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Joc Pederson giving away his beater of a car to fan (Video)

When it comes to ballpark giveaways, it doesn’t get much better or personal than this.

The Albuquerque Isotopes will be giving away outfielder Joc Pederson’s car to a lucky fan next week as part of an awesome giveaway. The car is a 1994 Buick Century with 166,000 miles on it and will be given away after the team’s game on Aug. 29.

The Isotopes, which is the Dodgers’ Triple-A team, had a great press release about the giveaway:

Joc Pederson car

The car, nicknamed “Little Chucky,” has only 166,000 miles on it and has at least one operable window, which is really all you need. It is perfect for cruising around during the New Mexico summers with its “awesome” stereo system and lack of air conditioning. Kelly Blue Book estimates the value at nearly $1,000 (depending on if it has a full tank of gas). Little Chucky will also come with two complimentary air fresheners and whatever else Pederson forgets to clean out.

The Isotopes guarantee 100 percent that this distinctive car will carry you all the way to your next destination out of the Isotopes Park parking lot. A satisfactory safety inspection has been completed on the vehicle.

They made even more jokes about the car, saying that the lucky winner could drive away or tow away the car after the game.

Pederson is the top prospect in the Dodgers’ system and is working on a 30-30 season — he has 31 homers and 28 stolen bases this year. It won’t be long before he’ll be making the minor league minimum and able to afford a sweeter ride. Or at least one a little more reliable than Little Chucky.

You know, this is really what Alfred Morris should have done with his 1991 Mazda.

Report: Red Sox sign Rusney Castillo

Rusney-CastilloThe Boston Red Sox have reportedly agreed to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a record-setting contract. WEEI.com reports that the deal is worth $72.5 million over seven years.

Castillo, 27, will sign the largest MLB contract ever signed by a Cuban player. The 5-foot-9 outfielder has not played organized baseball in over a year but showcased his talents for MLB scouts and front office personnel last month. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was among those in attendance.

“He’s a player we’ve seen and we’ve talked to, but we’€™re just one of several teams that have done that,” Cherington said earlier this week. “There’€™€™€™s nothing more I can say.”

As Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald noted, the Red Sox have been extremely impressed with the smooth transition Cuban players like Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes have made when coming to America. Castillo has tremendous speed and an above-average glove. He could player either center field or right field for the Red Sox, depending on what moves they make during the offseason.

The Red Sox, who are currently in last place in the AL East, are already planning for 2014. If they can re-sign Jon Lester and possibly trade a couple prospects for an impact player, they should be right back in the mix. Cespedes and Castillo — assuming he transitions smoothly — should already give Boston great offense in the outfield.

Matt Shoemaker’s wife calls Will Middlebrooks a ‘butthole’ for breaking up no-hitter

Matt-Shoemaker-wife-DanielleLos Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night. The 27-year-old rookie ended up allowing just one hit in 7 2/3 innings of work to pick up his 12th win of the season. That lone hit was a double by Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

While Shoemaker was still seven long outs from completing the no-no, his wife Danielle was clearly thinking about it. Her reaction to Middlebrooks’ double was hilarious. Deadspin shared it with us after Danielle deleted it:

Danielle-Shoemaker-Will-Middlebrooks

Naturally, Danielle caught a Twitter earful (eyeful?) from a bunch of salty Boston fans.

I’m sure Middlebrooks wasn’t offended. Have you ever been golfing with your buddy and called him an a–hole after he bombed a drive down the middle of the fairway? Do you really think he’s an a–hole? Probably not.

Mrs. Shoemaker seems like a funny lady.

Bryce Harper used Yasiel Puig’s bat

Bryce-Harper-Yasiel-Puig-bat

Bryce Harper has finally started to produce at the plate, and the 21-year-old’s .361 batting average over the last 10 games is one of the reasons the Washington Nationals are currently riding a 10-game winning streak. Does he have Yasiel Puig to thank?

For whatever reason, Harper was using a bat with Puig’s name and number on it Thursday night. While we don’t know how long Harper has been using Puig’s lumber, we do know that he was in such a slump recently that Nationals manager Matt Williams had to answer questions about possibly sending Harper to the minors.

Whatever Bryce is doing now is working. If the Nationals and Dodgers square off in the postseason, Dodgers fans might start to get a little irritated by Harper’s choice in equipment.

H/T Cut 4

Giants win protest, will finish tarp malfunction game against Cubs

Cubs tarp

The Chicago Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants in less than five innings on Tuesday night after the grounds crew was unable to cover the infield with a tarp during a torrential downpour. But after winning their appeal on Wednesday, the Giants are now technically trailing the Cubs 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth.

The game will resume at 4:05 p.m. CT on Thursday before the teams play the final game of their series later that night. Prior to San Francisco’s protest being upheld, no MLB team had won a protest since 1986.

“I thought we had a strong case,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, via ESPN.com. “I’m just thankful and grateful that they [MLB] were open minded. They listened and they looked at it, and I think it’s the fair thing to do.”

The Cubs grounds crew tried for several hours to dry up the infield and make the field playable after their tarp malfunction, but there was nothing that could be done. Cubs president Theo Epstein said he was told by MLB officials that the game could only be suspended if it was a mechanical issue, not human error.

The Giants filed their protest based on Rule 4.12 (a) (3), which states that a game can be suspended if there is a “malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club.” The league ruled that the tarp constitutes a mechanical device in this situation.

While the Cubs are in last place, the Giants are battling for a playoff spot. They are currently three games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and tied for first with the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card standings. Every game is important at this stage of the season.

Garrett Richards suffers knee injury covering first, carted off

Garrett Richards was carted off the field during the bottom of the second inning of the Angels-Red Sox game Wednesday after suffering a knee injury while covering first base.

The Red Sox had runners on first and second with one out when Brock Holt grounded into a fielder’s choice. First baseman Albert Pujols went into the hole to field the grounder and threw to second. Even though shortstop Erick Aybar made the putout at second, he didn’t even attempt a throw to first. Richards simply got hurt when his knee appeared to buckle down the line in what would be described as a non-contact injury.

Garrett Richards knee injury

Richards was placed on a stretcher and carted off. He was screaming and clearly in pain.

The Angels later said Richards has a patellar injury, which manager Mike Scioscia described as serious. Richards is flying back from Boston to Anaheim to be further tested.

Richards, 26, has been the ace of the Angels’ staff. He entered Wednesday 13-4 with a 2.53 ERA and 164 strikeouts in 167 innings. This injury comes a few weeks after southpaw Tyler Skaggs hurt his forearm and underwent Tommy John surgery. The Angels’ pitching is now decimated. This injury seriously hurts their chances of success in the postseason.

John Lackey gave Pat Neshek a Babe Ruth autographed ball for his jersey number

John-Lackey-CardinalsJohn Lackey has worn jersey No. 41 throughout his entire career, and it is obviously very important to him. When the veteran right-hander was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals from the Boston Red Sox, he had to negotiate in order to keep No. 41. Cards reliever Pat Neshek drove a pretty hard bargain.

On Wednesday, Neshek tweeted a photo of an authentic Babe Ruth autographed baseball and thanked Lackey for the gift. Considering the nature of the exchange, I’d be more inclined to call it a form of payment than a gift.

Baseballs that have been signed by The Babe sell for anywhere between $3,000 to $50,000, depending on the condition. When you consider what some other professional athletes have paid to keep their jersey numbers, Lackey didn’t do all that horribly. Plus, he’s making north of $15 million this season. If Big Hoss wants another autographed Ruth baseball, he’ll just go out and buy one.

H/T Hardball Talk