Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa have a combined 68 years of managerial experience and 4,703 wins between them, including Thursday night’s 10-2 win by the Astros over the White Sox.
Baker, the most accomplished African-American manager in MLB history, and La Russa made history in the first meeting between two managers over the age of 70 in the modern era (1900).
MLBbro and All-Star candidate Michael Brantley set the tone with a three-run blister to give the Astros a 3-0 lead and they never looked back.
These guys are meeting for the first time as 70-year-olds, but they have a long history of battling between the lines and from the top step.
This is their fourth freakin’ decade coaching against each other. Most people don’t know their spouses that well. However, it is the first time in a decade and there were certainly some senior citizen bragging rights at stake.
All jokes aside, these guys are still sharp as swords. Like the masters in the old Wu-Tang videos who looked 100 but were untouchable in hand-to-hand combat against younger, stronger adversaries.
The Astros are now 40-28 and just two games behind the Oakland A’s in the AL and are one of just five teams in the American League with 40 wins.
The Chicago White Sox are 43-26 and share the American League’s best record.
This meeting of the minds didn’t live up to its potential as the Sox had an off night and the Astros bats continue to torch teams led by Jose Altuve who has 9 homers this month.
Expect to see both of these teams in the playoffs and the senior citizens at the helm will both be at the top of their games if they happen to meet.
It would be quite a show to see old Dusty going head up and matching wits with the three-time World Series mastermind.
Both managers have taken teams with talent and elevated them to the next level. True contenders.
Baker has seamlessly taken over for former disgraced manager AJ Hinch and helped the Astros regain some integrity along the way.
As long as the Astros continue to win games under Dusty’s leadership, Houston’s front office will look like geniuses to the fans and the rest of baseball for bringing in the OG skipper and further separating the front office and ownership from the World Series scandal that rocked MLB.
Taijuan Walker has silenced many of his haters this season by taking the city that never sleeps by storm. He has the seventh-lowest ERA in the Major Leagues and struck out a career-high 12 batters during his start this week against the Chicago Cubs.
Through the first three months of the season, Taijuan Walker has been the steal of the off season. The Mets were the only team to offer him a contract, which is for 2 years and $20 million with a player option for the third.
“Everything’s worked out well for everyone,” Walker told reporters. “I’m glad the Mets were my only offer.
Taijuan Walker's 2.12 ERA is the second-lowest in history by a Met in his first 12 starts with the franchise.
The lowest: Al Leiter, who produced a 1.70 ERA over his first 12 starts in 1998.
In Tuesday’s start against the Cubs, Walker struck out a career-high 12 batters and lowered his ERA to 2.12 which is good for seventh in the league. It was his third start this season without allowing a walk and he has caught fire since returning from the Injured List.
In the four starts since his return, Walker has thrown 24 innings and struck out 31 hitters.
His Black Knight rotation mate Marcus Stroman has been the Andre 3000 to Walker’s Big Boi. In his last two starts, Stroman has thrown 13 innings with 15 strikeouts and only one earned run.
Taijuan will get the Fathers Day start for the Mets as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on Josh Harrison, Josh Bell and the rest of the Nationals.
2. Mookie Betts
We have high expectations for Mookie, being that he is the best player in all of baseball. He got off to a slow start this season for his standards, but during the past week, Betts showed flashes of his MVP-caliber skills.
He’s hit .318 with three home runs, four RBI, eight runs, five walks and a .727 Slugging Percentage in his last seven games.
Bett’s has four multi-hit games this month and on Tuesday night against the Phillies, it was the 7th inning of a 3-3 game when Mookie stepped to the plate and blasted a solo home run.
It was the first time he hit a homer with Dodger stadium completely full.
Mookie travels to Arizona this weekend to take on the Diamondbacks who will be rocking their city connect uniforms on Friday night.
3. Marcus “Rock Any Park U” Semien
Marcus Semien has kept his hot bat from the month of May going in June. The reigning American League Player of the Month is batting .263 with three home runs this month, including a leadoff bomb Wednesday night against the Yankees’ Garrett Cole.
Through his last seven games, Semien is hitting .286 with three home runs, six RBI, seven runs and a stolen base. He is on track to start at second base for the American League All-Star team and is in the middle of what is a career year leading up to his free agency this offseason.
Bobby Bradley has been rocking out since joining Cleveland on June 5th as they have been riddled with injuries and he has given them exactly what they have been missing: power at the first base position. Thursday Bradley hit his fourth home run in just 10 games this season. He is now batting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBI.
Bradley has also helped the Indians stay afloat in a wide-open American League. Since his call up they have a record of 8-2 and sit in second place in the American League Central, four games behind Tim Anderson’s White Sox while being only a game back of Michael Brantley and the Houston Astros for the final Wild Card spot.
After finishing a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Bradley will travel to Pittsburg to take on Ke’Bryan Hayes and the Pirates.
Justin Upton was named Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlight after batting .360 with 10 runs scored and two home runs last week. He recently moved to the leadoff spot in the Angels lineup and raised his batting average from .120 to .232.
The 91st Midsummer Classic is less than a month away, and many of this season’s top-performing MLBbros are raking in the fan votes.
Ballots for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game opened on June 3, allowing fans to vote their favorite players into starting positions for the American League and National League rosters. The remaining roster spots are chosen by players and the Commissioner’s Office.
Phase one of voting closes Thursday, June 24, when the top vote-getters in each league (top nine outfielders, top three in all other positions) advance to the second and final voting phase which lasts from Monday, June 28 through Thursday, July 1.
The game will be held Tuesday, July 13 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado after being moved out of Atlanta, Georgia due to a recently passed law that could restrict voting access for people of color.
Here are the MLBbros currently with the most fan votes (As of June 16, 2021):
1.Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays: 561,326 votes
The stud second baseman looks to earn his first all-star nod in his first season with the Blue Jays. Through 65 games played in 2021, Semien is slashing .290/.358/.519 with 15 home runs, 46 runs, 37 RBI, and nine steals. He leads all AL second basemen in all-star votes, With his 561,326 votes comprising 34% of total votes at the position.
2. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: 538,448 votes
One of three MLBbros in the top nine vote-getters among AL outfielders, Judge is having a phenomenal bounce-back year after spending most of the 2020 season on the injured list. Through 62 games, he has compiled a slash line of .283/.381/.520 with 15 home runs, 36 runs, and 35 RBI. He is the second leading vote-getter at his position, with his 538,448 votes making up 11% of the total vote among AL outfielders.
3. Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers: 400,202 votes
Widely considered to be one of the best players in all of baseball, Betts continues his dominance in 2021 after helping the Dodgers win the World Series and finishing second in NL MVP voting in 2020. The star outfielder is currently slashing .258/.371/.462 with eight home runs, 40 runs, 25 RBI, and six steals through 57 games. He is the fourth leading vote-getter among NL outfielders, with his 400,202 votes comprising 8% of the total vote at the position.
4. Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins: 383,178 votes
Despite working through a hip injury that has sidelined Buxton for over a month, the Twins’ star outfielder is still getting the respect he deserves from fans after putting up MVP-caliber numbers to begin the season. In 24 games played, Buxton is slashing .370/.408/.772 with nine home runs, 19 runs, 17 RBI, and five steals. He currently sits at third among all AL outfielders in all-star votes with 383,178, making up 8% of all votes at the position.
5. Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox: 177,320 votes
The star shortstop has been incredible all year as he looks to earn his first all-star nod. Through 53 games, Anderson has compiled a slash line of .311/.350/.443 with six home runs, 39 runs, 25 RBI, and 13 steals. He is the third leading vote-getter at his position, with his 177,320 votes making up 11% of the total vote among AL shortstops.
6. Michael Brantley, Houston Astros: 166,298 votes
The 13-year vet just seems to get better with age. After missing the all-star game in his first five seasons in the majors, he’s appeared in every all-star game played since 2017 and plans to return this season. Through 47 games, he is slashing .340/.383/.497 with three home runs, 30 runs, and 21 RBI. He sits at ninth in votes among all AL outfielders with 166,298, comprising 3% of the total vote al the position.
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.