Russell Wilson’s head knows football was the right choice. Baseball still has his heart.
A 2014 Super Bowl champion quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks Taron Johnson Jersey , the 29-year-old began a week of workouts Monday with the New York Yankees.
”Is this just a stunt?” he said. ”I think that if you really know me, baseball’s been a part of my blood. It’s been a part of who I am and where I’ve come from and what I’ve done. When you see me make plays on the football field, a lot of that’s a direct correlation to baseball.”
Wilson hit six homers in 39 swings as part of a batting practice group that included Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the top sluggers in the major leagues last season, plus Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird.
A middle infielder who hit .229 over 93 games at Class A in the Colorado Rockies’ system in 2011 and `12, Wilson became the Seahawks’ starting quarterback in autumn 2012. He was selected by Texas in the 2013 winter meeting draft and attended spring training with the Rangers.
Wilson was on vacation in the Bahamas early this month when he learned he had been acquired in a trade by the Yankees, his favorite team growing up. While the Yankees gave playing time to football players Deion Sanders and Drew Henson, they said Wilson will not appear in any spring training games; they want to observe his leadership skills, and he wants to soak up the attitude of a franchise with a record 27 World Series titles.
”There’s an aroma around here that I’ve got to figure out, and I can’t wait to learn more about it and use that for my football career,” he said.
Wearing pink sunglasses for BP, Wilson fell short of the fence in his first 17 swings with a 33-inch, 31-ounce Louisville Slugger, a personalized maple model H319C in black. He then hit three in his next four tries, cleared the left-field walkway and clanked his final drive off the center-field batter’s eye.
”It’s just cool being able to pick his brain Jeremy Kerley Jersey , that was the coolest part for me,” Judge said. ”When he’s working out, everything is for a purpose.”
Wilson was on the field hours early, working with shortstop Didi Gregorius. He and the Yankees were all smiles.
”Watching him take a ball from the outfield that was kind of an in-between hop and watching him moving his feet real well and create a longer hop, that’s a savvy good-player move,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Wilson spoke to the team before batting practice about leadership principles and said Judge and Stanton would be tight ends if they played in the NFL. He wore No. 73 – his football number, 3, is retired by the Yankees for Babe Ruth and his baseball number in high school was 7, retired by New York for Mickey Mantle.
He said his great uncle wears a Yankees cap every day, even to Seahawks games.
”I was always a fair-weather fan. I loved watching the best players, the best teams play. So when I was growing up, playing football, it was the Green Bay Packers at one point, then it was the 49ers, then it was the Cowboys Micah Hyde Jersey ,” Wilson said. ”But for baseball growing up, I was always a huge Yankees fan, and I think it was because I loved the process. I love watching winners win.”
Wilson has no intention to switch sports.
”I love playing the game I play now,” he said. ”Being the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, I’m one of 32 men in the world that get to do what I get to do. It’s the best job in the world, and so for me I’m very passionate about that. And my focus is winning more Super Bowls, doing whatever it takes to do that.”
He doesn’t want to expand to a third sport and dabble with dribbling.
”I wouldn’t be good at basketball. But baseball,” he said, ”it’s like riding bike.”
NOTES: Boone said he likely will break up Judge, Stanton and Sanchez with left-handed hitters in the batting order against most right-handed pitchers. Coming off left shoulder surgery, Judge is slated to play his first exhibition game Wednesday and in another Friday, both times in the outfield. … OF Clint Frazier sustained a mild concussion Saturday while diving into a fence at Bradenton to deny Ryan Lavarnway an extra-base hit. Boone said Frazier likely will miss a few days but not more. ”Foggy, that’s how I felt all day,” said of his condition Sunday.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four Houston Astros starting pitchers have won at least eight games this season. They are Gerrit Cole Nick O'Leary Jersey , Charlie Morton, Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers.
The lone exception is left-hander Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner. Keuchel, who pitches Saturday against the Kansas City Royals, is 3-8 with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts this season.
Keuchel has allowed 90 hits, including a dozen home runs, and walked 32 while striking out 81 in 82 1/3 innings. He has a 3-1 career record against the Royals in six starts. He had a no-decision against them last year, allowing two hits and one run in seven innings.
If Keuchel is the weak link in the Astros’ rotation, that is a fearsome five.
“The Gerrit Cole addition was great and Verlander was a great addition to them last year,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “The thing that is so important is they make these deals in hopes they can get them over the hump with a World Series, and it did.
“They’ve got a fantastic rotation. They’ve got a fantastic group of young talented, athletic players. They’re a good team. They’re a tough match.”
The Astros (46-25) reminded the Royals just how good they are with a 7-3 victory on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Evan Gattis, who drove in five Houston runs on Tuesday and Wednesday in Oakland, hit a sixth-inning grand slam.
The Royals (22-47) took a hit besides in the loss column when starting right fielder Jorge Soler left with a fractured first left metatarsal in the sixth inning. He stumbled out of the blocks while grounding out. It is the same foot Soler fouled a ball off last Friday in Oakland and then did not play again until Tuesday.
Yost said he did not know if the injuries are related. He said Soler would be out for an extended period. The Royals will make a roster move Saturday with Soler, who was on crutches in the clubhouse after the loss http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-connor-mcdavid-jersey , headed for the disabled list.
Both clubs made roster moves Friday. Astros left-hander Reymin Guduan was placed on the paternity list. They recalled infielder Tyler White from Triple-A Fresno, where he was hitting .338 with a 1.023 OPS in 62 games.
The Royals purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Brandon Maurer from Triple-A Omaha. In his past seven outings, he ran off a scoreless streak of 12 2/3 innings while striking out 10 and holding opponents to a .163 batting average with one extra-base hit.
The Royals optioned rookie right-hander Jason Adam to Omaha. Adam had allowed six home runs, including a grand slam Wednesday, in 15 1/3 innings.
Left-hander Danny Duffy, who is 3-6 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts, is the Royals’ probable starter Saturday. He is coming off his best start of the season, tossing seven scoreless innings last Saturday in Oakland, allowing three hits and striking out a career high 10.
Duffy is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in eight outings, four of them starts, against the Astros. He owns a 2.08 ERA in his last two starts against the Astros.
The Royals will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak. They have dropped 10 of their last 11 and are 10-24 at home. They’ve scored just 26 runs in 13 games in June, when they are hitting .183.
The Astros have the best road record (27-11) in the majors. They have won their last eight road games, three shy of the club record set last year. They have logged at least a dozen hits in five straight games, the second longest streak in franchise history and trailing only a seven-game streak set in 2007.