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Brendan Harris Jersey

Wharton’s Abraham Wyner and former MLB player Brendan Harris discuss how increased reliance on analytics is changing Big League rosters.
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Baseball legend Yogi Berra defied math logic but still made complete sense to game enthusiasts when he famously said, “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”

Well, the math is different in professional baseball these days. The unrelenting advance of data analytics is upending long-held baseball wisdom in how to spot stars, how to predict their performance and how many big dollars to sign them on for.

Spring training for the 2019 baseball season has begun in Florida and Arizona, and the first game is set for March 19. But the decks weren’t fully set until a few days ago, with a couple of big-name free agents still looking for a team. (A free agent can sign with any club or franchise, typically because their earlier contract has expired or they are yet to be drafted.)

Statistics and analytics were being blamed for top-ranking third baseman Manny Machado and right fielder Bryce Harper not landing deals until this week. As it turned out, on Tuesday, Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, a record for a free agent. Machado didn’t fare badly; his latest deal is the third highest for any individual sporting contract, and ranks behind Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million deal with the Miami Marlins in 2014 and boxer Canelo Alvarez’s $365 million arrangement with sports broadcaster DAZN, according to a CNN report. Harper, too, is said to be close to a deal with either of four teams: the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago White Sox, the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals.

Advantage Analytics

As with most other industries, data analytics is becoming the litmus test for big deals in professional baseball as well. “The analytics group has made its mark,” said Wharton statistics professor Abraham (Adi) Wyner, who is also chair of the undergraduate program in statistics. He is also a host of the Wharton Moneyball program on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM.

Wyner drew a parallel between how valuation is done for corporate M&A deals, keeping in mind the net present value of the future cash flows of acquisition targets. “What we assume that the teams should know, but never seem to get, is that you’re paying for the future, not the past,” he said. “Historically that seemed to be what people did, because statistically, people would look at the past and they would project the future by just dragging out the past. That is just not the right way to do it. The data available today has made it better and easier to forecast the future.”

Major league baseball has had “two years in a row of an extremely slow market,” said Brendan Harris, a retired professional baseball infielder with teams including the L.A. Angels and Minnesota Twins. He is currently signed on with the Los Angeles Angels for player development. “There are many reasons for the slow free agency and the lack of signings, specifically analytics. Smarter teams do not want to commit to these long-term deals. And the players are starting to get pretty frustrated.”

Mike O’Berry Jersey

LAFAYETTE — The Ragin’ Cajuns have welcomed home Matt Deggs as head coach of Louisiana Baseball, as announced by Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard on Thursday. Maggard’s selection of Deggs not only brings a familiar face on the national scene of college baseball to Louisiana, but it also returns home an individual that resonates deeply with fans of Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball.

Formerly an assistant coach at Louisiana for the late Tony Robichaux from 2012-14, Deggs’ offensive coaching prowess and recruiting acumen resulted in the Ragin’ Cajuns earning the first-ever No. 1 national ranking in school history.

Following Louisiana’s NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2014, Deggs immediately turned to leading Sam Houston State to new heights. As head coach of the Bearkats from 2015-19, Sam Houston State posted an outstanding record of 187-118 (.613) with Southland Conference regular season championships in three of the last four seasons. Deggs guided the Bearkats to a Super Regional in 2017, becoming the first-ever Southland program to accomplish the feat.

“Matt Deggs will not only embrace the Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball culture, but he already understands it,” Maggard said. “That was critical for this hire. His coaching record speaks for itself. He is a proven winner with a relentless approach to recruiting. Matt’s ability and desire to reach the hearts of his student-athletes is what makes him a transformational coach.”

Competing for and winning championships has been routine for Deggs in his career as an assistant and head coach. As an assistant coach at Northwestern State (1996-97), Arkansas (2003-05), Texas A&M (2006-10) and Louisiana (2012-14), Deggs helped each program to at least one conference championship during his stay at each school. Deggs added three conference regular season and two tournament titles to the trophy case as Sam Houston State’s head coach.

Deggs led Sam Houston State to NCAA Tournament berths in two out of his five seasons (2016, 2017), and claimed at least one conference title over four-straight seasons to close out his time in Huntsville, Texas. Sam Houston State (42-22, 24-6) won both the regular season and tournament titles in 2016 en route to an NCAA Regional, coincidentally in Lafayette. Deggs’ 2017 squad broke the 40-win barrier again, posting a record of 44-23, 19-11. The 2017 group won 12-of-13 games to close the season to secure the school’s first-ever Super Regional berth in Tallahassee, Florida.

Sam Houston State’s 2017 group finished ranked in all six national polls, checking in at No. 14 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 16 (NCBWA), No. 18 (D1 Baseball), No. 19 (USA Today Coaches), No. 20 (Baseball America) and No. 22 (Perfect Game).

“The love of Cajun Nation pulled us back out of Texas to over here in Lafayette,” Deggs said. “Seven years ago, Coach (Robichaux) saved my life. And he saved my family. I’m here today to say ‘Thank you, Coach’. We’re here today to say ‘Thank you’.”

The final two squads to receive Deggs’ tutelage at Sam Houston State earned Southland regular season crowns. The Bearkats went 39-20, 24-6 in 2018, and followed with a 31-25, 20-10 record in 2019.

Development of student-athletes was a constant under Deggs’ watch of the Sam Houston State program. In his five seasons, a total of 16 Bearkats were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.

Deggs’ aggressive offensive approach, dubbed “Pack Mentality”, has produced impressive results throughout his coaching career. Between his eight seasons coaching at Louisiana and Sam Houston State, his squads collectively batted over .300 four times (2013, 2014, 2017, 2019), smacked more than 50 home runs four times (2013, 2014, 2017, 2019) and totaled more than 100 doubles five times (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019). Louisiana’s 2013 and 2014 teams were especially prolific on the offensive side, batting .317 from the plate in back-to-back seasons and launching 74 and 68 home runs over those campaigns, respectively.

Crediting Coach Robichaux for resurrecting his coaching career, Deggs was brought onto the Ragin’ Cajuns staff during the 2012 season as an assistant coach, specializing as hitting coach and third base coach, while also overseeing team personnel and recruiting.

Louisiana made significant waves during Deggs’ stint as an assistant coach, including student-athletes receiving 15 All-Sun Belt honors, three All-America accolades and two Freshman All-America nods. Former Louisiana standout Blake Trahan earned Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and became the program’s first-ever Team USA member.

The 2014 season was a special one at Louisiana for many reasons. Not only was Cajun nation ignited around its top-ranked baseball program, but it was the winningest season in school history, at 58-10. Louisiana won the conference regular season title with its 26-4 mark in league play, and began a run of three consecutive Sun Belt tournament titles (2014, 2015, 2016).

The No. 1 ranking that Louisiana earned in 2014 was the second time a program that Deggs was a member of ascended to the top spot in the national polls. During his time with Texas A&M (2006-10), the 2009 squad achieved the school’s first-ever preseason national No. 1 ranking.

The Aggies produced two Big 12 Players of the Year, nine All-Americans and 15 First-Team All-Big 12 performers during Deggs’ time with the program. Texas A&M won back-to-back Big 12 titles in 2007 and 2008. Deggs’ five-year stretch with Texas A&M saw the program go from posting a sub-.500 record in 2006 to reaching back-to-back NCAA Super Regionals in 2007 and 2008. Deggs assisted the Aggies to two Big 12 Tournament crowns (2007, 2010) and one regular season title (2008).

Prior to coaching the Aggies, Deggs served as hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Arkansas for Dave Van Horn from 2003-05. Deggs provided instruction to three Razorbacks who earned all-conference recognition, as well as three Freshman All-Americans. The Razorbacks claimed both the SEC Championship and booked a trip to the College World Series in 2004.

Deggs first received experience as a head coach at Texarkana College for five seasons (1998-2002), compiling a sound record of 187-100. The squad claimed two Texas Eastern Athletic Conference runners-up finishes, a pair of TEAC titles (2001, 2002) and the school’s first-ever trip to Junior College World Series.

Developing and recruiting talented young men was a staple of Deggs’, even early on in his coaching career, as he brought future MLB All-Star Hunter Pence to Texarkana as a former high school standout from Arlington, Texas.

Deggs spent the 1996 and 1997 seasons as the hitting and infield coach at Northwestern State under Van Horn, assisting the Demons to the Southland Conference title in 1997. His infield units ranked among the top infield groups in the country for both seasons.

During his own playing career, Deggs was an infielder for Alvin Junior College from 1991-92 and at Northwood University from 1993-94. Deggs earned a Master’s degree from Northwestern State in 1996.

Deggs followed his college career with a turn in the professional ranks, playing three years for the Mobile (Ala.) Baysharks and the Tennessee Tomahawks, two of which were spent as a player/coach under former Boston Red Sox manager Butch Hobson and former Red Sox catcher Mike O’Berry.

Deggs is married to the former Kathy Saldua and the couple has a son, Kyler, and two daughters, Klaire and Khloe.

Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (@RaginCajuns) to stay up-to-date on all within Louisiana Athletics.

Mike Butcher Jersey

PHOENIX — Matt Herges had no way of knowing it, but the more he talked in his interview with D-backs manager Torey Lovullo, the better his chances of being hired as the team’s pitching coach got.

Though the decision was made a couple of days ago, it was formally announced on Thursday that Herges is replacing Mike Butcher as Arizona’s pitching coach.

“As he was answering questions, he was piece by piece checking every box of what was going to be very important to me and this organization,” Lovullo said.

Herges — who appeared in 567 big league games during his 11-year career, including seven for the D-backs in 2005 — pitched for Lovullo when he was coming up through the Indians’ farm system.

“I thought he communicated very well about a lot of the things that we feel are important,” general manager Mike Hazen said. “We felt like he was going to be a good relationship developer, we felt like he had success in San Francisco [as bullpen coach in 2017 and ’18], we heard unbelievable things about him from a wide variety of places. We’re really excited to get somebody like that in the fold. We think he has tremendous experiences as a player and a coach, done a number of things as a coach. We think all those experiences are going to help.”

Data is king in Major League Baseball these days, and Herges has worked hard over the years to get himself up to speed on how to best use it.

One of the things that impressed Arizona the most about Herges was the fact that he was able to help translate new data to veteran pitcher and Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.

“He gave me a couple of really outstanding examples of dealing with the leader of that pitching staff [Bumgarner] in San Francisco about getting the information and how they work together to get through that process and learn about it,” Lovullo said. “It is very new over the past couple years at the big league level. I thought he was really eager to take what he didn’t know and learn about it.”

Herges credits Bumgarner’s desire to get better and said that the key was not just telling him that he would get more movement if he spun the ball a little differently coming out of his hand.

Instead it was about taking the technology and putting together a visual that would actually show Bumgarner the difference. It was that kind of creative teaching ability that excites the D-backs about their new coach.

When it comes to learning his new pitchers, Herges has an advantage in that with so many of them living in the Phoenix area, where the Spring Training facility is located, there is usually a large crowd working out there during the offseason.

“I’ll have time to start those relationships when they get here, see guys throw their bullpens and start digging in,” Herges said. “I can’t wait. We’re still dealing with humans, we’re still dealing with relationships, and ultimately, that’s the most important thing. Analytics and data and technology [are] extremely important, but I will always believe that the relationship is paramount to that.”

In other coaching news, Lovullo said that Jerry Narron, who had been the bench coach the previous two seasons plus part of 2017, will not return in ’20.

The team already promoted Luis Ureta from extra coach to bench coach, but it had offered Narron the opportunity to return if he wanted to in Ureta’s role.

“I think [Narron is] going to try to pursue some other opportunities with other organizations,” Lovullo said. “He had a very, very successful run as our bench coach. Any organization that does get him and the organization that pulls him in, they’re going to get a great asset.”

Barry Evans Jersey

While it isn’t the first time in the recent past that Cody Bellinger is drawing comparisons to Barry Bonds, it was still impressive.

Nonetheless, Dave Roberts appeared on The Jim Rome Show; and he was there to discuss Bellinger’s impressive 2019 season, among other Dodgers’ topics. You can check out the entire segment in the video below.
Furthermore, Roberts believes that there is just one player that Bellinger could be compared to this season. That player is none other than the sport’s all-time home run leader, Barry Bonds.

Courtesy of The Jim Rome Show

“The only person I can relate it to is Barry Bonds. I played against him when he was so special. But even at that point in time he wasn’t doing what Cody is doing on a daily basis. Defensively, and an MVP (candidate) running out an infield single when we are up 14 runs. That’s what we are getting from him, backing up bases, and being a great teammate.”

While you consume that quote – and the fact that Bellinger brings different ways to win to the table than that of Bonds – there is more to behold.

When looking at the regard and class that Roberts holds Bonds’ within, you realize what the Dodgers have in Bellinger right now. Without question, Roberts has seen a ton of baseball in his life. And he says Bonds was the best he ever laid eyes on.

“There was no one better. I remember being in many scouting meetings with the Dodgers where they didn’t want to let Bonds beat us. I have tried to retrieved many balls that ended up in the bleachers off his bat. I’m not sure we will ever see something like him again.”

However – just earlier in the interview – Roberts admitted that Bellinger takes him back to a time in his baseball life that brings Bonds to mind. In that sense, we are all witnessing something very special take place with Bellinger in 2019.
Now, he just needs to finish this off and bring home the MVP hardware.

Joe Crotty Jersey

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — Three of five kids killed in a fire at a home child care center in Pennsylvania were the children of a volunteer firefighter who was responding to another call, an official said Monday.

Deadly fire at Erie Pennsylvania daycare center kills 5 children, Photo Date: 8/11/19 (Source: Scooter Blakely / Erie Firefighters)

Luther Jones’ two daughters and a son were trapped in a blaze in the lakeside city of Erie while he was responding to a call for what turned out to be a malfunctioning alarm, said Lawrence Park Township Volunteer Fire Chief Joe Crotty.

The children haven’t been formally identified, but the Erie Fire Department says the dead range in age from 8 months to 7 years. The owner was hospitalized after the fire Sunday. Erie fire officials say the children were staying overnight at a house that had been turned into a day care center.

The mother of Jones’ three children, Shevona Overton, who said she is also the mother of another child killed, told WICU that she had “lost a piece of me that can never be replaced.”

“I’m just so hurt my babies are gone,” she said. “I love them dearly. I just hurt inside knowing that my kids were fighting and hurting in that fire. Every minute, I feel the same pain.”
The fire, reported at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, was funneling out of every first-floor window when firefighters arrived, Erie Chief Fire Inspector John Widomski told the Erie Times-News. He said the blaze appeared to have started in the living room area on the first floor.

The department’s two fire inspectors and three Erie police detectives trained in fire investigations are working to determine the cause.

Valerie Lockett-Slupski, standing across the street from the fire-damaged house, told the newspaper she was the grandmother of four of the children — two boys and two girls — and that they were staying at the home because their parents were working overnight.

“So, we are all at a loss, trying to figure out how this happened,” Lockett-Slupski said.

Erie police detectives told the newspaper that the owner was listed in stable condition after being flown to UPMC Mercy. Chief Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department said a neighbor was also injured.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership lists the Harris Family Daycare as “a 24 hour, 7 days a week childcare service including holidays.”

Al Porto Jersey

Ace Report: Al Porto, 92, of Easthampton makes first hole-in-one
Updated Oct 09, 2019;Posted Oct 09, 2019

By Russ Held, Special to The Republican
The 92-year-old Easthampton resident made the first hole-in-one of his career on Friday, Sept. 20. He used a 7-wood at the eighth hole at Westover Golf Course.

“Al is a terrific guy and an amazing member of our senior group at Westover,’’ fellow Westover Senior League member Rich Fleming said. “We play each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Westover and remarkably Al is not the only 90 something golfer in the group. Chet Grondalski, another member, is 91 and an equally interesting fellow.’’

Porto was not the only lucky Western Massachusetts golfer who recently made an ace:

Al Porto,

Easthampton, 120-yard eighth hole, 7-wood, Westover GC, Sept. 20. Witnesses: Harry Mills, Ray Cloutier, Fred Thomas

Jan Wegrzynek,

Chicopee, 168-yard third hole, 6-iron, Chicopee CC, Oct. 4. Witnesses: Dave Labrie, Mike Beaudry.

Tommy Medica Jersey

SAN DIEGO — Along a hallway just outside the home clubhouse, framed graphics display every Opening Day lineup the Padres have trotted out in their 50-year history.

Since Petco Park opened in 2004, 78 different players have appeared in a season opener, serving as a reminder of the organization’s turmoil in recent years. Some were supposed to be the next big thing but never fully panned out — think Andrew Cashner, Yonder Alonso or Kyle Blanks. Others, like Tim Stauffer, Jody Gerut or Tommy Medica, were never really expected to be top-flight producers. All were part of a franchise with two postseason appearances in the past 15 years.

On Thursday, 20-year-old shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. brought a new dimension to the wall, becoming San Diego’s youngest-ever Opening Day starter. He rewarded his front office’s widely discussed decision to put him on the roster by registering two hits in a 2-0 win over the Giants.

His next mission is to form a long-term partnership with third baseman Manny Machado on the left side of the Padres’ infield and make the soon-to-be installed 2019 hallway placard a symbol of a turnaround rather than another false start.

“We’d been trying to manufacture the (belief) that exists in this team naturally now,” manager Andy Green said, “and (exists) because of the talent they bring to the table, and the front office’s willingness to pull some triggers early for us to give us our best team from the get-go.”

MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZN

San Diego garnered attention by giving Tatis an Opening Day roster spot when it could have maintained an extra year of control over its touted prospect by holding him in the minor leagues for a few more weeks. General manager A.J. Preller bucked the leaguewide trend of organizations keeping their prized young assets away from MLB in order to maximize future savings.

Preller thinks Tatis is already one of the most talented players in the organization, even if he had never appeared above Double-A entering Thursday. The Dominican Republic native hit 16 home runs and stole 16 bases in 88 minor league games in 2018 before impressing in spring training this month, so Preller said the call-up was simply the logical next step.

“We talked about from Day 1, it was going to be an open competition,” Preller said. “The way he handled himself in bringing energy, fielding the position well. He worked well with our coaching staff and asked a lot of questions. … We feel like he makes our team better.”

Added Green: “He’s wired in a way to handle the struggles that will inevitably come in the big leagues, and he’s going to do some electric things in the meantime.”

Tatis flashed that promise on a day many pegged another newcomer, free-agent signing Machado, to be the main story. Tatis has a locker right next to Machado, whom he says he has long admired, and the duo spoke often before and during the game, with Machado providing veteran insight into what to expect from the MLB stage. Tatis also leaned on the counseling of a father who played 11 MLB seasons and attended Thursday’s game.

But as the rookie welcomed the feedback, he didn’t feel nervous.

“Just excitement,” Tatis said. “I’m ready to show the fans what I’m capable of.”

BENDER: Reds bring new energy that can liven up NL Central

People within the Padres organization rave about the natural talent Tatis possesses, believing him predisposed to a successful career given his advanced plate approach. They don’t think he needs radical advice or reformation to become a fan favorite in San Diego.

Outfielder Wil Myers, now a de facto experienced voice in the clubhouse, efficiently described what makes Tatis unique for his age at the plate.

“He’s a young guy with not a lot of movement in his swing and a setup that leads to a lot of success,” Myers said.

Tatis’ simplistic bat-through-zone game plan worked well against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who struck out nine and lasted seven innings. He recorded his first career hit with one out in the second inning, drilling a single past Evan Longoria at third after he’d taken a couple of cutters inside. He also reached on a bunt in the fourth, though he was picked off to end the inning.

While Machado didn’t reach base in his own debut, he was happy to see his understudy start with a flourish.

“He’s going to do a lot of special things,” Machado said.

An organization constantly in flux over the past decade certainly hopes so. Unlike 2015, when a flurry of short-term moves failed to generate an uptick in wins, this group was formed with the intention to last.

It starts not just with Machado, signed for $300 million this offseason, but also with Tatis and a hopeful group of young players trying to make their mark for an organization with few recent positive memories.

“Padres fans have been patient with us, understanding we’re trying to build something,” Preller said. “It takes some time to lay the foundation.”

Jake Rogers Jersey

Mitch Walding is a 26-year-old third baseman with 43 days of major-league experience and a member of the Phillies’ 40-man roster.

The California native is a stellar defensive player who has a history at the upper levels of the minor leagues of being a streaky hitter.

This season has been no exception at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. No matter how things are going at the plate, Walding is working in the cage before games and remains focused in the field.

Here’s a Q&A with the Phils’ 2011 fifth-round pick:

Mitch Walding’s most stressful time on a baseball field lasted a week earlier this season.
Mitch Walding’s most stressful time on a baseball field lasted a week earlier this season. (APRIL GAMIZ/APRIL GAMIZ)
First car: “Chevy Tahoe, all black, got it in high school. It was used. Probably my favorite car I ever had.”

[More Sports] MLB ignores grassroots with plan to whack minors »
First job: “I refereed little kids’ basketball games. I was probably a sophomore, junior in high school.”

First tattoo: “No tattoos ever.”

First baseball memory: “Playing in the back yard with my dad, him tossing me balls when I was really young. From actually watching an MLB game, I remember going to a San Francisco Giants game when [Barry] Bonds was on a tear. I was there and saw his 71st home run in person. That was pretty cool.”

Worst weather you’ve played in: “There have been so many games. I don’t know where to begin. There was one I played in low-A against the Marlins organization. I don’t even remember where the stadium was. It was lightning. It was pouring the entire game. I don’t even know why we were playing. It was ridiculous that we were out there actually playing.”

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Most treasured memorabilia growing up: “Michael Jordan signed jersey. My dad has a huge collection of baseball memorabilia. He has signed balls. He’s got Mantle, Gehrig. He’s a big Packers fan so he’s got Brett Favre everything. He’s got Griffey’s bat. … The Jordan jersey is actually in a box in a closet somewhere. It was my grandfather’s. I found it and left it in there so nobody would be able to find it and I could keep it.”

What did you do with your first baseball check: “I got a good look at it and saw the taxes. It was pretty depressing. I just put it in my fund and invested it. It was great to see, then realize where it was all going.”

Golf, video games or ping-pong: “I’m going to have to go with golf because I know I’m going to play it a lot more when I’m older. Not a huge video games guy. Ping-pong is cool for the clubhouse, but I think golf in the long haul will be the one.”

Most stressed you’ve ever been on a baseball field: “Probably this year when I was going through my strikeout streak. It was definitely a rough moment in my career where I kind of felt helpless. I knew there was something going on outside of what I was trying to do. I thought I was putting in the work to get better. It wasn’t really turning out for about a week, but it’s worked its way out. That’s probably the low point in my career.”

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When baseball is done, what will you do: “I think I’d want to coach. I don’t think I’d want to coach in professional baseball. We’ll see where it goes. I think I’d like to go back and get my degree and maybe try to do the college baseball route, or maybe high school. I don’t know if I see myself on a bus anymore, dealing with that whole thing. But that’s down the road.”

Worst minor-league living arrangement: “I’ve had quite a few. I had one where Jake Thompson, Andrew Knapp and Tyler Goeddel had an apartment in Clearwater, Florida. They were in big-league camp. I was going to play for the Threshers that year. They’re like, ‘Hey, why don’t you take over the lease? You could just move right in.’ I thought it was great, an easy transition.

“It was not an easy transition. There was all kinds of paperwork. It was a big ordeal. Jake Thompson also had this ginormous beanbag that he left behind. His dog ripped it apart. He left it there. His dog also left about four pounds of dog poop on the balcony and just mounds of dog poop all over the place and did not pick it up and just left it there for me to pick it up. I just about lost it. I tell him to this day, ‘Thanks, man. Appreciate it. What were you thinking?’”

Funniest on-field conversation you had: “I hit a ball in spring training. It was the last game of spring training before we head on the flight to come up here. It was probably two, three years ago. It was a 10 o’clock [intrasquad] game on a back field in Clearwater. I hit a ball in the gap. I absolutely crushed this ball. The sun is coming up over the field. I know I crushed this ball, but you can’t really see it. I get to second base. I’m thinking for sure it’s a double. They’re throwing the ball in. I couldn’t see them catch it. I’m at second base, and they’re like, ‘We caught the ball.’

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“I start taking a few steps off to go back to the dugout. The second baseman goes to tag me and I’m like, ‘Whoa.’ I jumped on second base and am like, ‘Am I safe or out?’ The second baseman is like, ‘No, I’m just messing with you. You’re out.’

So I took a few more steps off, and he goes to tag me. I get back on second base and am wondering what’s going on. The umpire is laughing, thinking this is hilarious. The game doesn’t mean anything. This precedes to go on for 3, 4 minutes. [Derek Campbell] is messing with me. I don’t know whether I’m safe or out. So, finally, after 3, 4 minutes of everyone dying laughing, I’m just like, ‘Forget it,’ and go back to the dugout. I was out on the original play.”

Edwin Hurtado Jersey

Los Tigres de Aragua anunciaron ese jueves una segunda modificación a su cuerpo técnico, en parte como consecuencia de la decisión de la MLB de excluir a Venezuela del Acuerdo del Beisbol Invernal.

Edwin Hurtado, el nuevo coach de pitcheo de los rayados, firmó contrato con el beisbol organizado y por lo tanto quedó impedido de participar en la LVBP, informó el departamento de prensa de los felinos.

La oficina de Comisionado de las Grandes Ligas ordenó a sus afiliados que no den permisos para tomar parte en la pelota profesional criolla, algo que afecta a peloteros, managers, instructores, scouts y ejecutivos.

Hurtado será sustituido por otro ex lanzador con largo recorrido en el circuito local, José Villa. El falconiano tiene experiencia como técnico del Magallanes y Pastora, que fueron sus dos escuadras en los tiempos que vivió como serpentinero activo.

Eddy Díaz tampoco formará parte del staff que abrirá las puertas de la pretemporada el 21 de octubre. Nombrado coach de bateo por el nuevo manager Clemente Álvarez, alegó compromisos personales para renunciar, de acuerdo con el reporte.

Dennis Abreu, coach de primera base, trabajará en el puesto que correspondía a Díaz como asistente de Asdrúbal Estrada, el instructor principal.

Emil Leber Jersey

The Seattle Mariners have agreed to a long-term deal with first baseman prospect Evan White, according to multiple reports. White, 23, spent last season with the Double-A Arkansas Travelers. No player at the Double-A level has ever signed a long-term extension, ESPN’s Jeff Passan notes.

Jeff Passan

@JeffPassan
The Mariners and first-base prospect Evan White are in agreement on a six-year, $24 million contract with three club options, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.

White, 23, spent last season at Double-A. No player at that level ever has received a long-term extension.

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The contract is reportedly a six-year deal worth $24 million and contains three club options. The contract, can max out at $55.5 million if the options are exercised, according to The Athletic’s Robert Murray. The rebuilding Mariners, who finished the 2019 at 68-94, are able to solidify White as a key part of their path to contention. White is expected to become the Mariners primary first baseman, Passan reports.

In Double A, White hit .293/.350/.488 with 55 RBI, 18 home runs, 13 doubles and two triples in 92 games. The Mariners selected White with the No. 17 pick of the 2017 MLB draft out of the University of Kentucky.

CBS Sports’ RJ Anderson ranked White as the fourth-best prospect in Seattle’s farm system. “White is widely held as the best defensive first baseman in the minors, and one of the best cold-corner gloves in the game,” Anderson wrote.

The White contract follows a trend in Major League Baseball where clubs are signing their younger players to long-term deals. The Phillies made a similar move in signing a player without any MLB experience to a long-term deal when they agreed to a six-year contract last March with top prospect Scott Kingery.
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Before the start of the 2019 season, the White Sox signed outfielder Eloy Jimenez to a six-year deal worth $43 million guaranteed. Jimenez, like White and Kingery, had never appeared in a MLB game. Jimenez got called up the the big leagues at the end of March, and spent the rest of the season with the club where he hit .267/.315/.513 with 31 home runs and 79 RBI.