It’s often said the professional athletes earn too much money and that society should focus its resources on other things, like education and housing.
But sometimes these millionaire ballplayers do the right thing with their cash.
Take Martín Prado of the Miami Marlins. For the past few seasons, he’s taken out all the young Latino players on his team, just to make them feel welcome. This season, that meant dinner for 47. That’s a lot of patacones, Martin. Well done.
Martín has also begun to hit in south Florida, and leads MLB not only in dinners bought over the past several seasons, but in two-strike hits, which his manager may find just as valuable.
It’s been a remarkable start for Freddy Galvis of Punto Fijo and Philadelphia–given the chance to take over Jimmy Rollins’ old patch, Fast Freddy is hitting .368. And he doesn’t even have the orange shoes he wore in Maracaibo during the winter season.
Another NL East shortstop is finding his feet, kind of. Wilmer Flores has reached base in 14 straight games for the first-place Mets. He made another error last night in a loss to Miami, but he was put into panic mode because the runner was ageless Ichiro Suzuki, who at age 41 still gets down the line faster than many players.
MIA in Miami was Henderson Alvarez, who began the season at 0-2 and is on the DL with some shoulder inflammation.
Things are getting ugly in Kansas City, whose players have been hit a league-leading 20 times. Yesterday, Alcides Escobar got hit in the face with a 96 mph Danny Salazar fastball and had to leave the game. It seemed accidental, however, unlike some earlier KC beanings, and Salazar seemed pretty shaken.
Hitting a ton are the usual suspects: defending AL batting champ Jose Altuve is up to .355 after a somewhat slow start, and he featured in a lineup that was 1–2-3 VZ players last night: Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez, and Luis Valbuena. Pretty close to an all-VZ infield for the rocketing Astros, who lead the West at 14-7.
Baseball’s best batter, though, is in Detroit, coming back strong from off-season leg surgery. Miguel Cabrera is at .370 with 5 home runs and 17 RBIs for the month.
Speaking of great Aprils, Félix Abraham Hernández of Valencia and Seattle had one bad inning in Texas, but toughed it out over 114 pitches and 6 2/3 innings to remain unbeaten at 4-0, with a 1.82 ERA.
Way down south, former Cincinnati Reds All-Star SS David Concepción was named sporting director of his home-state Tigres of Aragua. The team’s president is another retired MLB infielder, Carlos Guillén.