Sep 12, 2019

2019 is the year of the home run

Jonathan Villar hitting the 6,106th home run of 2019. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Orioles infielder Jonathan Villar hit the 6,106th home run of 2019 last night, officially breaking the MLB single-season record with 3 weeks left to spare.

By the numbers: Last season, just 3 players hit 40+ HR. This season, 6 players have already accomplished that feat and plenty more are closing in.

  • Pete Alonso, NYM (47)
  • Mike Trout, LAA (45)
  • Christian Yelich, MIL (44)
  • Eugenio Suarez, CIN (44)
  • Cody Bellinger, LAD (44)
  • Jorge Soler, KC (43)

Team leaders: Both the Twins (277) and Yankees (276) have blown past the previous single-season mark (267), and an incredible 16 teams are on pace to set a franchise record.

  • Minnesota Twins (277)
  • New York Yankees (276)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (259)
  • Houston Astros (254)
  • Oakland A's (232)

The irony: The fact that the record-setting dinger was hit by a member of the 2019 Orioles — the team that has surrendered more of them than any team in history (by a lot) — is hilarious.

Go deeper: MLB accused of juicing baseballs following historic home run surge

Go deeper

A closer look at how colleges can reopen

The campus of Brown University. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Masks in class, sports on hold, dorm life without roommates and summer 2021 classes for some: Brown University President Christina Paxson tells "Axios on HBO" it's all in play as colleges consider whether and how to safely reopen campuses in the fall.

Why it matters: An extended shutdown of U.S. colleges and universities would leave nearly 20 million students and 3 million employees with an uncertain future, but premature reopenings without proper coronavirus safeguards could jeopardize lives and force more closings.

How Disney World could host the NBA

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After weeks of speculation, the NBA announced Saturday that it is in early discussions to resume its season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

What they're saying: The NBA's most well-sourced reporter, Adrian Wojnarowski, says "everything is pointing toward" this happening, and that teams could start recalling players as soon as next week for a two-week quarantine period and formal training camp before heading to Florida.

U.S.-China trade tensions are escalating again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the coronavirus pandemic appears to be subsiding in China, it's becoming clear that its targets for the phase one trade deal with the U.S. are unrealistic and there is so far no sign of a plan for renegotiation.

What's happening: White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said Thursday the trade deal was "intact, and China has every intent of implementing it."