July 6, 2021
1. Fernando Tatis Jr. has levitational powers
Today’s newsletter spans the holiday weekend of baseball, and the highlight of all those many games came last night: a double jump, unless our eyes are deceiving us, and Fernando makes the catch.
And just for good measure, he went yard for his 27th home run:
2. The best All-Star Game news in years: Shohei Ohtani will pitch
He’d already made the team as a hitter, leading the league in home runs so far, and now a historic announcement has been confirmed:
This is beyond great for baseball. When was the last time the All-Star Game had the entire sports world wanting to watch?
3. An update to the Trevor Bauer situation
It’s unclear if the guy will end up pitching next week, being arrested, or anywhere in between — as the status of the whole thing is a very strange elephant in the room for the whole league.
4. The Yankees collapse continues
If last week’s late-night blown lead “Midnight Massacre” at the hands of the Angels wasn’t enough of a low point for the last many seasons, then there was what happened this weekend.
Yankees vs. Mets. The Subway Series. At home, at Yankee Stadium. A lot of pride on the line. An urgent need to turn the season around, on the line. And yet, again it all fell apart. Another late lead, another lead gone, another game broken wide open.
Gerrit Cole and Aroldis Chapman looking like shadows of themselves since the foreign substance crackdown began. The offense still looking anemic. The playoff chances looking slim. And for a few hours between double-header games on Sunday, the Yankees had fallen down to a .500 record.
5. Pitchers hitting highlights of the weekend
First, there was Jon Lester pinch hitting. It didn’t go so well.
And then Max Fried, starting pitcher, pinch-hitting and driving home the walk-off winner for the Braves:
6. Double play sequence of the weekend: 6–4–RAILING–3–2
Just like how they drew it up, right?
7. Trevor Story may have had the tag of the year
Years ago, it was Javy Baez just about every game, with an unreal highlight-reel tag — that hyper-dextrous gracefulness that no one in baseball could even approach, save for Addison Russell on occasion, his infield mate.
And now Trevor Story, with one of the best you’ll ever see:
8. The Cubs have lost 10 games in a row
It’s brutal. Don’t want to talk about it. Core players might start getting sold off soon. Things are sad, in Cubbieland.
The last time they won, if you remember, was the combined no-hitter they threw at Dodger Stadium. They’ve not won a game since then.
And the Dodgers, until last night’s loss, had won nine in a row since that night — a reiteration for the millionth time of baseball being beautifully, unpredictably weird. Ten straight losses, and nine straight wins, in the aftermath of a no-hitter (the tweet below is from Sunday, before two more Cubs losses).
9. Belligerent quote of the day: “Happy birthday, b***h!”
If you’re going to trash-talk on the field, an odd move to attack the most beloved, and one of the greatest players in the league. A strange, aggressive look here from Adam Ottavino:
10. Uniform details: All-Star Game, Giants, and text on hats
The Giants revealed their “City Connect” jerseys, which capture the San Francisco fog as the city’s most prominent apparent feature — and with the Golden Gate Bridge printed nicely on the sleeves:
Kevin Gausman had an idea for an alteration:
And then an update with those maligned All-Star Game uniforms, which came out with a nice detail — a star beneath the number on the back, for each All-Star Game appearance in each player’s career, like the stickers on an Ohio State Buckeye helmet:
And lastly, in “uniform watch”, this new batch of New Era hats that came out today, about which there is not much to be said.
11. Weird injury of the weekend: Keith Hernandez
Even as a broadcaster, you’re putting your body on the line day after day, to represent for your city.
12. And lastly, a brand new candidate for “Catch of the Year”
We’ve seen some good ones, this year. But this?
We may have found our dad catch king: