San Diego Padres’ first baseman Wil Myers certainly isn’t short on confidence. Myers originally dreamed of a 30 homerun, 30 stolen base campaign this season but as he arrived for spring training, a day earlier, his goals have changed.
Myers’ wants a 40-40 season.
“After the season, I just thought to myself, ‘Why not set the bar very high for myself and give me that high goal I want to shoot for?'” Myers said. “I think it’s something that definitely can be done. Obviously, that’s the highest peak. But it’s something I’m shooting for.”
Alfonso Soriano, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco are among the only players to accomplish the feat of 40 homers and 40 stolen bases in a season. Myers finished last season with 28 homers and 28 steals, joining Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout as the only players to post a 28-28 season last year.
“Anything’s possible for Wil,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “I’m glad he’s got big goals out in front of him. The main goal I have is very process-oriented for him — that through the ups and downs of a Major League Baseball season, he stays consistent with who he is in the clubhouse and as a person. If he stays consistent, his unbelievable ability will play out.”
Myers has certainly shown he has the ability to put up strong numbers. In June 2016, he was named National League Player of the Month by posting a 1.194 OPS and smacking 11 homers, the most by a Padre in the month of June in franchise history.
“The biggest thing with consistency is just reverting back to the experience I had last year when I was going through a tough time,” Myers said. “I was beating myself up in the cage, spending an hour, hour and a half a day trying to figure out my swing.
“This year I’m going to just kind of ride the wave. … I’m going to go through those tough times. Whenever it comes around, it will. You just go about your work the right way, and everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to.”
San Diego, who just lost the Chargers, would love a jolt of excitement and a huge season such as the one Myers is aiming for is exactly the type of excitement that could rally the city around the Padres more than ever before.
Flyers Remove Statue of Kate Smith
The Philadelphia Flyers have joined the New York Yankees in the removal of ties to singer Kate Smith, whose famous rendition of “God Bless America” was played at both Flyers and Yankees games.
Earlier this week, the Yankees decided to suspend the use of Smith’s rendition, which was played during the seventh-inning stretch, while they investigated allegations of racism against the later singer.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, there are conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” which
originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals” and was considered satire but includes racist language, including the line;
“Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”
The song was recorded by Smith and Paul Robeson, who was black.
The Flyers put out the following statement on Sunday (h/t ESPN):
“The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with ‘God Bless America,’ as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation.
“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”
Smith, who was popular during the WWII era, recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among various other treats.
Smith also endorsed the “Mammy Doll” back in 1939 which was based on a racist caricature of a black woman similar to Aunt Jemima.
“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”
The odds aren’t good that Smith’s songs will return to their prominent places during sporting events such as they were with the Yankees and the Flyers.
There is a lot of cleaning up to do when it comes to racism in sports, and weeding out songs attached to artists with questionable, and controversial, backgrounds such as Smith’s, is important in pushing forward towards the future.
MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.
Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.
According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.
Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.
Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team
Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.
Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.
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