December 30, 2021
1. Mariners great Kyle Seager decides to retire
First, there was Buster Posey, retiring after just twelve seasons — and now another beloved one-team lifer calls it a day after eleven seasons.
242 HR. 36.9 career WAR. One All-Star nod and a Gold Glove.
His last moments in Seattle this year were an emotional goodbye, as the Mariners came just short of a surprise postseason spot — and the tears came down, seemingly for the end of his time with the M’s, but maybe even then he knew it was the end end.
2. The very surprising stat of the day
If this was on your bingo card, you win.
3. Ahead of tomorrow’s NCAA football semifinal, Johnny Bench is hanging out with Cincinnati Bearcat players
And he’s got a magic touch.
4. Several NCAA bowl games were played at MLB stadiums
Although, with UCLA pulling out because of coronavirus issues, the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park didn’t proceed — but still some nice images from the ballpark:
Here was the full list of games:
Including, at Yankee Stadium, a game that featured Virginia Tech putting the Yankees actual “NY” logo on their helmets:
5. And Target Field is hosting an outdoor NHL game
From the Star Tribune:
“The NHL knew it could be chilly Saturday for the New Year’s Day Winter Classic at Target Field. Now the league is preparing for what could be the coldest puck drop in the history of the event.”
It’s the Blues vs. the Wild, on a frigid Saturday evening (7:00 ET).
6. The “knock on wood” moment of the year
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, people.
7. Orioles outfielder Stevie Wilkerson hit a walk-off home run in the Dominican Republic postseason series
And his second homer (“cuadrangular”) of the night, too:
8. Happy 86th birthday, Sandy Koufax
And here’s a great old clip, from his retirement announcement:
And this, from Vin Scully:
9. Vin Scully interviews Tom Brady
A nice sight to see, as Mr. Scully has mostly stepped out of the limelight — save for his Twitter account that’s become pretty active since launching over the past year or two.
10. Shohei Ohtani is declared AP’s “Male Athlete of the Year”
11. Noah Syndergaard appeared in a Jeopardy question
The only image I could find was in a tweet that’s now deleted, but here’s a screenshot — one of those photo questions, the answer (the question, technically?) being: “Who is Thor?”
And meanwhile he’s having a good time out in his new home, out in Anaheim at the Ducks hockey game:
12. And lastly, Aroldis Chapman has a new workout partner
Might make a good shortstop for the Yankees.
And Chapman might have the best license plate of all time (via @ Talkin’ Yanks):