Yastrzemski reflects on 1967 Triple Crown win


Yastrzemski reflects on 1967 Triple Crown win

BOSTON -- No player in either league has won baseball's Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera has a chance to it with a week to go in the season.
Yastrzemski thinks it's only a matter of time.
"Somebody's going to do it,'' said Yastrzesmki, who was part of the All Fenway Park Team introduced Wednesday night before the final home game of the season, "whether it's Cabrera this year or (somebody) next year or the year after. I'm surprised that it's gone this long, to be perfectly honest.
"When (Pete) Rose beat (Ty) Cobb's hit record, I never though that would happen. When (Cal) Ripken broke (Lou) Gehrig's consecutive game record, I never thought that would happen, either. So it's going to happen.''
In 1967, Yastrzemski was more consumed with trying to help the Sox finish first and with the Tigers in a fight with Chicago for the A.L. Central lead, Cabrera -- who leads the league in batting average and RBI and is second in homers -- has the ability to focus on something other than individual stats.
"One thing that's going to help him is that he's in a pennant race,'' said Yastrzemski. "Of course, there's so much more publicity nowadays. People follow him and everything else and you get a report every day and so forth. In '67, the Triple Crown was never mentioned once. We were so involved in the pennant race. I didn't know I won the Triple Crown until the next day when I read it in the paper.
"That's how involved we were in the pennant race. The only person who mentioned anything at all, the last couple weeks of the season, and I think he referred to the batting title, was Jim Lonborg. We were playing in Baltimore the last couple of weeks and Frank Robinson was ahead of me (in batting average) by a few points and (Lonborg) said: 'Get some hits today because I'm going to give Frank an 0-for.' And he did -- 0-for-5.''
Robinson, of course, won the Triple Crown the previous season and Mickey Mantle won it twice in the 1950s. That makes it all the more amazing that no one has done it in the last 45 years.
"I thought somebody would win it a long time ago,'' said Yastrzemski, "and the surprising thing about it is, during the 1950s when Mantle won it and Frank (in 1966), you had the higher mound. I'd like to see what some of the pitchers throwing today, what their speeds would be if they came off the high mound. Somebody like (Justin) Verlander would probably throw 100 mph or more on every pitch.
"So, like I said, I'm surprised it's lasted this long.''

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.