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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Baseball

Pirates 3B caught pulling embarrassing move during play

Ke'Bryan Hayes gets caught eating sunflower seeds

The Pittsburgh Pirates are once again eliminated from postseason contention and may finish with the worst record in baseball this season. They are playing for nothing but pride at this point, and third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes did not show much of it during Friday night’s loss to the New York Mets.

Eduardo Escobar showed off his wheels by scoring from first on a Tomás Nido’s single to right field in the third inning. Escobar, who was off with the pitch, gave the Mets an early 1-0 lead. They never looked back.

Hayes certainly did not appear concerned. As Escobar rounded third, Hayes did not even have his glove on his hand. Instead, he appeared to be reaching into his back pocket for some sunflower seeds. Check it out:

There was probably not much Hayes could have done at that particular moment, but that was a bad look. When you consider that this is not Hayes’ first embarrassing blunder, it looks even worse.

Stephen Strasburg has ominous comments about his future

Stephen Strasburg looking ahead

Oct 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) speaks to the media prior to working out one day before the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Having made just eight total starts over the last three seasons, Stephen Strasburg is confronting a harsh reality.

The veteran Washington Nationals right-hander spoke this week with Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. Strasburg, who remains sidelined with thoracic outlet syndrome, made some ominous-sounding comments about his baseball future.

“I feel like every time I’ve had an injury, I felt like I was going to be the best there is coming back,” said Strasburg. “This is the one that’s still definitely a big question mark.

“I realize the clock is ticking,” Strasburg added. “It’s been almost three years since I’ve been able to pitch competitively. It’s not like I’m getting younger.”

You can read more about Strasburg’s difficult recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome (which has included the removal of a rib plus two neck muscles) in Dougherty’s full piece here.

Strasburg, now 34, has made three All-Star appearances in his career and was absolutely lights-out in 2019 when he led the Nationals to their first-ever World Series title as the World Series MVP. But that magnificence seems like a distant memory with Strasburg having spent most of the subsequent three seasons on the injured list due to his condition.

This season, Strasburg began the year on the IL, was activated in June, but lasted just one start (giving up seven earned runs in 4.2 innings) before having to return to the IL. He has not pitched a single inning since.

Strasburg still has four more seasons left on the seven-year, $245 million contract he signed with Washington after the 2019 title. But thoracic outlet syndrome has ruined careers of formerly elite pitchers before, and it seems Strasburg is having genuine doubts about his ability to overcome his case.

New owner may have drastic plans for Derek Jeter’s $22 million mansion

Derek Jeter smiling

Oct 3, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter addresses the media at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A sad fate may await the massive Tampa mansion once owned by Derek Jeter and rented by Tom Brady.

Tampa city records apparently show that a commercial demolition permit was filed for the address of 58 Bahama Circle, which is where the Davis Islands mansion formerly owned by Jeter is located.

The mansion sold for $22.5 million last year, which set a record for the biggest sales price ever for a home in the Tampa Bay area.

It’s unclear what the home’s new owner has planned.

The deed for the home lists a local lawyer, as well as the Zebb.com Trust. Zebb.com is a crytpocurrency app that allows users to exchange Indian rupees into Bitcoin.

The Jeter mansion is a true marvel. It was built in 2011, sits on 1.25 acres, and features just under 22,000 square feet of living space. The home contains 7 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a wine cellar, movie theater, gym, in-law suit, and au-pair wing.

The mansion really looks more like a small luxury resort than a home.

Dodgers go viral for their awesome, unlikely bobblehead giveaway

The Los Angeles Dodgers logo

Now that the Los Angeles Dodgers have officially clinched the NL West, they can focus on some non-baseball matters for the rest of the regular season.

The Dodgers are going viral this week for their terrific upcoming bobblehead giveaway. At their Sept. 30 home game against the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers will be handing out bobbleheads of an unlikely subject — music great Sir Elton John.

The bobblehad depicts John in a Dodgers cap and uniform holding a baseball bat.

It is a fitting tribute as one of the most iconic concerts of the “Tiny Dancer” singer’s entire career came at Dodger Stadium in 1975 (a performance in which John donned the same uniform and wielded the same bat as he is portrayed with in the bobblehead). John will also be returning to Dodger Stadium for a trio of performances (from Nov. 17 to 20) to close out the North American leg of his ongoing farewell tour.

The Dodgers have definitely given out some memorable bobbleheads before. But it will be hard to top this Dodger Blue tribute to the Yellow Brick Road.

Rays make MLB history on Roberto Clemente Day

Kevin Cash speaking with the media

Oct 7, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash (16) talks with media after game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Tropicana Field. The Tampa Bay Rays won 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays made MLB history on Thursday with their lineup choice, and they did it on a rather fitting day.

The Rays sent out a starting lineup of nine Latino players, a first in MLB history. The lineup included two Cuban players, three from the Dominican Republic, two Venezuelans, and one player each from Colombia and Mexico.

The nine players posed together for an on-field photo after the game, an 11-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Rays entered the history books on Roberto Clemente Day, in which MLB honors the contributions of the Puerto Rican Hall-of Famer. All of the Rays’ Latin-born players wore Clemente’s No. 21 for the game.

After the game, manager Kevin Cash admitted that the lineup composition was purely coincidence and based on matchups, but it was “pretty cool” that it had worked out the way it did.

The players involved certainly made the most of it, as seven of the nine starters made it into the hit column. Randy Arozarena had three hits, while Yandy Diaz and Manuel Margot drove in three runs each.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. worried about ‘another steal’ in MVP vote

Vladimir Guerrero Jr in a hat

Feb 17, 2020; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks on during spring training at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. thinks he was unjustly ignored in last year’s AL MVP race in favor of Shohei Ohtani. Now, the Toronto Blue Jays first baseman is concerned about the same thing happening to Aaron Judge.

Guerrero Jr. had a strong take on the AL MVP race for 2022, suggesting that Judge losing to Ohtani would represent “another steal.” The Blue Jays slugger told MLB reporter Hector Gomez that Ohtani is excellent, but Judge’s numbers are “way above Ohtani’s.”

The big justification for Ohtani’s MVP candidacy is his two-way prowess. With 34 home runs to go with a 2.55 ERA in 24 starts, Ohtani provides tremendous value on both sides of the game. Judge does not pitch, of course, but he is still hitting .310 with 57 home runs in what has proven to be a historic campaign.

Guerrero Jr. is still frustrated that he was overlooked for MVP last season because of Ohtani. The issue is a tricky one, though. If the MVP award were purely based on value, Ohtani would win every year. Judge, on the other hand, can point to his historic excellence.

Judge is viewed as the favorite at this point, but the case is not completely closed. Guerrero Jr. will certainly be furious if it goes the wrong way in his eyes.

Trea Turner offers interesting hint about his free agency

Trea Turner running

Sep 4, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner (6) during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Trea Turner figures to be one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason, but some teams may be more well-positioned to land him than others for one simple reason.

Turner discussed his free agency and admitted that he would have a strong interest in returning to the East Coast, though he did make sure to note that the Los Angeles Dodgers remain firmly in the running for his services. Turner admitted that he had voiced his preference for playing on the East Coast prior to being traded to the Dodgers, but that the primary reason was to try to influence that process.

“Yeah, I’m an East Coast guy. But with free agency, you get a chance to pick and control it as much as you can in your entire career,” Turner said, via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “I’m open to anything really. Everything is in play.

“That was more for a trade and an extension in a place I didn’t really know. I didn’t want to get traded and then get offered an extension right away and not know anything about the city and stuff. … To me, that (decision) would be all based off money and that’s not how I want to make my decision. Obviously, that’s a factor but a lot more goes into it. I think it was more of that. Yeah, I’m from the East Coast. Would I like to go back? Sure. But I think L.A.’s been really good to me.”

Turner is leaving the door open for a return to the Dodgers, and he does genuinely seem to be getting more comfortable there. At the same time, it seems quite clear that his desire to head back east is real. Turner is a Florida native, and he met his wife at NC State, so his East Coast ties run deep.

Tuenre has become a favorite in Los Angeles for his smooth slides. He’s also having a great year, hitting .305 with 24 stolen bases. The Dodgers would no doubt love to retain him, but they might have to overcome a geographic disadvantage in order to do so.

Video: Nats OF Cesar Hernandez completely botched throw home

Cesar Hernandez picking up a ball

Cesar Hernandez completely botched a throw home on Wednesday, giving the Baltimore Orioles a Little League home run.

Gunnar Henderson was facing Washington Nationals reliever Mason Thompson with runners on first and second with nobody out in the top of the seventh. Henderson’s Orioles were down 2-1 when he hit a line drive down the left field line. Hernandez went to field the ball and then completely butchered his throw home.

Take a look at this:

How does that even happen? He completely butter-fingered that ball.

Henderson was credited with a 2-run triple. He scored on the error by Hernandez. I’m still trying to figure out how Hernandez messed that up so badly.

Video: Red Sox commit embarrassing play in field against Yankees

The Red Sox chase after a ball

The Boston Red Sox showed on Wednesday that they are a sub .500 team for a reason.

The Red Sox lost 5-3 to the New York Yankees to drop to 69-74 on the season. The big play in the game occurred in the top of the 5th inning.

The game was scoreless but the Yankees had runners on first and second with two outs. Gleyber Torres was batting against starter Brayan Bello and lined a ball to right field. Alex Verdugo fielded the ball but missed his cutoff man going home, allowing Aaron Hicks to score. Catcher Connor Wong fielded Verdugo’s throw and tried to back-pick Torres at first. His throw sailed into right field, allowing Aaron Judge and Torres to score too.

Here’s the play:

Yankees TV announcer Michael Kay appropriately termed that a 3-run Little League home run. That sort of nonsense should not be happening at the big-league level, but it did for Boston.

Nestor Cortes took the win and is now 10-4 with a 2.70 ERA. The big surprise is Judge didn’t homer, though he did have the run scored.

Ex-Dodgers World Series champion elects free agency

Matt Beaty looking on

Nov 4, 2017; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Beaty plays for the Glendale Desert Dogs during the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A notable former Los Angeles Dodger is back on the open market.

The San Diego Padres announced Wednesday that veteran outfielder Matt Beaty has elected free agency. Beaty was designated for assignment by the Padres earlier in the week but declined his assignment to Triple-A El Paso.

Beaty, 29, spent the first three years of his MLB career on the Dodgers and won the World Series with them in 2020. Last March, the Dodgers traded Beaty to the Padres for 24-year-old prospect River Ryan. Unfortunately for San Diego, Beaty put on a disaster class for them, batting a noxious .093 (4-for-43) in 20 appearances this season.

Rumors of a potential Beaty reunion with the Dodgers may soon ensue. But the NL West champions might not need Beaty with this other bench depth piece possibly returning to the lineup shortly.