Tuesday night marked the return of Toronto Blue Jays high-priced outfielder George Springer. As planned, Springer played five innings out at center field and went hitless in four tries at the lead-off spot with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
Check out the new guy right at the top of our lineup tonight. Welcome the Herd on an MLB rehab assignment George Springer! pic.twitter.com/ApmKvw7BOY
Activating the nitrous boost out the box brought a sigh of relief for both the Blue Jays execs and Springer as doubts usually loom once a player comes back from a long injury designation.
His return marked the second time for Springer after missing the first month of the season due to right quad and oblique injuries. His first attempt happened in late April/early May, where he played in four games as the designated hitter before the Bluebirds placed their million-dollar man on the injury list.
Springer hit three times out of 15 attempts in those four games with three RBI, two bases on balls, and two home runs.
Can you imagine adding a bat of this magnitude back in the lineup for the already stacked Blue Jays, who currently have a top-three offense in baseball? They recently had eight homers in a single game vs. the Boston Red Sox, the most ever by an opposing team at Fenway Park.
When healthy, Springer is a monster. Adding him to an already stacked Toronto offense will be a game-changer.
In his final two seasons with the Houston Astros during the 2019-2020 seasons, he combined to hit .284/376/.576 for 133 runs, 128 RBI, and 53 home runs in just 173 games.
Those numbers were the reason the 31-year-old three-time All-Star was the Blue Jays’ number one target during free agency for the former World Series MVP, who went on to sign a six-year, $150 million contract this past winter.
Springer’s time in the minors is unknown, as the Blue Jays want to protect their prized acquisition and have him return to centerfield for their centralized location in Buffalo as soon as possible.
Blue Jays analyst for SportsCenter Scott Mitchell tweeted a quote from manager Charlie Montoyo who said, “It could take one game, it could take five, it could take 10. We are going to communicate with him every day to see how he feels.”
George Springer starts rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Buffalo in Rochester.
Montoyo on timeline: “It could take one game, it could take five, it could take 10. We’re going to communicate with him every day to see how he feels.”#BlueJays
Coincidentally, the destination between Triple-A Rochester, New Jersey, and Sahlen Field, where the Blue Jays play, is only a 75-minute drive, so his call to the show should be in a scintilla of a second.
Look for Springer to get back in game shape, as his Bisons take on the Redwings, including Tuesday night in a six consecutive game battle.
We have entered a new era of baseball and the game-changers at NIKE are a huge part of the culture change that invigorating the sport at the grassroots level. From bat flips, walk-off celebrations and passionate play all across the country, this is not the same style of diamond-mining your grandad grew up watching.
In January of 2019 NIKE struck a $3 billion deal, their third with an American professional sports league, to be the uniform maker for Major League Baseball.
MLB and Nike have announced a 10-year deal that makes Nike the official uniform/footwear supplier of MLB beginning in 2020 pic.twitter.com/vCgz48bSJa
This season, they unveiled a new City Connect Series. The jersey series celebrates the bond between each club and its city, exploring the personality, values and customs that make each community and their residents unique.
No city or team fits this more perfectly than the diverse paradise that is Miami and their hometown Marlins.
The Marlins will be the second team out of seven to have their City Connect jerseys released this year.
The Boston Red Sox were up first and came out big dripping in their yellow and blue Boston Marathon edition (Big thanks to the people at NIKE for sending me a customized version of the jersey). These were worn April 17, in a game vs. the Chicago White Sox.
Miami will get their chance to dawn their uniforms this upcoming Friday night, and when you think of all the great uniforms that the city has seen, from the orange of the Dolphins to the new blue and pink Vice City edition Heat jerseys and even the green and orange worn by the Hurricane, I have high expectations for these.
This jersey will give an ode to Latin America’s contribution to baseball’s rich history. In 1959, the Cuban Sugar Kings’ won the Junior World Series Championship which opened doors for many future Latin American baseball players to get to the majors.
Fidel Castro nationalized all U.S.-owned enterprises in Cuba and on July 8th moved the team to Jersey City, New Jersey, were they became the Jersey City Jerseys. They lasted there one season before the franchise had to move again due to poor attendance.
The somewhat new normal of black and orange usually worn by the Marlins will be replaced by red for their City Connect jerseys. The jersey’s red color will pay tribute to the energetic vibe and culture of Latin American nations, blending the old school character with the bold swagger of Miami.
“Miami” will be across the chest of the jerseys in the hand-painted style of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. On the right sleeve, there will be a redesigned Sugar Kings’ patch to connect Marlins baseball to the Latin American heritage and community in Miami.
One of our favorite, most flashy, stylish and swaggy MLB Bros, Jazz Chisholm, will get a chance to rock the new red uniforms as he returned to the club on Sunday after being sidelined with a hamstring injury since April 28.
Five other teams will wear their City Connects on the field this season while the rest of the league waits until next year. The White Sox on June 5, Cubs on June 12, Diamondbacks on June 18, Giants on July 9 and Dodgers on August 20.
The Marlins will debut their jerseys this coming Friday as they take on the New York Mets and their trio of MLB Bros Dominic Smith, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker.
The Boston Red Sox franchise is known for popular personalities as a staple over the years, and “The Hit Dog” aka Mo Vaughn reigned supreme in the mid-1990s.
The Red Sox and left-handed hitters have been joined at the hip for years. From Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth (a pitcher who belted 49 homers while in Beantown) to Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski to Fred Lynn. Wade Boggs and Mike Greenwell were southpaw forces as well, but none of them brought the power and wallop that the compact, 6-1, 275-pound rocket launcher did.
The power-hitting Vaughn spent eight seasons at first base for the Red Sox and in the process, he had 230 home runs and 753 RBI’s during his career. While also batting .304 and accumulating 199 doubles.
Vaughn finished his career with 328 home runs while playing for three franchises over 12 seasons. He also finished with a .293 career batting average and 1064 career RBI’s.
The pressure to win in Boston and end the “Curse of the Bambino” fell heavily on multiple players in the 90s, with Vaughn being one of them. Vaughn put up All-Star numbers but wasn’t able to shatter the curse as he and the Red Sox only made two playoff appearances during his tenure.
Through his first couple seasons beginning in 1991, he was productive in spots. The third season is where the light really came on and he drove in 101 runs. But 1995-98 is when Vaughn really took off as a complete hitter.
He was named an All-Star three times during this span and even took home the AL MVP in 1995. Vaughn went yard 39 times, while driving in 126 runs, beating out Albert Belle and Edgar Martinez for his first and only MVP.
He only got better in 1996, and although the Red Sox missed the postseason his numbers were better than his MVP year prior. He hit 44 home runs and drove in 143 runs while batting a sizzling .346 at the plate. Despite this incredible season, he finished fifth in the MVP race. Vaughn also finished fourth in the 1998 MVP voting.
Boston might’ve been more successful during Vaughn’s years if not for their arch-nemesis New York Yankees returning to power those same exact years. A lot of the reason behind Boston’s just two playoff appearances stem from their division rival being so good as well.
Both playoff appearances ended in lopsided losses to the Uber-talented Cleveland Indians. Vaughn went a forgettable 0-14 in the 1995 playoff series. He fared much better in the 1998 series loss going 7-17 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s.
Consistency was always the strength of Vaughn’s game, albeit hitting for average or power, his bat was a formidable one for the Red Sox. He has 16-game hitting streaks in both 1995 and 1998. His 6 RBI game against the Royals in 1995 is still memorable. Or how bout his 3 home run day against the hated Yankees in 1997. Even with the 1998 season being his final one in Boston he started it off with a walk-off grand slam on opening day against the Mariners.
Vaughn had some run-ins with management, coupled with some off-the-field trouble and several run-ins with the media helped usher Vaughn out of “Beantown” in free agency after the 1998 season.
But prior to leaving, Big Mo spent almost a decade as a fan fave, while helping to keep those Red Sox teams competitive in a tough AL East where Derek Jeter and Joe Torre’s Yankees Dynasty was in full swing.
He was named to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2008 and became eligible for Cooperstown in 2009. He only received a paltry 1.1 percent of the votes, meaning he’d no longer be eligible for possible induction.
Despite the ups and downs, including his non-graceful exit from Boston, he’ll always be considered a franchise great. He is easily one of the top-ten-left-handed hitters in Boston Red Sox franchise history.
The game is changing right in front of our eyes, and the New MLB City Connects are going to be a huge part of it.
Two years ago a billion-dollar deal brought two of America’s most synonymous brands together; Major League Baseball and NIKE.
This new age era of baseball acknowledges showmanship and flair in the game as an important part of MLB’s future. Bat flips, dugout celebrations, and even pitchers breaking out their best dance moves after strikeouts on a nightly basis have been fun to watch.
On the other side, we have seen NIKE becoming the official uniform brand of both the NBA and NFL recently.
In January of 2019, NIKE announced a billion-dollar deal that included $3 million in the pockets of each team, bringing the swoosh to all baseball jerseys in 2020.
This morning, baseball unveiled one of 7 teams that City Connects collections will be fitting this year.
In a statement, NIKE announced these jerseys would honor each team’s city, history, fans and culture. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs and White Sox, LA Dodgers, Florida Marlins and Giants will be releasing their looks at a later date.
One of the most iconic franchises, Boston Red Sox were up first, and in my eyes, hit a home run with their Boston Marathon-themed fashion choice.
The idea behind City Connect is that the jerseys explore, not just a team’s historic look, but something significant about that team’s broader hometown and culture. For the Miami Heat, Nike created a blue and pink, 1980s neon throwback for the team that screamed Don Johnson, bucking tradition for the otherwise red, black, and yellow franchise. The strategy has worked well. Nike’s Miami Heat jersey became the best selling jersey in the NBA in several seasons, according to Nike.
These jerseys stray away from the normal Red Sox white and blue, choosing to go with blue yellow jerseys in honor of the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
The yellow is complemented with the word “Boston” across the chest in blue. The city area code 617 is on the sleeve.
The new looks are going to take some getting used to. Baseball’s color schemes continue to evolve out of the traditional looks, but we have seen these types of designs recently with the NBA City collection jerseys in recent years.
“Nike is uniquely suited for our relationship with the MLB because we like pushing the edges of creativity across the board, but it’s always done out of a place of supporting the players and advancing the sport,” said Nike Vice President of North America League partnerships Sonja Henning.
Although we are not sure when the next team’s jerseys will be released, we do know the dates that they will debut on the field.
The Red Sox will be worn April 17th, Florida Marlins May 21st, Chicago Cubs June 12th, Arizona D-Backs June 18th and San Francisco Giants on July 9th.
The White Sox and MLB Bro Tim Anderson will be wearing their new drip on June 5th in a Saturday night matchup against the hottest young talent in baseball, Akil Baddoo, and the Detroit Tigers.
2018 MVP and multiple World Series champion Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers will rock theirs in late August.
I’m ready to see these jerseys on the field. Like it or not a cultural change is coming to MLB and these classic jerseys will be a major part of the process.