You have to love the randomness of pro sports sometimes, and Friday night we learned of an interesting connection, as Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. showed up in Anaheim, CA, to take batting practice.
But, not for the home standing L.A. Angels of Anaheim, but with the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.
More specifically, Beckham, who was in the L.A. area for unclear reasons on a May Friday, donned an old school “Devil Rays” jersey. It turns out that the New York lightning rod receiver is new buddies with Rays Friday night starter, Blake Snell.
In fact, he had Snell’s name and the number 4 on the back of the jersey.
Check out Beckham launching one of the homers here:
OBJ x DRays.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 19, 2018
Later, Fox Sports Florida cable channel ,who was televising the Rays-Angels game, brought up the pre game home run cuts by Beckham and briefly showed this center field angle of OBJ taking his swings:
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 19, 2018
Beckham was a Pro Bowler his first three years in the NFL, but had a disastrous 2017 season, where he suffered a season ending ankle injury in a loss to the Chargers in October and was done after playing only four games. He finished with just 25 catches and three TDs on the year.
Beckham had averaged 95 catches and over 1,300 yards in his first three seasons with Giants. And, there had been speculation that New York would be looking trade him around last month’s draft instead of committing $50-60 million to him in a new contract. However, that never really materialized, and had Giants new coach Pat Shurmur maintaining that the team wants Beckham for the long term.
Back to Friday night, the Rays won the game 8-3, which is their fifth straight win, and saw Snell pitch 6 2/3 innings and strike out eight for the win. So, obviously, the Beckham-Snell connection brought them attention and brought Snell good luck.
Rays beat writer Mark Tompkin of Tampabay.com reported that Beckham and Snell have mutual friends that introduced them and led to the B.P. on Friday night.
You have to think that the Giants and their fans weren’t as cheerful about him taking injury risks in a batting cage, but it was a fun moment for sure.
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