We’re one whole week into the 2020 MLB season and it’s been…a heck of a thing so far. Did you realize we’re already 10% of the way through the regular season? I don’t care for that one bit, I want to go back to when time moved at a normal, proper speed.
Well, regardless of the vagaries of relativity, we’ve still got baseball you’d better believe we still love it.
Nelson Cruz Gets Up Close And Personal
Listen, I realize that Nelson Cruz is a fan favorite, and I understand it. The Ageless Wonder has put up a “wRC+” above 100 every season since he started getting full playing time, and he’s already hit 3 homers in this, his age 40 season. But that’s no reason for fans to go out and touch with the guy. Even the visiting team knows that!
It's 2020, yet find ourselves having to preach common sense to spectators.
We understand and appreciate your passion, but please don't EVER make contact with a player.
We have to do better than this. 😡 pic.twitter.com/bnMDuftbF5
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 31, 2020
Or conversely, Nelly should know that he can’t be out there breaking social distance rules right now! For real though, do we need these virtual fans? What is really being added to the experience by having weird-looking avatars float strangely over the seats and players? I guess so that we can point and laugh at things like this, at the least.
The game also featured a pretty decent performance by a Shane Bieber, but that’s really more Nick’s wheelhouse:
Shane Bieber has tied the record (since 1901) for most strikeouts through two starts. He has 27.
— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) July 31, 2020
Home Away From Here
Ok so let’s go back to the intro and talk about the weird, conceptual nature of our current existence. The Jays just finished a series at home, but in DC, against the Nats, who were the away team. We knew there would be scheduling shenanigans this season, especially for the
Toronto Buffalo Blue Jays who didn’t have a true “home” stadium on Opening Day, but playing as the home team away must be weird for everybody involved.
I attended one of the Yankees “at” Rays games at Citi Field the other year when The Trop was shut down for a hurricane, and it’s truly bizarre feeling to see a team’s sizzle reel in a stadium they have no ties to.
Schoop Strong, Also Mean
Pop quiz: Which team leads the major leagues in home runs right now? Well, you probably guessed from the header here, it’s the Tigers. Part of that was thanks to Jonathan Schoop, who muscled a homer out with one arm:
Uhhhhh … Jonathan Schoop just hit a homer with one hand. 😳#DetroitRoots pic.twitter.com/2P8gYJFNbs
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 31, 2020
But he also brutally deflated Salvador Perez, as you can see in this replay:
There’s something about catchers reacting with physical pain to seeing the ball leave the yard that always tickles me.
Yandy Works Smarter, Not Harder
During the Braves/Rays game tonight, Yandy Diaz ranged a little bit off of third base to field a grounder and found himself next to Ozzie Albies trying to advance. Given the chance to tag Albies, Diaz instead opted to conserve his energy and simply tag the base.
A rundown? In this weather? I fully understand, Yandy.
Hats Off To Ya!
We’re seeing all sorts of socially distant celebrations this season, but I have to tip my cap to the way Snitker and the Braves have chosen to celebrate a win in their dugout this year.
Turns Out Players Like Dingers Too
My reaction to most Yankees home runs is hooting and hollering which in some cases I worry will get the cops called on me by my neighbors. It seems like if you’re around guys like Aaron Judge all day, every day, your response might be a little less enthusiastic, but thanks to the empty stadiums this year we can get some first-hand evidence that no, it turns out that you never really get tired of 413-foot bombs.
Into the night. #AllRise pic.twitter.com/iS08ex016t
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 31, 2020
I majored in history, so I know what it’s like to drop a reference in a conversation and get a, uh, muted response. But I don’t think I’ve ever dropped a piece of trivia that has been met by such a total lack of enthusiasm as this gem from Mike Krukow
That’s 19 full seconds of silence without even the sound of shuffling papers to help us out. Duane Kuiper won’t even let him get away with the follow-up question there at the end!
Baby Trout doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Last but certainly not least, the Angels will be without Mike Trout for a little bit, but for a very good reason:
Mike Trout has been placed on the Paternity List.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 31, 2020
We all send our best wishes out there to the Trout family!