I’m pretty happy the Cubs had a 1:20 pm start time today, because I’m going to see ‘Avengers: Endgame’ tonight at 7:30 pm and I would hate to have a conflict. My friends and I got tickets to the earliest possible screening a month ago to avoid any chance of spoilers and I’m so ready for this 3-hour long conclusion to a 10+ year story arc.
By the way, I think we take for granted just how cool this broader rollout has been, because Marvel does such a good job of compartmentalizing their stories. This is a decade long arc told over 20 movies coming to an end tonight. That’s so cool and pretty rare. Now I just have to stop drinking any and all liquids so there are no unscheduled bathroom breaks. I’m already stressed about it. [Brett: Don’t be stressed! That’ll just make you have to pee more!]
Here’s some news from around the league …
- THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME! Vladimir Guerrero Jr., one of the most anticipated prospects in an era of highly-anticipated prospects, is coming to the big leagues.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 24, 2019
- Not only is the 20-year-old Guerrero Jr. an insanely exciting offensive prospect – he slashed .402/.449/.671 during his first trip to Double-A … which, just LOL WHAT? – he’s also obviously the son and namesake of Hall-of-Famer Vladimir Guerrero, which is just a really awesome and heartwarming story:
My son! The country that saw you as a child will now see you turn into a big one.
Working hard everything can be done. I’m proud of you!
Love you! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WJyLBVKWoR
— Vladimir Guerrero (@VladGuerrero27) April 25, 2019
- I can’t wait to watch him blossom into a superstar, and that’s exactly where I think he’s heading. I’ll give baseball this much: there is no shortage of young stars right now, and that’s exactly what the league needed. Go kill it, Vladito, and be the hero baseball needs.
- Oh, and do it all in the American League, please. Thanks!
- At ESPN, Jeff Passan discusses five lessons he learned from MLB’s Opening Day payrolls, which include some surprising revelations like “the best team in baseball has the lowest payroll.” (That’s the Rays with their MLB-leading won/loss record *and* run differential, in case you didn’t know). He also discusses how the Nationals are the team that actually spends the highest proportion of their revenues back on their payroll. The other teams behind them might surprise you, too. Spoilers: it is not the Cubs/Yankees/Red Sox/Dodgers/etc. Good stuff from Passan here.
- I don’t know how to feel about this, but the St. Louis Cardinals just swept the Milwaukee Brewers, who are now just .500. I know that the Cardinals may be just as big of a threat in the NL Central this year and are obviously the more traditional rival, but there’s just something so sweet about watching the Brewers lose after the way last season ended. Also, get this: the Cardinals and Brewers have now met 10 (!) times already this season. They’ve split those ten games 5-5, which is perfect.
- Pirates shortstop Erik Gonzalez will miss at least two months (probably more):
Erik Gonzalez will have surgery Thursday to repair and internally fixate his broken collarbone, director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said. No timeline for his return until after the surgery.
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) April 24, 2019
- Gonzalez wasn’t much of an offensive threat so this is no big loss for the 12-10 Pirates (tied with the Cubs), but it could pave the way for shortstop prospect Cole Tucker (2014 first-round pick and #5 prospect in their system according to MLB Pipeline), who was slashing an impressive .333/.415/.579 (157 wRC+) at Triple-A Iowa before being called up, to earn a more permanent job.
- You might remember Tucker from this excellent moment:
Slidin into those DMs like … pic.twitter.com/s992YZ5Hup
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 23, 2019
- There’s an obscenely high bar for anyone to ever feel bad for the New York Yankees, but this is just … dang:
Oh, hi. It’s April 25. Here’s your updated Yankees IL tally:
— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) April 25, 2019
- On Tuesday night, Mets reliever Jacob Rhame threw behind Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins in what eventually led to both dugouts emptying – these teams have some history and, so … yeah. Fights. But that wasn’t the end of the story, or the fun. Because in the ninth inning of last night’s game, Hoskins hit a big homer to left off Rhame – in what would ultimately be a 6-0 Phillies win – and he took his sweet time rounding the bases. Anthony DiComo does the best job explaining just how slow his trolling trot was:
Rhys Hoskins' home run trot tonight: 34.23 seconds.
Bartolo Colon's home run trot in 2016: 30.5 seconds.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 25, 2019
- But in a display of great sportsmanship, Rhame refused to bite on reporters efforts to get him to clap back, instead saying “He got me. If I make a better pitch, he doesn’t get to run the bases.” Hell yes, my friend. That’s the attitude. Don’t throw at him, strike him the F out next time.
- But seriously, that home run trot was really, really, really slow. In fact, it was the slowest EVER recorded by Statcast – “beating” Victor Martinez’s record set back in 2016.
- Last night, Yasiel Puig made a pretty terrible fielding decision, which led to an inside-the-park home run. But instead of getting angry with his right fielder, the pitcher, Tanner Roark, embraced him:
When your teammate is down, you pick him up. pic.twitter.com/6fmhIuNQXG
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 25, 2019
- After the game, Roark said: “I will never be mad at someone that tries to dive and catch a ball,” Roark said. “If the guy scores an inside-the-parker, I don’t care. I love the effort. I’ll always praise the people that go out and try to do that for me and for his team.” I’m suddenly a bigger Tanner Roark fan, I guess.
- If you didn’t see this high school soft ball player’s catch yesterday, you need to stop what you’re doing and check it out right now:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 24, 2019
- Also, how would you feel if the next time David Bote hit a walk-off home run (should be any day now, right?) he back-flipped into home plate:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 25, 2019
- By the way, in writing that post I learned that in Japan a walk-off homer is called a “Sayonara Home Run.” Just a little TIL for you.
- Merriam Webster is adding “Tommy John Surgery” to the dictionary, which, yeah, duh. If YOLO can be in there …
- And finally, Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons combined for one of the most unusual double-plays you’ll see – in that involved trickery *and* impressive defensive chops (not that you’d expect anything less from those two):
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) April 25, 2019