La Novena: Of fan stuff, Ohtani’s exploits and terrible baddies

1. THE FANS Sports are a rare, complicated breed. Contrary to all logic, they enjoy the defeats of their staunch rivals more than their own victories. I don’t want to be absolute, but it happens more often than you can imagine. Two colleagues, who for obvious reasons I am not going to leave their names in this column, have made their August in social networks with the bad streak of the Boston Red Sox (69-54), putting in the background the good step of their loved ones New York Yankees (69-52). Although, to be honest, their revelry reached a climax after the recent three-game sweep that placed the Mules in second place in the AL East and a wild-card spot to the postseason. August has been a martyrdom for Alex Cora’s disciples. The Puerto Rican seemed set to restore the brilliance that the team lost last season, when his absence due to the sanction he received for the sign-stealing scandal with the Houston Astros caused them to end up in the basement of the division.

2. WITH THE RETURN From Cora, the team started to carbure again, but in July things started to go wrong. While the positive 13-12 record was enough to keep up with the Tampa Bay Rays leaders (currently 74-47), August has been a real torment. His record of 6-11 contrasts with the 14-4 of the Yankees. It is striking that their collective hitting so far this month (.276) has been much higher than the previous months (April .258, May .261, June .259 and July .246). They are also better at OBP (.349), OPS (.457) and slugging (.807). The decline has been in racing production and power hitting. After 17 games in the month they have just driven in 81 runs, this means an average of 4.76 touchdowns per game; they have hit 22 home runs (1.3 per game) and 28 doubles (1.64 PJ). We must add to the inability to score runs, a detail of their pitching body: they allow 4.99 earned runs per game. If you concede almost five touchdowns and produce four and something, it is very difficult to win in this baseball. There’s time to get back on track, but in the meantime, my Yankees friends are celebrating.

3. THE SENSATION Japanese Shohei ohtani He is justifying every penny of his $ 3 million salary with the Los Angeles Angels in 2021 and reaffirming that his decision to sign with a losing franchise was not a bad decision. Ok, you could be the lowest paid employee in history (that’s the topic for another Novena) and have the same fate as your illustrious partner. Mike trout, who has only played in one postseason (2014) in 11 years, but at least has a chance to show that he can successfully pitch and hit at the highest level in baseball. Perhaps in another team with greater pretensions they would have denied him exhibiting himself as a two-way player. At this point in the season, there are few who doubt that the Japanese will win the Most Valuable Player award in the American League. His calling card includes forty home runs, 87 RBIs, a 1,011 OPS, 7.9 WAR and 18 stolen bases. As a pitcher, he has eight wins and one loss, with a 2.79 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 100 innings of work.