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Monday, October 15, 2018

Baseball

Mets will reportedly discuss contract extension with Neil Walker

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Mets general manager Sandy Alderson apparently likes what he has been seeing from second baseman Neil Walker this year.

According to a report by Roger Rubin of ESPN on Tuesday, the Mets and Alderson are expected to talk with Walker about the possibility of a contract extension before the end of the season.

“I have not had any conversations with his agent at this point. I expect that there will be some conversations before the end of the season,” Alderson was quoted as saying. “He’s been a terrific player for us on the field. He’s been excellent in the clubhouse.”

Walker, 30, was acquired by the Mets in exchange for Jonathan Niese last December. The way it stands right now, Walker is set to become a free agent upon the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Though not previously seen as much more than a rental player, Walker has impressed this year with a .271 batting average, 20 home runs, and 51 RBIs in 103 games. With Daniel Murphy bolting for Washington and team captain David Wright on the shelf, Walker has been a foundational piece for the Mets infield this season, so it’s easy to see why they want to keep him around.

Image Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

H/T MLB Trade Rumors

Cardinals GM says Michael Wacha is experiencing recurrence of scapular issue

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St. Louis Cardinals righty Michael Wacha was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with right shoulder inflammation, but the root of the issue appears to be much more concerning.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Wacha is experiencing a recurrence of the scapular issue that plagued him in 2014. Mozeliak also said that Wacha’s role as a 200-inning-a-year starter may have to be reconsidered.

The 25-year-old Wacha looked like a future star in the making as a rookie during the Cardinals’ NL Pennant-winning campaign in 2013. But he would go on to miss nearly three months in 2014 with that scapular problem in his throwing shoulder. While he did return to form in a big way in 2015 with a 17-7 record and a selection to the NL All-Star team, Wacha has been mostly mediocre for St. Louis this year, going 7-7 with a 4.45 ERA in 23 starts.

Wacha’s season is now very much in doubt, and the former NLCS MVP could even be looking at the possibility of an innings limit for the rest of his career.

Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

H/T Rotoworld

Terry Francona not managing Indians because of chest pains

Terry Francona

Terry Francona decided not to manage the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night as a precaution because he wasn’t feeling well.

Francona told reporters prior to the Indians’ contest against the Nationals that he was having chest pains. Instead of managing the game, he handed the duties over to bench coach Brad Mills.

Despite taking the game off, the 57-year-old skipper was still at Nationals Park for the start of the game and was said to be feeling better at the time of the first pitch.

Francona’s absence comes a day after Giants manager Bruce Bochy missed his team’s game and went to the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well.

This is Francona’s fourth season as manager of the Indians. His team entered play on Tuesday 62-47, which led the AL Central.

Yasiel Puig goes nuts on Snapchat partying with teammates

Yasiel Puig snapchat

Yasiel Puig is down in the minor leagues playing in Triple-A with the Oklahoma City Dodgers, and he has already created a controversy due to his behavior.

Puig, who was sent down after the Dodgers were unable to find a trade partner for him, went 2-for-4 in his first Triple-A game Sunday and was 0-for-3 on Monday. But his team’s loss and his hitless game did not keep him from celebrating the defeat with his teammates.

After the game, Puig began posting videos to his Snapchat that showed him and his teammates enjoying themselves in the clubhouse despite the loss. Puig was even shirtless and just in boxers for one of the videos. He commented about how much he loved the team because they were happy even after a loss.

Puig and many of his teammates then later went out to a club or bar and were partying. Puig posted videos from their partying on Snapchat (the video contains bad language).

The Dodgers have seen the video and are not pleased with it:

Is Puig just trying to get traded? In an interview published on Sunday, Puig’s minor league manager specifically said the outfielder was in the minors to work on his behavior. Posting videos like that — after a loss no less — will do nothing to help the Cuban outfielder’s image.

Red Sox felt David Ortiz bobblehead was ‘racially insensitive’

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The Boston Red Sox were supposed to give away David Ortiz bobbleheads to fans at Fenway Park Tuesday night, but the team cancelled the promotion because it felt the collector’s items portrayed Big Papi in a “racially insensitive” manner.

After the Red Sox put out a press release labeling the bobbleheads “unacceptable” and informing fans they will receive a different one at a later date, team president Sam Kennedy told Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe that the 15,000 bobbleheads will be returned to the manufacturer.

“It was an inaccurate portrayal of David,” Kennedy said. “It doesn’t really look like David. No. 2, I personally thought it seemed to be an offensive portrayal of him and racially insensitive.

“If I was feeling this way, certainly other people would. So we pulled the plug.”

Not surprisingly, Ortiz was not flattered by the way he was portrayed.

The bobbleheads certainly looked nothing like Big Papi, as you can see in this photo. Handing them out would have been a huge mistake, so the Red Sox made the right choice.

Red Sox deem David Ortiz bobbleheads ‘unacceptable,’ won’t give them out

david-ortiz

The Boston Red Sox are calling off a David Ortiz bobblehead giveaway after the merchandise was deemed “unacceptable” by the team.

The Red Sox announced in a statement that fans with tickets to Tuesday night’s game will receive a new bobblehead at a later date.

What exactly was wrong with the first shipment? There has been speculation that the Red Sox nixed the promotion because the bobbleheads are downright ugly. Here’s a photo of one:

If you remember, the New York Yankees had some issues with their Mariano Rivera bobbleheads a few years back and that sent fans into a frenzy. Given how bad the Ortiz bobblehead looks, Sox fans are better off waiting.

Prince Fielder to retire following second neck surgery

prince-fielder-texas-rangers

Texas Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder is reportedly retiring from baseball.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Fielder is planning to hold a press conference on Wednesday to announce the decision. The 32-year-old recently underwent spinal fusion surgery for a herniated disk in his neck. It was the second time Fielder had the surgery.

Fielder is scheduled to earn $24 million per year through 2020, though the Rangers say they are protected through an insurance policy. Fielder, of course, will still get all of the money he is owed.

Prior to his first spinal fusion surgery in 2014, Fielder missed just 13 games in eight seasons from 2006 through 2013.

Coincidentally, Fielder will finish his career with 319 home runs. That is exactly the same amount that his father, Cecil Fielder, had during his MLB career.