Ken Behring on his bungled attempt to move the NFL‘s Seahawks to Anaheim in 1996.
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