August 23, 2021

1. Miguel Cabrera hits home run #500

The milestone of career milestones for Miggy, hit to the opposite field and over the fences in Toronto, Canada.

From 2003 to 2021. Five-hundred home runs.

And honored with a great curtain call from the away crowd:

Pretty elite company, when you include his career batting average:

And next up on the to-do list, the 3000-hit club.

2. The Giants are the first team to 80 wins

No one knows how they’re this good, why they’re this good, but for yet another week, another month, they stay ahead of the Dodgers, and roll ahead with the best team in baseball badge — and one of the best seasons in franchise history.

Here’s how they got there — on a comeback pinch-hit home run yesterday afternoon, across the bay in Oakland:

3. Petco Park (briefly) had free beer night

Is this the best sentence in baseball?

“Our concessionaire is either accepting offline payment (including cash), or, if that is not possible, providing food and beverage at no cost to our fans.”

4. The Angels and Indians played an actual MLB game in Williamsport, PA for the “Little League Classic”

Somehow, the news of this game never reached me until it started yesterday, unlike the (worthy) months-long hype for the Iowa cornfield game — so when you look over the outfield fences and see a few dingy old homes, and look in the crowd and see about 3,000 total seats, you wonder where exactly are we?

Williamsport, Pennsylvania, home of the Little League World Series, and now a new once-a-year MLB game (next year will be Red Sox vs. Orioles).

The Angels even had a guy with a yellow crayon bat, to keep the “kids day” theme alive — an awesome game all around:

5. The Padres are in a tailspin, and have lost their NL Wild Card spot

They’ve lost nine of their last eleven games, the Reds have surged past them on a hot streak, and the “NL West has three playoff teams” narrative all year may be quickly coming to a halt.

And now, as of 1:25 ET, they’ve cut ties with Larry Rothschild, longtime veteran pitching coach:

6. Far worse, the Orioles have lost 18 straight games

Not that they had playoff hopes, but still. They’re now 38–85.

The Orioles haven’t won a single game since that cat ran on the field at Yankee Stadium — and now, baseball might just have a new Most Cursed Feline, supplanting the black specter in the on-deck circle that sank the Cubs at Shea Stadium, 1969.

7. The play of the day: Derek Hill

8. Interesting old baseball tidbit of the day: Rube Waddell

Whatever it takes to win, as out-of-the-box as it gets.

9. Wander Franco’s brilliant on-base streak continues

Just 20 years old, and baseball’s former #1 overall prospect is seeing everything rounding into form.

For now, the Rays still lead the AL East, with the Yankees surging — but had a bit of bad news over the weekend:

10. Baseball conflict of the day: Bichette vs. Bee

The Blue Jays lost the game, so it’s safe to say the bee won.

11. The Pirates release Gregory Polanco

The last piece of those great mid-decade teams is gone, and the Pirates go fully into a new era — without much clear sense of what comes next.

12. And lastly, a golf competition at Dodger Stadium

Okay that does it —forget the “automatic runner on second base” rule, this is what should settle MLB extra innings games.

Not really. But maybe?

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