2/18/20 – Weekend in Review: RIP Tony Fernandez, Players vs. Astros, and Spring Training is HERE!
Yes, I’m a few days behind in some of these, but I do have a life to live outside of baseball. Sort of.
Rest in Peace, Tony Fernandez
I don’t like to start out on such a sad note, but the Blue Jays family is mourning the loss of their beloved legendary shortstop Tony Fernandez. The 57 year old died on Sunday from complications of kidney disease.
Fernandez spent twelve of his seventeen major league seasons on and off with the Toronto Blue Jays (1983 – 1990, half of 1993, 1998-99, and 2001), and did time with six other teams: Padres, Mets, Reds, Yankees, Indians, and the Brewers. He also played a year in Japan in 2000. In that time, he helped Toronto win their second consecutive World Series title in 1993, and nearly brought the title to Cleveland in 1997 after a heartbreaking loss to the Marlins.
Though he failed to make the Hall of Fame when he became eligible in 2007, his career numbers were impressive. He was a five-time All Star, and won four consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1986 – 1989. Throughout his career, he amassed 2,276 hits – with 414 doubles and 92 triples – leading the American league with 17 of those triples in 1990.
After he retired from baseball, Fernandez became an ordained minister and started the Tony Fernandez Foundation to help underprivileged and troubled youth. The Foundation was set up to help kids primarily in his homeland of the Dominican Republic.
Players Are NOT Holding Back Their Thoughts About The Astros
Seriously, I’m getting so tired about talking about the Astros and the cheating scandal, but it looks like players around the league are just getting started. There were not a lot of players speaking up prior to the media being in their faces at spring training aside from Logan Morrison and Trevor Bauer. But now that players have made it to their Spring Training camps, they have some thoughts.
I think the most surprising voice we’ve heard over the last few days, however, was the normally non-controversial AL MVP Mike Trout. Trout thinks that the Astros need a much stiffer punishment:
When asked about his thoughts, the normally outspoken Bryce Harper kept it pretty low key:
While the soft-spoken, ever even tempered Trout is thinking more along the lines of suspensions or taking away the title, Braves outfielder Nick Markakis thinks that every one of the Astros “deserves a beating”. And while MLB has put out a strict moratorium against throwing at the Astros this season, the over/under on the Astros getting beaned in a game is 83.5. Forget buzzers, they’re going to need umpire-style padding under their unis.
Braves outfielder Nick Markakis goes off on Houston Astros..
"Everything has been handled a bad way.. the players are scot free.. Every single guy over there needs a beating..
Full comments ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nAXGjleFUx
— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) February 18, 2020
So commissioner Rob Manfred is going to punish people harder for throwing at the Astros than he did for the sign-stealing. A lot of players like Markakis and Justin Turner are jumping on the anti-Manfred bandwagon, but Manfred defended his/MLB’s decision to keep the punishments as they were and not taking away the title.
Speaking of the Astros and the cheating (I KNOW, I said I’m sick of talking about it but it’s all the rage these days!), Cody Bellinger had a lot to say about the scandal. He says that Altuve stole the MVP from Aaron Judge, the Astros stole the title from the Dodgers, and that their apologies were weak.
Carlos Correa spoke with Ken Rosenthal and responded to Cody Bellinger’s remarks about Jose Altuve and the 2017 season.
I’m inclined to believe him about most of what he said – I had looked in depth at the Astros home/road stats in 2017 in a previous post, although the tattoo thing is a bit of a reach. Also, we haven’t heard from Mike Fiers in response to this interview – I’d think that he’d be quick to respond to this if it wasn’t true. Perhaps Altuve just holds a soft spot in my heart for taking down the Yankees after they crushed my beloved Twins. But Correa raises a good point about Altuve’s history of awesomeness prior to the scandal.
Altuve later responded to Correa’s interview, and declined to comment on Bellinger’s remarks:
Also, I like Justin Turner and I love me some Cody Bellinger, but he should probably tread lightly when talking about the sign stealing scandal. The Dodgers might have been doing the SAME. DAMN. THING. I keep asking – WHY are the Astros the only team being thrown under the bus? There have been mountains of accusations against the Dodgers, Yankees, and Red Sox – and honestly, we’re not hearing a whole lot against those teams. So my dear, beloved Cody, please don’t throw stones from your glass house because some of your guys might start getting in trouble as well. Or not, because MLB has found their scapegoat in Houston. Who knows.
Spring Training is HERE!
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) February 17, 2020
Scandals and heartbreaking deaths aside, can we now focus on some GOOD news? BASEBALL IS BACK! I mean, we’re still 37 days away from Opening Day (which really should be recognized as a national holiday), but we finally get to see our favorite boys of summer starting to play the game we all love and adore. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try my hardest to bring you some spring previews for all 30 teams (and by try my hardest I mean that I want to but I don’t know if I will actually get around to it because I’m a mom and I have a real day job that isn’t just obsessing over baseball).
So here’s to your team starting out on the right foot, and getting ready for opening day 2020!