The Holland Effect is partially due to his naturally gregarious and open personality, but some of it also comes from his love of a sport other than baseball: professional wrestling.
“I used to watch it growing up with my Dad and my brother,” Holland said from his locker, which is heavily adorned with WWE memorabilia.
This family tradition continued through most of his childhood but, as it sometimes happens with father-son rituals, Holland drifted away from following the sport. It wasn’t until after Holland had reached the majors with the Rangers when a roommate of his — a former pro wrestler himself (who Holland declined to name) — helped reignite this passion.
“He was always watching, and we started watching together. But when he got me to go to an event live, that was a game-changer,” Holland said. “Once I got there, and I saw it, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.”
Date: July 18
Grade: Diamondbacks, B+; Tigers, incomplete
Analysis (Gatto): Arizona is comfortably ahead in the NL wild-card race but is still looking for offensive upgrades. It gets a big one in free-agent-to-be Martinez , who entered Tuesday’s game with 16 home runs and a 1.018 OPS. He left Monday’s game in Kansas City with a back issue, but obviously that wasn’t enough of a deterrent for the Snakes, whose primary outfielders are now Martinez, A.J. Pollock and David Peralta. Yasmany Tomas will make the lineup even deeper as soon as he comes off the DL. Detroit, meanwhile, begins its roster renovation in earnest. This should just be the first act by GM Al Avila, who snags three prospects for Martinez. Lugo, 22, is the closest to the majors; the third baseman/shortstop hit seven homers for Double-A Jackson (Southern) this season.
Nationals get Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson
Players involved: Sean Doolitte, Ryan Madson (to Nationals); Blake Treinen (to A’s), two prospects