There are only a few days until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: Boston Red Sox.
There are only a few days until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: Philadelphia Phillies.
With only three games left in the regular season, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer is within reach of baseball immortality. If he can string together a few hits in the final weekend of the season, Mauer can be the first player to hit .400 since Ted Williams in 1941.
"It won't be easy," says Mauer, who will need to go 28-for-28 in the three closing games against the Royals to get it done. "But hitting .400 isn't easy."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says the toughest part for his young catcher will be getting off to a good start.
"If he can open the series with a nice 10-for-10 or 11-for-11 game, I think everything else will fall into place," said Gardenhire. "But we have to help him out, too. We have to put him in situations where he is getting good pitches to hit. Also, we have to play 20-inning games."
Mauer enters the series hitting .367 on the season, needing to up his average only 33 points over the final three games to reach the milestone.
"Back at the start of the season I raised my average from .000 to .700 in three games," says Mauer. "I know I can do something like that again. In fact, .400 might even be a conservative goal."
While Mauer and the Twins are eyeing history, the Royals say they don't want to be the team Mauer achieves history against.
"No one wants to be the pitcher who let a guy hit .400," says Royals ace Zach Greinke. "And absolutely no one wants to be the pitcher who let a guy go 11-for-11 off of them. Although I don't know if my arm has enough in it at this point in the season to throw 20 innings."
At the end of the weekend, Mauer will either reach .400 or he won't. And he knows it. The pressure is on.
"I'm honestly not too nervous," he says. "There is room for error. I don't have to be perfect. I can foul some pitches off. Or I can go 29-for-30. I'll be okay."
There are only a few days until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: Los Angeles Dodgers.
There are only a few days until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
As a disappointing season winds down that saw the team's total runs scored and batting average both drop significantly, White Sox third base coach Jeff Cox has taken it upon himself to change the team's "swing away" sign. Gone is the old sign two taps on the right ear lobe followed by a touch to the wrist. And in its place is a much simple signal: two raised middle fingers extended directly at the batter.
"I can't tell you how much more enjoyable this has made the last two weeks," said Cox. "There's nothing like giving the finger over and over to these pieces of crap. They deserve it for how they've played this year. I think I actually prefer this to winning and being in the playoffs."
Cox has been been giving the swing sign to every batter on every pitch regardless of the game situation since the White Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention. However, he does tweak the sign depending on the batter.
"For someone like Carlos Quentin, who has really sucked this year, I add a verbal element," says Cox.
That was displayed last night during Quentin's first at-bat when Cox gave him the two raised middle fingers, but then also verbally abused him.
"Yeah, swing away, you piece of crap!" Cox yelled down the line. "Yeah, I'm giving you the swing sign, ahole. Not like you can hit anything anyway. Try, though. Please try. I need a laugh."
Cox was asked to stop his profanity-strewn outburst by umpires and also by opposing players but he instead gave them the swing sign, too.
"I'm not doing anything these players haven't seen before," said Cox.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen agrees.
"I'm glad Jeff finally took the kid's gloves off," said Guillen. "For weeks I've been walking down the line of lockers and slapping all the guys in the face with my penis while I cuss them out. Cox is the supportive one around here."
There are only a few days until the start of the MLB playoffs and SportsPickle is previewing each playoff team. Today: New York Yankees.