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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Baseball

Adam Rosales sprints to fastest home run trot record (Video)

Yasiel Puig

Adam Rosales didn’t just trot around the bases on Sunday after hitting a home run. He full on sprinted around them.

In the top of the ninth inning, Rosales hit his fourth home run of the season to give the A’s a 4-2 lead over the White Sox. Afterward, the shortstop flew around the bases in less than 16 seconds to set an MLB Statcast record. Take a look below and don’t blink or you might miss Rosales.

Rosales certainly won’t be confused with Yasiel Puig or Manny Machado, who have both been criticized this season for slower than normal home run trots.

Aledmys Diaz using strobe glasses in effort to improve defense

Aledmys Diaz

Aledmys Diaz is welcoming the future with open arms.

According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com on Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals shortstop has begun wearing strobe glasses during pregame work in an attempt to improve his defensive play. The glasses are said to have “the capability of taking visual information away from an athlete at varied increments in order to increase focus and decrease panic during activity.”

Langosch also says prominent athletes like Bryce Harper (to improve hitting) and Stephen Curry (to improve shooting) have utilized the glasses in the past.

Diaz has made five errors in 65 appearances at short this year for a fielding percentage of .978 (14th among qualified shortstops, per Fangraphs). It’s not quite Andre Drummond-level desperate, but it’s at least some good outside-the-box thinking to address a moderate weakness.

H/T HardballTalk

Mets promote Tim Tebow to High-A Florida State League

Tim Tebow Mets

Tim Tebow was batting only .222/.311/.340 with three home runs, 23 RBI and 69 strikeouts for the low-A ball Columbia Fireflies, but that was apparently more than enough for New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to promote him.

The Mets announced on Sunday that Tebow would be moved to the St. Lucie Mets of the High-A Florida State League.

“It’s not like he’s tearing up the league, but at the same time all of the indications are positive in terms of various things we look at — chase rates and exit velocity,” Alderson told ABC Sports. “The bottom line is the average isn’t there, but he’s improving.”

The 29-year-old Tebow signed with the Mets in September of last year and spent time in both the Florida Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League. Prior to that, he had not played organized baseball since High School.

Upon signing, Tebow was reportedly given a $100,000 bonus.

A Heisman Trophy with the Florida Gators, Tebow was a first-round selection (No. 25 overall) of the Denver Broncos in 2010. He later joined the New York Jets in 2012, the New England Patriots in 2013 and attempted a failed NFL comeback with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.

David Ortiz throws terrible ceremonial first pitch (Video)

The Red Sox celebrated the storied career of David Ortiz on Friday night, and the former first baseman and designated hitter had his number retired and threw out the first pitch before the team’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. He also spoke to the fans for nearly ten minutes, receiving a warm welcome.

Perhaps all the years not playing in the field affected Ortiz’s throwing arm, because his first pitch was quite ugly.

Ortiz shook off the bad performance with a laugh. He can continue to smile knowing his number looks good sitting above Fenway Park.

Ortiz was well deserving of the honor, having made 10 All-Star games and winning three World Series championships as a member of the Red Sox.

Shane McNichol covers college basketball and the NBA for Larry Brown Sports. He also blogs about basketball at Palestra Back and has contributed to Rush The Court, ESPN.com, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.

Report: Mets willing to trade Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson

Terry Collins Mets

Having fallen well out of the playoff picture, the New York Mets appear willing to turn over much of their roster for young talent.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Mets are now willing to hear offers for a variety of veterans in their clubhouse. Olney goes as far to call New York “open for business”.

Having lost seven of their last eight, the Mets may have recently changed their mind about buying or selling midseason. Olney now reports that Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Addison Reed, Asdrubal Cabrera, and others are all available for the right price.

Currently 31-41 on the season, the Mets sit in fourth place in the NL East. They trail the division-leading Nationals by 12 games and are a whopping 14.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies for the second wild card spot in the National League.

After being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a four-game series this week, the Mets travel to San Francisco for a three-game set with the struggling Giants.

Shane McNichol covers college basketball and the NBA for Larry Brown Sports. He also blogs about basketball at Palestra Back and has contributed to Rush The Court, ESPN.com, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Mike Trout

Mike Trout will be just 28 years old when he becomes eligible to hit free agency after the 2020 season, and the Los Angeles Angels are going to have to pay an astronomical amount of money in order to keep him. According to a report, Trout proposed an idea back in 2014 that could have prevented him from ever having to sign another MLB contract.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was told by sources that Trout proposed the idea of a “lifetime deal” when he was negotiating his last contract extension with the Angels. The idea would have been to sign something like a 14- or 15-year deal rather than the six-year pact the two sides eventually agreed to.

Angels owner Arte Moreno apparently felt a deal of that length for a 23-year-old player with only two full seasons under his belt was a bit too risky.

Trout set himself up for life with that rare, record six-year deal and will have a “second bite at the apple,” after he broached an extreme mega deal in talks (14 or 15 years, according to people familiar with those talks) before word came back that Angels owner Arte Moreno decided not to go for the lifetime deal for the two-year superstar, but hardly anyone’s repeating that strategy. It’s no certainty they would have been able to work it out the super mega deal, anyway, as Trout seemed pleased at the middle ground of six. But it was quite an interesting thought put forth by Trout’s side.

As Heyman notes, the Angels had already committed a combined $442.5 million to Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson at the time. In hindsight, none of those were good deals.

Pujols is signed through 2021 at an average annual salary of $24 million. He’ll make $29 million when he’s 40 and $30 million when he’s 41, which is a disturbing thought for a 37-year-old who is hitting just .239 with a .286 OBP and .382 slugging percentage — all career-lows by far. Hamilton is gone and Wilson was average, but never the ace L.A. expected him to be.

Trout could still end up signing an extension with the Angels before he hits free agency, but it will cost the team more than it would have if they worked out a lifetime deal. While he probably won’t get as much as this soon-to-be free agent, his contract will be eye-popping. If for some reason the Angels lose Trout, the “lifetime deal” report will infuriate fans.

H/T CBS Sports

Miguel Cabrera tickles Mariners fan’s beard (Video)

Miguel Cabrera found himself within an arm’s length of a bearded fan on Wednesday night, and the All-Star first baseman simply couldn’t resist giving the mane a stroke.

During the Seattle Mariners’ 7-5 win over the Detroit Tigers, a foul ball made its way into the stands down the first base line. When a fan turned to look for it, he was surprised to feel Cabrera’s glove tickling his beard.

I don’t know what’s more bold — Cabrera tickling a fan’s facial hair or that time Prince Fielder stole a nacho while chasing down a foul ball. We’ll stick with the latter.

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