June 17, 2021

1. Joey Votto is still the most amusing player in baseball

“Is that a shot?”

“That was a semi-shot. You’re not the most fleet of foot.”

“That is a shot! You’re about to find out you’ve been blocked.”

2. There was a cockatoo in the crowd at Nationals Park

These “support animals” are becoming a bit of a circus — but if you’re going to have a parrot on your shoulder, you should be required to have an eye patch, a pegleg, a metal hook for a hand. It was a Pirates game, after all:

3. The epic, amazing, frustrating tale of Jacob deGrom continues

Superhuman. And then all too human. Here’s how yesterday went:

Three innings. No runs, no hits, no walks. Eight strikeouts, and his last seven batters in a row. And then, the injury thing again. Pulled before going out to start the fourth inning, and the baseball world got deprived of maybe an all-time gem of a start.

Oh, and he had another RBI. So far on the year, he’s given up four runs on the mound, and has driven in six.

4. Drama in the ongoing “StickyGate” saga continues

Super-agent Scott Boras chimed in yesterday, very critical of MLB:

And then D’Backs pitcher Zac Gallen called out an MLB executive, who fired back in response. It’s all getting a bit messy (and in no way looking good for league brass itself).

And lastly, Gerrit Cole had a lot to say after his start, worth a listen:

5. Deep HRs of the day: Ohtani, Rizzo, Tatis Jr.

6. The Diamondbacks might be the worst team ever

They’re so bad right now, it’s been a lead story in this newsletter all week. After last night, they’ve now tied the MLB record for consecutive road losses (22). They’ve lost 13 games in a row. Their record since May 2nd is 5–36.

Five wins. Thirty-six losses.

7. It was a wonderful day for rundowns

Or a bad day, if we’d like to instead mourn for infield defenses:

8. Ross Stripling blew up at Joe Panik on the field

9. Accidental base hit of the day: Eddie Rosario

Hit ’em where they ain’t:

10. A Jeopardy meet-up at the Mariners game

“Who is James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings?”

11. The great Rays and White Sox series ended with a great game

The two best records in baseball, matching up in Chicago. The Rays took the first game, then came the Glasnow injury news, the White Sox won the second, and yesterday had a big early lead — and then those Rays, chipped away, bit by bit, and tied it 7–7 in the ninth.

With some excellent base running by Brett Phillips here:

And then, an inning later, the Sox won it — staking their claim to the best record in MLB:

12. Catch of the day: Mark Canha at the wall in Oakland

13. Adalberto Mondesi homered in his first at-bat off the IL

14. The Padres get swept in Colorado, are in a terrible stretch

Since that great series in Houston, they’ve gone 4–12, falling from one of the best records in MLB to just six games above .500 now.

But hey, today is a new (full capacity Opening) Day.

15. And lastly, the quote of the day: Tony La Russa

Well-suited for motivational coffee mugs everywhere.

See you tomorrow, everyone. Pass along the newsletter link to anyone you know who’s a baseball fan (if you’d be so kind).



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