Rays win a slugfest, Zack Hample wipes out, rain in Cincinnati
In a sloppy slug/error fest last night in chilly Kansas City, the Rays knocked off the Royals 14-7. The game featured back-to-back dingers from Zuninio and Meadows, lots of misplays from Whit Merrifield, and — well a whole lot of other stuff. That’s how you get to 14-7. The win improved the Rays to 10-8, planting them firmly second place in the AL East, two games behind Boston.
Speaking of standings, this is funny.
I never thought this day would come.
I noticed the possibility a few years ago and haven’t seen it happen until now.
Happy SLOTH day, everyone. pic.twitter.com/IlL7ipEGXT
— Josh Burkholder (@joshburkholder3) April 20, 2021
At least the Rays and Royals didn’t have to play through the rain like the Reds and Diamondbacks did last night. It was an embarrassing and dangerous situation as they played on with crew chief Jerry Meals refusing to stop play. Play was finally suspended in the eighth inning and will resume today.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) April 21, 2021
I could have sworn KC trips were brutal, but I guess not? At least not lately.
Last night, the Rays improved to 13-3 against the Royals since the start of the 2018 season, their best record against any opponent during that time.
More in the Stat of the Day file: https://t.co/NMUkZCPaHN
— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) April 21, 2021
Here’s a fun article from Fangraphs’ Justin Choi on Michael Wacha about the changes he’s made this year.
Adam Berry on Josh Fleming.
“He’s nasty. That’s the only way I describe him.”
Josh Fleming breezed through a special start in front of family and friends last night as the Rays extended their winning streak to four: https://t.co/OPpYjghvwD
— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) April 20, 2021
Neil Walker is retiring.
Officially retired, thank you to everyone that helped me in my journey to live out my childhood dream of being a Major Leaguer, I loved & cherished every day. From Pittsburgh, NY Mets & Yankees, Milwaukee, Miami, and Philly, nothing but love to those Organizations, Cities & Fans! pic.twitter.com/mvl3cg9k80
— Neil Walker (@NeilWalker18) April 20, 2021
Topper on the upcoming homestand.
#Rays will “fine-tune” some things but Silverman said they provided a “safe, comfortable and exciting environment” and a “large majority of our fans respected their neighbors and heeded our consistent reminders to wear masks when not eating or drinking.” https://t.co/ASLYZi09Mi
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 20, 2021
Jayson Stark of the Athletic on the Blue Jays.
“I think there’s no limit to what this market can be. It’s a behemoth.”
New column: That’s how Mark Shapiro described the future of the #BlueJays this winter.
So I thought I’d ask: Is there room for an AL East behemoth that’s not the Yankees or Red Sox?https://t.co/JACwPKsNF1
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 21, 2021
Ken Rosenthal on Ohtani’s…baserunning?
◽️ Shohei Ohtani’s excellent baserunning
◽️ Stephen Strasburg’s injury concern
◽️ Would the Nats trade Max Scherzer?
◽️Corey Seager headed for a big payday
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) April 20, 2021
One more reminder that if you haven’t read Tom Verducci’s piece in SI about baseball and mental health during COVID, you really should.
SI Daily Cover: Four MLB players have already stepped away from baseball for personal reasons this season, as a growing number are speaking out about mental health issues https://t.co/khkSdGC2X7 pic.twitter.com/Tz7P4bTHlt
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 20, 2021
Baseball is healing.
A divided America begins to heal after Zack Hample busts his ass at a Phillies game. pic.twitter.com/P4AWPgX0z1
— New York Porch Sports (@nyporchsport) April 20, 2021
Rich Hill doesn’t think baseball needs “Mickey Mouse” fixes.
“There’s a whole slew of issues that I think need to be addressed to promote the game as opposed to little, kind of Mickey Mouse ways to make baseball appealing,” #Rays Rich Hill said, ticking off a list of changes to the game he doesn’t like. https://t.co/CbZZdbBWv7
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 21, 2021
Gary Sheffield doesn’t watch baseball anymore.
Tyler Glasnow wants a World Series ring (duh).
“I want that to be a World Series ring. I don’t want that to be an American League championship ring, but it will be special when I’m older. 100% I know it’s gonna be a cool thing to look back on.” – Tyler Glasnow pic.twitter.com/P50W0S7VTu
— The Chris Rose Rotation (@RoseRotation) April 19, 2021
This sounds fun!
— RaysRadio (@RaysRadio) April 19, 2021
MLB’s statement in the wake of Derrick Chauvin’ conviction for murdering George Floyd.
Tony Clark has a bit more from the Players Association.
MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark issued the following statement pic.twitter.com/3xmGIM1qem
— MLB Players (@MLB_PLAYERS) April 20, 2021
Finally, a pallet cleanse. Just give this dog his treat, man.
Dogs are something else pic.twitter.com/cVCZ8motlm
— Eve’s Saint Lil Ron (@astoldbyMIKA) April 21, 2021