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Tracy McGrady starts, pitches one inning for Sugar Land Skeeters in exhibition game

tracy-mcgrady-pitching1When former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady confirmed his intentions to give baseball a go, more than a few people probably shrugged it off. But, this is a real thing that is happening.

The Sugar Land Skeeters, who finished first in the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League last season, get their 2014 season underway next Thursday.

Leading up to opening day, the team has a few exhibition games scheduled. On Wednesday, the Skeeters welcomed Alvin Community College to Constellation Field and their starting pitcher for the game was none other than T-Mac himself.

Because you want to see Tracy McGrady’s name on the lineup card, here it is.

Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston has a few stats from McGrady’s outing.

The Skeeters currently have 34 players in camp and must trim the squad to 27 by next Thursday, so Tracy McGrady has a week to prove he belongs.

Keith Hernandez drools over woman eating $25 hot dog (Video)

Woman-eating-hot-dogKeith Hernandez had himself one of those “I probably should have kept that to myself” moments on Tuesday night, but we’re sure glad he didn’t. During the broadcast of the New York Mets-Arizona Diamondbacks game, a woman was shown eating one of the infamous $25 hot dogs that are being offered at Chase Field this season. Hernandez was in awe.

However, Pretty Boy wasn’t amazed by the gigantic hot dog. What he was staring at was certainly gigantic, but I think there were two of them.

“My goodness,” Hernandez said.

“How much meat is in a $25 hot dog,” Hernandez’s partner Gary Cohen asked. “Probably a few pounds, right?”

Hernandez wasn’t talking about the meat in the hot dog.

“I wasn’t talking about the hot dog,” he said.

The two then went on to talk about how many calories must be in the hot dog and some other obnoxious food items that are being offered at ballparks this year. Hernandez talked about how he used to treat himself to a banana split every once in a while when he ran a lot. He then gave his final thoughts on the woman in red.

“She looks fit,” Hernandez said. “She must be a runner.”

Yeah, Keith — that must be it. You don’t know the first thing about first base.

Video via Awful Announcing
H/T Twitter/Jesse Spector

Braves getting racist fan mail about Hank Aaron

Hank-AaronAnyone who has seen the movie “42″ has a pretty decent understanding of the type of hateful fan mail the Los Angeles Dodgers received when they made Jackie Robinson the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. Threats and racist letters toward black players continued right into the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, they still exist today.

Hank Aaron told Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports last week that he keeps his hate mail as a reminder that racism is still very much an issue. He used president Barack Obama as an example.

“A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go,”Aaron said. “There’s not a whole lot that has changed. We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated.”

“We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Nightengale later specified that Aaron was not comparing Republicans to the Ku Klux Klan, rather simply stating that anyone would be a fool to think racism is a thing of the past. That hasn’t prevented the Atlanta Braves from receiving a new wave of racist hate mail over the past week.

“Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)” a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, “My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).” …

… Marion calls Aaron a “racist scumbag.” Ronald won’t attend another Braves game until Aaron is fired. Mark calls Aaron a “classless racist.” David says that he will burn Aaron’s I Had A Hammer autobiography.

Here we are 40 years later, and the only difference is bigots don’t have to write their letters by hand. The hate mail is less frequent, but the fact that it still exists is embarrassing.

H/T Deadspin

Yasiel Puig flies out to right, pimps it like a home run (GIF)

Yasiel Puig may be the new version of Manny Being Manny.

Yasiel Puig celebratingThis dude gave us yet another unforgettable moment on Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were in extra innings at AT&T Park and Puig was batting with one out, Hanley Ramirez on second, and the game tied at 2. Puig connected with a Yusmeiro Petit pitch and thought he had blasted a tie-breaking 2-run home run to right, so he began celebrating appropriately.

Unfortunately, it takes one heck of a shot to get it out to right field at AT&T Park, and Puig’s ball was caught for the second out, though Ramirez tagged up and went to third. Andre Ethier made the final out of the inning and the Giants went on to win the game in the bottom of the inning.

But at least in his mind, Puig had the game-winning home run. Or maybe he thought he hit it well and then didn’t run it out once he realized it would be an out.

If you liked that, you’ll love this GIF from the NLCS last year when Puig pimped a triple.

GIF via @carmenkiew

Mike Napoli’s finger dislocated after dive and looked gross

Mike Napoli finger

Mike Napoli left Tuesday’s Boston Red Sox game against the White Sox in Chicago in the ninth inning after dislocating his finger on a head-first dive into second base, and let me tell you, his finger looked pretty gross.

Napoli walked with one out in the inning and was trying to advance to second on a wild pitch and made it safely, though his finger did not. Dustin Pedroia came in to pinch run for him.

Though Napoli dislocated his finger, doctors re-set it and confirmed it was not broken. Scott Lauber says the team has not ruled Napoli out for Wednesday:

The Sox are already without Shane Octoberino and Will Middlebrooks, and Pedroia has a wrist injury. The last thing they need is Napoli out.

If Napoli does miss time, he’ll join Yasiel Puig and Josh Hamilton on the list of stars who have hurt themselves diving into bases this season.

Empire State Building lit Dodgers blue in honor of Jackie Robinson Day (Photo)

Jackie Robinson

Each year on April 15, Major League Baseball remembers and celebrates the life and impact of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson.

The New York Yankees had a ceremony planned to honor both Robinson and Nelson Mandela on Tuesday that was to be attended by Robinson’s widow Rachel and daughter Sharon. Unfortunately, rain forced the postponement of the Yankees’ against the Chicago Cubs and pushed the events to Wednesday.

A tribute that did go on as planned in New York on Tuesday was the tower of the iconic Empire State Building being lit in blue and white in honor of the former Brooklyn Dodgers great.

Curtis Granderson wears ‘Thank You Jackie’ cleats on Jackie Robinson Day (Photo)

curtis-granderson-thank-you-jackie-shoe

Jackie Robinson Day is among the more special dates on Major League Baseball’s calendar.

Each player wearing uniform No. 42 has become synonymous with April 15. So have special patches on the sleeves of jerseys and ceremonies held at ballparks across the country.

On the day set aside to celebrate the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson, many players honor the man who broke baseball’s color barrier in their own way. Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets is among them.

Granderson, who left Monday’s game early after colliding with the outfield wall, is not in the team’s lineup on Tuesday. He will, however, be wearing the above pictured shoes with a message that will be a shared sentiment throughout the day.

Photo via Twitter/MarcCarig