JP Crawford Is On His Way To A Second Gold Glove & Possibly His First Taste Of MLB Playoff Life

JP Crawford Is On His Way To A Second Gold Glove & Possibly His First Taste Of MLB Playoff Life

As the 2021 season is coming to an end, one player is out here balling and showing why he’s one of the best in the game.

That player is our fellow MLBbro J.P. Crawford. Crawford has been tearing up lately and he’s been a big reason why the Seattle Mariners are still in the playoff hunt.

He continues to show why he’s a Gold Glove winner and he’s on the verge of winning his second straight Gold Glove award. Crawford is a competitor and always wants to put his team in the best position to win games.

And he can do just that on the field and at the plate. 

 

On Tuesday, September 21st, the Mariners were playing in a must-win game against the Oakland Athletics, and Crawford made a big-time play. During the game, he made a diving stop at short to throw at a runner to end the inning. For some, it may have seemed like a tremendous play, but for Crawford, it was another play because that is something he does consistently.

“He lays out, gets up and throws an absolute dart across the field,” manager Scott Servais said. “That ball should’ve never been close. He’s got that kind of defensive ability.”

Not too long later, he made another diving play which he made look effortless. He just brings that swag to the game and makes those difficult plays look easy.

“It’s just something you just react to,” Crawford said after the game against the Athletics. “You just try to judge whether it’s gonna be an in-between hop or a long hop. So many thoughts can go through your head in such a short amount of time to where you just react to the ball. You just don’t think about stuff like that. You just make the play.”

While he’s been out here making plays on the field, his bat has been electric. During his last seven games, he’s hit .364 while slugging .545. He’s hit one home run with four RBI during that span. As of September 27th, he’s been on a five-game hitting streak and has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.

J.P. Crawford Continues His Rise Up The Shortstop Ranks

 

Throughout his career, Crawford has always displayed his athleticism on the field and that’s a big reason why he’s one of the best in the game. His teammates have certainly taken notice of his abilities and they know that the sky’s the limit for him.

“J.P. Crawford, man, I feel like every night it’s something special with him,” teammate Marc Gonzales said. “He should just have his name etched on it right now. The guy’s special. We call them ‘the unicorn’ for a reason. He just does it all. I hope everyone appreciates him as much as I do.”

“There’s a lot of really good shortstops in the American League, but nobody flashes the leather like J.P.,” Servais said. “It’s just the range, the athleticism and his ability to finish plays. He’s a Gold Glover if I’ve ever seen one. There’s no question about that.”

The 26-year-old is looking for his first playoff appearance and the Mariners are fighting for that Wild Card spot in the American League. J.P. Crawford is a name that people in baseball will be talking about for years to come.

1994 Montreal Expos Had The Flow & MLBbros To Win World Series | A Strike Killed All That Noise

1994 Montreal Expos Had The Flow & MLBbros To Win World Series | A Strike Killed All That Noise

This isn’t a story about a team that won it all, it is a story of a supremely talented baseball team that never got a chance to take its place among the greatest teams of the 1990s.

In the field, the 1994 Expos had one of the most diverse and Uber talented rosters in the majors.

Though they weren’t the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, they held a solid collection of Black and brown talent.

Among the 16 position players on the roster, four were Black and four were Latino. Starters Marquis Grissom (CF) and Cliff Floyd (1B) were two of five Montreal starters to hit .280 or better.

Lenny Webster and Rondell White were solid reserve options for manager Felipe Alou.

Strike Three, MLB Out

On August 12, 1994, Major League players went on strike. The strike eventually led to the cancellation of nearly 1000 games, including the playoffs and World Series.

Prior to the shutdown of the season, it seemed that two teams were on a collision course to meet in the Fall Classic, the New York Yankees and the Montreal Expos. While the Yankees were rising from a nearly two-decade funk, the Expos had quietly put together one of the most exciting young cores in baseball.

By 1994, Montreal had strung together consecutive winning seasons; winning 87 games in 1992 and 94 in 1993.

The 94 wins were the second-most in franchise history but still weren’t enough to reach the postseason.

 

The Expos had generally been good, but never great over the first 24 years of the franchise’s history. Between 1979 and 1993, Montreal had finished .500 or better 12 times.

Then came 1994.

Montreal was stacked. The pitching staff led the NL in wins (74), winning percentage (.649), ERA (3.56), saves (46), and only allowed three more runs than the Atlanta Braves, who were in the middle of the Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz era.

On offense, they scored more than five runs per game with a well-rounded offensive attack.

The Expos’ .278 batting average made up for the fact that they finished ninth in the league in home runs with just 108.

Montreal tore up the basepaths with 137 steals and punished the gaps, racking up 246 doubles and 30 triples.

Then there was the defense.

The Expos were second only to the San Francisco Giants in defensive efficiency and finished second to the Braves in runs allowed per game at just under four. In other words, they had no holes. They could beat any team in any way you could think of.

Five Expos made the All-Star team, including pitcher Ken Hill, who led the National League with 16 wins.

 

Hill was the ace of a staff that included a young Pedro Martinez, who had been traded to Montreal for Delino DeShields, Jeff Fassero, and John Wetteland. Ironically, Wetteland would join the Yankees the next season and win a World Series with them in 1996.

As the negotiations began to break down between the Players’ Union and the owners, Montreal kept playing like a team on a mission, winning 20 of their final 23 games before the strike. The Expos were on pace for 106 wins, which would have tied for the seventh-highest total in baseball history at the time, and the most ever in a 162-game season.

Then, just over a month later, any dreams the Expos had of claiming their first championship were gone when Bud Selig announced that the remainder of the season would not be played.

 

What should have been the beginning of a potential dynasty, with Montreal only having two players on the roster over 30, was really just the beginning of the end for the Expos.

Walker, Grissom, Hill, and Wetteland were all gone by the start of the next season. Floyd got hurt, and the team finished 66-78 in 1995.

 

The Expos had only three winning seasons in their final decade in Montreal, as crowds began to get smaller and their home field, Olympic Stadium began to fall apart.

In 2005, they made the move to Washington, D.C., and rebranded as the Nationals.

In 16 seasons, the Nats have made five trips to the postseason, including a World Series championship in 2019, but none of those teams were as talented or as dominant as the ‘94 Expos.

 

It was disappointing that the Nationals didn’t include some of those Montreal greats, including the players who helped build the franchise up from its expansion roots, like Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, and Warren Cromartie.

Many of the top players from that 1994 team did go on to find their own success elsewhere. Grissom won his championship with the Braves in 1995.

 

Floyd and Alou collected their own with the Marlins in ‘97. The Marlins also had a Black catcher named Charles Johnson who is the last #MLBbro backstops of note in MLB history.

 

Martinez became the ace of the Red Sox in 2004 when they broke the Curse of the Bambino.

 

The 1994 Montreal Expos were one of the greatest teams ever, and no one remembers them.

Maybe now they will.

Field Of Dreams Game Was Aight, But MLB Still Missing The Mark With 30-And-Under Crowd

Field Of Dreams Game Was Aight, But MLB Still Missing The Mark With 30-And-Under Crowd

Baseball has gotten a lot of mileage in the days following last week’s storybook ending at the “Field of Dreams” game, held in the cornfield near the original site of the 1989 film of the same name.

A walk-off home run by Tim Anderson capped off a dramatic ninth inning that saw the Chicago White Sox defeat the New York Yankees 9-8.

 

 

 

Anderson, along with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton combined for five hits, four home runs, five runs, and 10 RBI on the giant stage of the most watched regular season baseball game since 2005.

 

 

The game served its purpose of creating an event that put the spotlight on baseball, which can struggle to keep America’s attention once football pushes its way back onto the scene.

The fact that Black ball players were the central figures in the outcome of the game was icing on the cake.

Alex Rodriguez made note of that fact, hoping that this historic moment might continue to inspire young Black athletes to give themselves a chance to fall in love with baseball.

 

 

That could happen. We’ve seen a number of new Black stars begin to emerge this season; from Cedric Mullins to Triston McKenzie.

But the setting for last Thursday’s game won’t resonate with the young audience that baseball needs to grow the game.

Field of Dreams was released 32 years ago.

The average major leaguer is 28.2 years old, the youngest big leaguers have been since the 1960s and ‘70s, when MLB was going through some major growth.

Anderson and Black Ace CC Sabathia both openly stated that they had never seen the film and really didn’t plan too.

Major League Baseball’s fan base is the oldest its ever been, at an average of 57 years of age. By comparison, the NBA’s fan base is a full 15 years younger.

The country is getting younger, and browner. MLB has to start making a cultural adjustment.

Baseball can keep its “Field of Dreams” nostalgia fest, and also reach out to those fans who don’t see any reflection of themselves in the Iowa cornfields.

Here are a few sites that might resonate with Black families and honor the contributions that our community has made to making the game what it is today.

 

Rickwood Field, Birmingham, Alabama

 

Alabama is home to some of the greatest Black players to ever grace a big league diamond, including Henry Aaron and Tim Anderson. The Deep South has plenty of baseball talent and is home to dozens of minor league teams.

Why not celebrate that by partnering with the Birmingham Barons and hosting a Rickwood Classic Weekend?

A minor league affiliate of the White Sox, the Barons have hosted the game for years in the 110-year old ballpark.

 

Hamtramck Stadium, Hamtramck Michigan

 

 

MLB is already part of the effort to help restore the former home of the Detroit Stars. The ball park has been used as a community field for years, but once the restoration is complete, what better way to reopen than with a major league game.

There are other sites as well; stadiums that have endured in one way or another, still carrying memories from generations past. Any would be great.

Imagine the feeling of watching Black major leaguers walking out of the dugouts of stadiums that once provided the only stage for them to play, wearing the uniforms of the men whose dreams they now live.

Imagine the impact on Americans who would see again the fallacy of there ever being “separate but equal” conditions.

Imagine the stories suddenly being told by family members who had heard of or had seen some of those legendary players and inspiring the next generation to come.

Possibly the most famous line from Field of Dreams is “if you build it, they will come.”

Baseball has a chance to build a bridge to millions of potential fans.

So build it.

Trent Grisham’s Bat Is Woke | Don’t Sleep On This Uber Talented Black Knight

Trent Grisham’s Bat Is Woke | Don’t Sleep On This Uber Talented Black Knight

Trent Grisham continues to make a name for himself in his third MLB season with the San Diego Padres.

The Padres certainly benefited from acquiring him from the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. 

Grisham is on the verge of having a career season and he’s been a key player for the Padres this season.

While he may be in the shadows of the superstars that the Padres have on their team, this brother can play with the best of them.

 

Our MLBbro has been scorching it up lately at the plate. In his last seven games, he’s hit a stealth .421 with five RBI and three runs scored.

Ever since Grisham made his Major League debut in 2019, he’s been determined to succeed and play at a high-level.

 

Meet Trent Grisham, The Padres Star No One Is Talking About


This season, he’s done just that. He has played his way into a Padres’ lineup that is one of the best in the league.

While he’s had success this season, there was a stretch where he struggled, especially at the plate.

From July 25 to August 1, Grisham was hitless at the plate. During that stretch he went 0-for-20. Now, that’s a slump right there, but hardly unusual in a sport of streaks and slumps like baseball. 

But Grisham did not let that stretch phase him one bit and on August 3, he ended his slump with a 2-for-5 performance against the Oakland Athletics.

Look, it’s not easy to hit in the majors and Grisham knows he has to constantly work on his game to become an above average hitter.

The last two or three years, that’s what I’ve been focusing on throughout the year,” Grisham told The San Diego Union-Tribune about his approach at the plate and making contact.

“When I stray from that, it’s usually when things go awry. It’s always a focal point for me. Make sure that I can go get the ball out front. But there’s other caveats with that.

“You can’t just go get everything out front if you can’t see the ball. You can’t just go get out front if your direction is not there. So there’s a lot of caveats. It’s all about mixing those together and making sure to stay on your swing.”

 

Grisham’s bat has been on fire during August. He went on a four-game hitting streak early in the month and had a two-hit performance in three straight games.

Going into August 13, he was riding a four-game hitting streak and he’s added more depth to the Padres’ lineup.

Not only can Grisham hit, he is a solid defender. When he’s in the outfield, his range is unlimited and he can absolutely go get them.

 


When you have a player like Grisham, it’s hard to keep a rare talent like him out of the lineup, especially when he’s playing well.

If he continues to play well, he certainly has the tools help the Padres battle for a playoff spot in the loaded NL West. 

These next few months will be big for our MLBbro, so make sure you keep taps on Grisham. He’s another young star that will make the Padres World Series contenders

MLBbro Show Launched Missiles Into The Iowa Corn Field

MLBbro Show Launched Missiles Into The Iowa Corn Field

The MLBbros stole the show.

That’s really the best explanation for the dramatic finish in the Chicago White Sox’s 9-8, walk-off victory over the New York Yankees in Thursday night’s Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa. 

On a night dedicated to actor Kevin Costner, corn fields and a 32-year old movie, Yankees’ sluggers Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and White Sox spark plug Tim Anderson put the baseball world on notice; MLBbros are the past AND the future.

 The three MLBbros combined for four home runs, three coming in the ninth inning alone.

Judge was the first to announce his presence in Iowa, blasting a three-homer into the corn fields beyond the right field fence.

 

 

Players had mentioned the ball traveling well to right field in batting practice, and Judge tested that theory early.

 Judge may have been the first to strike, but Anderson made sure to respond in style.

Anderson launched a two-out double down the left field line that sparked a four-run bottom of the third for the White Sox.

 The Sox expanded their lead to 7-4 heading into the ninth, and with their backs against the wall, the Bros from the Bronx did what they do best — HIT BOMBS. 

With two down and facing filthy closer Liam Hendriks, Judge dug in and smoked a 2-1 fastball deep into the Iowa night.

 

 

After trailing all night, the Yankees were finally in striking distance. 

A walk to new Yankee Joey Gallo set the stage for Giancarlo to put the team on his back.

Stanton unloaded a 2-run bomb to left field, and after trailing for most of the game, the Yankees were suddenly in command.

 

 


That was until Tim Anderson stepped up in the bottom of the 9th. While most cower in big moments like this, Tim has shown time and time again that he’s built for clutch circumstances. 

 

Anderson knew the ball was gone as soon as he made contact, and even hit the “it’s ova” — a la Vince Carter — the minute he stepped out the box.  Anderson had his official coming out party this week. The five-tool shortstop hit three home runs in three Prime time games this week. To be the face of MLB, you have to do more than put up numbers and kiss babies. You actually have to come through in those high pressure moments.

The walk-off was a statement in itself, but Yankee great Alex Rodriguez had the most poignant words of the night.

 


“If you build it… they will come” is probably the most memorable line from Field of Dreams.

Not only did the MLBbros show up Thursday, they stole the whole damn show.