August 2, 2021

1. Newsletter happening: I’m flying out to the Astros vs. Dodgers game tomorrow night in L.A.

Sorry everyone for the late post, things have been hectic planning a last-minute trip to L.A. (and first-ever to Dodger Stadium) to put a bow on the whole 2020 Astros Shame Tour experience, meet a bunch of the fine folks out there who made it so great, and document the entire spectacle.

Tomorrow’s newsletter may be very short, but it also might consist entirely of the very best highlights of the nightlong heckle-fest that will be Dodger Stadium, with the Astros in town in front of a packed house.

2. Back to the weekend: Ex-Cubs dominated completely

You’ve likely seen it already, but here’s how the respective debuts went for Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo — the toughest-to-take, most one-fell-swoop trade deadline blowup of a team perhaps in baseball history:

First, Anthony Rizzo (who, we should note, homered not just in his debut, but the next night, too — both moonshots to right field — got on base five times in the second game, and got the winning RBI hit on Sunday to help the Yankees sweep the Marlins):

Second, Javy:

And then, for the finale that makes Cub fans everywhere sad and nostalgic and happy and proud and confused and uncertain and everything in between, Kris Bryant going yard out in San Francisco in his (like the others) very first game:

3. Some more on the ex-Cubs in their new homes

4. The Rays swept the Red Sox on Sunday Night baseball

And the AL East just got a lot more interesting.

The Rays take a 1.5-game lead in the division, the Blue Jays and Yankees creep several games closer, and we’ve got two fantastic months of baseball on tap.

All of which makes you feel like this:

5. Mets top pick Kumar Rocker fails to sign

A pretty awkward contract situation (because of injury concerns), and he’s forced to not play in the major-leagues for an entire year, as he’ll go back to Vanderbilt to train.

Buster Olney was pretty ticked about the entire situation:

6. Two unsung players on Chicago teams hit three home runs in a game

First, one of the most insane moments of the year, Seby Zavala (who?) hits a hat trick as the flourish sequel to his very first major-league home run.

And then one of the Cubs that’s left in town, Rafael Ortega (who?) himself went deep three times, giving the fans something to smile about, seeing the stars all shipped off at once.

7. Brian Goodwin may have had the bat flip of the year

Walk-off home run, at home, for the first-place White Sox. Bat flipped to high heavens:

8. Is this the catch of the year?

Many many stellar candidates so far, and then you get this, from the center fielder on the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp:

9. The Blue Jays have an awesome “home run jacket” now

Better than the Padres’ “swag chain” or no? You decide.

10. More from this Blue Jays group: Vladdy gets tied up with tape in the dugout

He had the day off. He hates days off. His teammates came by with tape. And enforced that day off.

If this team could just fix their pitching, they’d be an electric watch in October — just not looking likely. But still, every day we get the most exciting offense to watch in baseball, and something like this:

11. It was 70’s Weekend out in Anaheim

This is brilliant.

12. And lastly, we have a frontrunner for kayak battle of the year

It didn’t quite come to blows, but amid all the splashing and trashing, it just goes to show: paddle boarders will beat kayakers every time.

Tomorrow’s newsletter might be a bit of a difficulty, as I’ll be flying out to L.A. for this game, but I’ll do my best to throw something up here. And in any case, Wednesday there’ll be a full highlight reel of everything great from the culmination (finale?) of the Shame Tour. Cheers, everyone.

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The Baseball Newsletter

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The best of baseball, in case you missed it

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