Friday afternoon, Shohei Ohtani was named the American League Player of the Month for June.
Friday night, Ohtani got a quick start on July, because apparently the only thing that can stop him is whatever happened on Wednesday night, when Ohtani pitched, didn’t make it out of the first inning, and the Angels wound up rallying with a Jared Walsh grand slam off Aroldis Chapman.
Back home in Anaheim, Ohtani belted a pair of homers — his 29th and 30th of the season — to lead the Angels to an 8-7 win over the Orioles.
It took Ohtani drawing a ninth-inning walk, stealing second base, and then scoring on a Walsh single to get Los Angeles to 40-41 at the halfway point of the season, fourth in the American League West because for some reason Rob Manfred refuses to let Ohtani just go Bugs Bunny against the Gas House Gorillas.
There are so many superlatives that you can throw Ohtani’s way (he’ll hit them all over the wall), but the most mind-blowing thing is that when Mike Trout gets back sometime after the All-Star break, the guy we’ve all been having G.O.A.T. debates about for the last five years might not even be the best player on his own team anymore.
The Spurs are going to get a new name for their arena when the current rights deal expires in the fall of 2022.
Without looking, did you know what the current name of the Spurs’ arena was?
And now for something completely different:
Really, Brett Phillips’ mound work is the kind of thing that a position player pitching should be, a totally ludicrous diversion in a blowout game in the middle of a long and often repetitive season. That’s kind of what the holiday hats do, too, albeit to much less enjoyable effect.