So we all got past the most boring day in the baseball season: the day after the All Star Game.
The game itself was also boring. My interest was in seeing the four Blue Jays make an appearance and once they did, that was that.
Notes on the actual game:
Edwin Encarnacion pinch running for David Ortiz was hilarious. More on him in a moment.
Aaron Sanchez looked a little hyped up. But he might've learned the important lesson that trying to pump fastballs past National League hitters (who are designed to hit get ahead fastballs) isn't a productive plan.
The Fox broadcast was particularly terrible this year. When Sanchez was on the mound, they took the opportunity to talk extensively about Noah Syndergaard, who wasn't going to pitch in the game because he's injured.
Now, there is no denying that Syndergaard is plenty interesting. But Sanchez is also a young pitcher who has blossomed this year, put on 20lbs of "man-weight" in the off season (working out with Stroman at Duke) and has been one of the best pitchers in the league in the first half. There is also the bullpen question that could've been discussed.
But I suppose since the broadcast declared that the Jays would be "relevant" in the second half, maybe they just wouldn't see the point of talking about Sanchez.
It's noteworthy that the only interesting thing that happened wasn't even aired on Fox. As they traditionally do, Fox cut to commercial for the Canadian anthem and they missed the the Tenors torpedo their careers.
Ortiz basically declared that Edwin Encarnacion should replace him in Boston next year.
"Sorry Blue Jays...." was the part that was particularly irritating.
And I'm pretty sure this is tampering. I looked tampering up in the Official Rules:
I would argue that this is almost exactly what Drake did in his comments about Kevin Durant that got the Raptors fined 25K in 2014. I know it involves different sports and different leagues, but the parallels are there.
Though neither has official decision making powers, both Ortiz and Drake have huge platforms and wide reaches. Ortiz might actually have more power because he's an actual player and has a more defined role than Drake does.
I looked up the NBA rule about tampering and it's actually more detailed than MLB's.
It would just depend on what MLB considers "dealings". And today, it's been reported that MLB is investigating the comments , so maybe it considers Ortiz's comments "dealings". Or it's just offering at least the appearance of neutrality. And apparently, it isn't Shapiro who initiated it.
I will fully acknowledge that Edwin Encarnacion has every right to pursue whatever deal that works best for him. I don't think he needs Ortiz to argue for him or press his case.
I would say it's sort of disrespectful for Ortiz to do this to someone he calls a friend, after that person has said he doesn't want to talk about his future contract during the season. That he finds it all distracting.
People argued yesterday that Encarnacion doesn't owe the Blue Jays anything, which actually isn't true. He owes them his services through the end of the World Series because he has a contract with them. That's how a contract works.
I figure, given the fact that it's Boston and a beloved figure like David Ortiz, that nothing will come of this.
But the rest of the league is not your farm team, Boston and you are not above the rules.
Going back, briefly, to the anthem fiasco. Poor Michael Saunders said some obtuse things after the game about the incident, somewhat gleefully reported on by Jesse Spector.
But I'm willing to give Saunders the benefit of the doubt for not knowing the context of "All Lives Matter" and for saying it's a good message. On it's face and out of context, it's a lovely message. But everything has a context and I hope someone will explain to Saunders what that is.
My favourite part about the Spector piece is this:
PAY HIM HIS MONEY NOW.
Other fantastic things to read?
The situation is complicated and strange. The piece also elaborates on the testing facility MLB uses, which is located in Montreal, and the science involved.
Colabello had this to say:
It's also an excuse to use this picture.