Nation STATion: Baseball's most annoying phrase

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Nation STATion: Baseball's most annoying phrase

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Friday night, Adrian Gonzalez singled in the 1st, doubled in the 2nd, and homered in the 5th. He ended up the game going 3-for-4, and drawing a walk. It was another really good night for ALs first-half MVP.

Had that simply been the description I would have been quite content, but noooooo! I had to hear Gonzo was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, and there is no phrase that drives me crazier than that one. If my media colleagues had said He ended up just one hit shy of a perfect night, I would have been fine, but the cycle issue drives me nuts.

Let me explain. When something is just shy of an amount it's just short of that amount by a little, teeny-weeny bit. A triple just doesnt fit that description.

A cycle is a hard thing to accomplish, primarily because of the triple. Since 2006, there have been 25 cycles hit in the majors. None, zero, zippo by the Red Sox. In fact, there have been none hit by anyone so far this season. As a frame of reference, there have been 16 no-hitters thrown since 2006 and two already this season.

There have been 17 cycles hit by the Sox since 1919, none since 1996:

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com

Since 1919:
There have been 239 Sox batters who missed the cycle because they didnt homer
There have been 67 Sox batters who singled, tripled and homered in a game
There have been 29 Sox batters who doubled, tripled, and homered in a game
But how many Red Sox batters have had games in which they were a triple shy of the cycle? Including Big Papi, twice in May, Carl Crawford once in May, Kevin Youkilis just over a week ago, and Gonzo Friday night, the count is 632.

A triple is hard to hit. There have been about 300 more batters who missed the cycle by a triple than all the others who missed by one combined because triples are hard to hit. Thats why A-Gon, who has three this season, tying his career high, is teasing everyone about his speed as Maureen Mullen shared with us, I was telling speedster Jacoby Ellsbury, who has two, I got more triples than you do. Whats going on? Gonzalez said. He just said, Hey, you're faster than me.

This is Nation STATion so here are some numbers to show you how hard it is to hit a triple.

So far this season:
There have been 18,460 hits, 673 by the Sox

Of those hits, there have been:
12,528 singles, 427 by Boston
3676 doubles, 151 by Boston
1879 homers, 81 by Boston
377 triples, 14 by Boston

Plain and simple, there are not a lot of triples hit. So my baseball friends and fellow members of the media, puh-lease do not use the phrase, he fell just a triple shy of the cycle.

Its like saying, The Vancouver Canucks fell just five goals shy of winning the Stanley Cup.

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox got the bullpen help they were seeking Tuesday, but it came at a steep price.
     
The Sox obtained righthanded reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers, but it cost them infielder Travis Shaw, highly regarded shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon and pitching prospect Josh Pennington, according to an industry source.

In Thornburg, 28, the Red Sox get a hard-throwing reliever whom they control for the next three seasons. He became the Brewers' closer after the trade deadline last year and recorded 13 saves while posting a 2.15 ERA and avergaing 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
    
He will serve as the Red Sox' primary set-up option to get to closer Craig Kimbrel.
     
One potential issue for Thornburg is that he's dealt with some elbow issues in the recent past. As recently as 2014, it was thought that he might require Tommy John surgery, but he instead underwent PRP (platelt rich plasma) treatment and has remained healthy.

Given that the last set-up reliever obtained by Dombrowski, Carson Smith, underwent Tommy John surgery last season, Thornburg's injury history raises a caution flag.

In dealing Shaw, the Red Sox are now expecting Pablo Sandoval to be their primary third baseman -- at least in the near term.

Sandoval missed all but a few games in 2016 with a shoulder injury and his conditioning has been an issue since signing with the Red Sox two years ago.

The Red Sox have Brock Holt to help out at third in 2017, with both Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers waiting in the wings.

Dubon is the second top prospect to be dealt by Dombrowski in the last 13 months. He included Javier Guerra in a package with three other prospects to obtain Kimbrel in November of 2015.

Dubon posted a .912 OPS in half a season at Portland last year and recently played in the Arizona Fall League. He has limited power, but strong athleticism and makes good contact.

Pennington is 20, a hard-throwing (94-98 mph) righthander who could profile either as a late-inning weapon or a starter. He's years away from the big leagues and has already undergone Tommy John surgery.

The Boston Herald was the first to report that the teams had made a trade. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was the first to report the details.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.