Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.
The no-brainer marquee event on Friday’s schedule was Freddie Freeman’s return to Atlanta as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. As predicted, there were plenty of tears as well as a standing ovation. All of this is summed up in the Best Moments section.
Otherwise, Friday had all your usual defensive gems, home runs, and terrific pitching. Here is a roundup of the key things that happened and other viral moments:
Judge, Yankees Settle Arbitration Case At $19M
One of the underreported consequences of the owners’ lockout that delayed spring training and the start of the season was how arbitration cases would go. All we are going to say is that we are in the last week of June, and cases are still being heard. That was almost the case in Aaron Judge’s arbitration battle with the New York Yankees. Both sides were ready to state their positions over Zoom when the hearing was delayed to see if a last-minute settlement could be reached. It was, and the Yankees will pay the hulking outfielder $19 million this season. The sides, which exchanged figures in spring training, had been $4 million apart before agreeing to the midpoint. Judge rejected the Yankees’ seven-year, $213.5 million contract offer just before Opening Day, meaning the slugger will hit free agency after this season. Entering Friday, Judge leads MLB in home runs with 27 homers and is slashing .307/.379/.658.
In a surprising development, Aaron Judge and the Yankees agreed to a $19 million deal (plus incentives) for 2022 to avoid arbitration, per source. @JonHeyman was first to report a deal had been made.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 24, 2022
Yankees’ Home Win Streak Ends At 15
Thanks to seven vintage innings by Justin Verlander and a three-run homer from Kyle Tucker, the Houston Astros beat the Yankees 3-1, snapping New York’s winning streak at Yankee Stadium at 15 games. Verlander allowed four hits while walking one and striking out four in his 102-pitch effort. Tucker broke up a scoreless game with his blast off Yankees right-hander Luis Severino in the top of the sixth inning. Giancarlo Stanton countered with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth off Verlander.
That's it, that's the Tweet. pic.twitter.com/yYBoZPd8GW
— Houston Astros (@astros) June 25, 2022
Royals’ Perez Has Thumb Surgery
Salvador Perez was placed on the 10-day injured list by the Kansas City Royals, who said the franchise catcher will have surgery to repair his left thumb. Turns out surgery happened later Friday, and Perez will miss about eight weeks. A seven-time All-Star, Perez is on the IL for the second time this season after spraining the same thumb in May and reinjuring it Tuesday. Perez is slashing .211/.254/.426 with 11 homers this season.
Blue Jays’ Hitting Coach Suspended 5 Games
Toronto Blue Jays hitting coach Guillermo Martinez was suspended five games by MLB for “unsportsmanlike conduct” while exchanging lineup cards before Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. Martinez’s ire was directed at umpire Doug Eddings, who the night before turned in an awful performance calling balls and strikes. Martinez made contact with Eddings during the meeting at the plate Wednesday, thus the suspension.
Best Moments From Yesterday
Emotional Return For Freeman
Freddie Freeman is now wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform, but that didn’t prevent the Atlanta Braves fans from welcoming back the star first baseman with open arms. Friday marked Freeman’s first game back in Atlanta following 12 MLB seasons with the Braves as the Dodgers visit for three games. There was a pregame press conference where Freeman broke down in tears, he was presented his 2021 World Series ring by manager Brian Snitker, a video presentation was played, Freeman addressed the crowd, and the fans showered him with applause during his first plate appearance.
Freddie Freeman makes his first return to Atlanta tonight.
The World Series champion was emotional while addressing the media pre game 🥺
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) June 24, 2022
Snitker knew how to get Freddie’s smile back pic.twitter.com/sCNYnH609f
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 24, 2022
— MLB (@MLB) June 25, 2022
Freddie is back home. 😭 pic.twitter.com/Yuo4sDSLAQ
— MLB (@MLB) June 24, 2022
Mr. Trout, Meet Mr. J-Rod
Players greeting players is a commonplace occurrence these days, but sometimes a new introduction is worth noting. Angel Stadium was the site of one of those occasions when Los Angeles Angels star center fielder Mike Trout jogged over to exchange pleasantries with Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder Julio Rodríguez.
Respect 🤝 pic.twitter.com/MQyCLsbbVx
— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) June 25, 2022
Holidays Are Gonna Be Awkward
One is a pitcher, the other a catcher. Together, Aaron and Austin Nola have more than made their family proud by making the majors, Aaron as a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies and Austin as a catcher for the San Diego Padres. But that also means they are going to face each other from time to time. Friday marked the second time the brothers faced each other, with Aaron having struck out his older brother on three pitches in August, then giving Austin the strikeout ball as a Christmas present. Austin gained his revenge Friday, lining an opposite-field single to right in the sixth inning for the game’s only run, snapping an 0-for-4 skid against little bro. It was the first time that brother-on-brother crime happened in modern MLB history (since 1900).
Austin Nola with a go-ahead hit against his brother!
Gotta love baseball! pic.twitter.com/0m8l5oi3Xc
— MLB (@MLB) June 25, 2022
We found out just how petty MLB players get when playing fantasy football when Cincinnati Reds outfielder slapped San Francisco Giants outfielder Joc Pederson pregame when the two teams opened a series in Cincy a few weeks ago. On Friday, the Reds visited San Francisco, and the topic was still top of mind with many.
A few of the Reds are wearing Pham shirts during batting practice pic.twitter.com/9lTvad1Bk3
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) June 25, 2022
Not-So-Routine Double Play
Everyone is used to the 6-4-3 double play, its cousin 4-6-3, and the crisp 5-4-3. But Cleveland Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez showed off his skills in the top of the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox when he snared a J.D. Martinez sinking liner off his shoe top and fired home to Guardians catcher Austin Hedges to nail Red Sox runner Christian Arroyo.
What an insane double play! 😱 pic.twitter.com/cIrUR2BhXS
— MLB (@MLB) June 25, 2022
Right Twix Or Left Twix?
wait for it pic.twitter.com/cCaHQzcQsL
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 25, 2022
Halfway To Christmas
Today marks six months between last Christmas and this year’s Christmas, which for some is a time to celebrate. Why? Not really sure, but the Los Angeles Angels jumped on the sleigh Friday and went with scoreboard graphics in a Christmas theme. Also, there was a Shohei Ohtani snowglobe giveaway.
It’s Christmas in June at Angel Stadium pic.twitter.com/wB64R2lnas
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) June 25, 2022
Shoes Steal The Show
The Milwaukee Brewers were the latest team to officially debut their City Connect jerseys in the opener of a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The jerseys look pretty good, with light-blue tops and “Brew Crew” across the chest. The hats have MKE, the airport code for Milwaukee, with the 414 area code slightly hidden in there. The Brewers will wear the City Connects all weekend and then at home on Fridays. Many of the Brewers players chose to step up their shoe game, but none topped first base coach Quintin Berry.
shoe game on point pic.twitter.com/xGdJFQyXI2
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 25, 2022
Articles You Should Read
Pirates prospects get their first taste of pro ball and had their eyes opened — Rob Biertempful, The Athletic
What is behind Joe Musgrove’s success? The Padres’ ace visualizes failure — David Waldstein, New York Times
Blue Jays rookie Matt Gage survived the minors, indy ball and playing in Mexico before reaching the majors at age 29 — Brittany Ghiroli, The Athletic
Fantasy Baseball Coverage
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)