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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Baseball

Atlanta Braves got record postseason bonus pool to split

Tyler Matzek celebrating

The Atlanta Braves received a record monetary amount from the postseason bonus pool.

The MLB postseason bonus pool amounted to $90.47 million this year. As the World Series winner, the Braves’ 36 percent amounted to $32.57 million.

According to Braves reporter David O’Brien, the team voted to award 66 shares, worth $397,391 apiece. They also voted to award 14.25 partial shares and 38 cash awards.

The postseason bonus pool is the revenue share the players receive for participating in the postseason. The further a team advances, the greater the share of the total postseason bonus pool they receive.

The World Series winner gets 36%, the World Series loser gets 24%, both League Championship Series losers get 12%, the four Division Series losers get 3.25%, and the two Wild Card playoff losers get 1.5%

Players that spend the full season on a team get full shares. Those players then vote on how to distribute the rest of the pool among coaches, trainers, and players who were on the team for part of the season.

Photo: Oct 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Tyler Matzek (68) reacts in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2021 NLCS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr’s father disputes claim about son’s accident

Fernando Tatis Jr

Fernando Tatis Jr’s father is setting the record straight about one aspect of his son’s recent accident in the Dominican Republic.

Fernando Tatis Sr. spoke with the Associated Press this week and offered an update on the condition of his son, the San Diego Padres slugger Tatis Jr.

“He is fine, in perfect condition,″ said Tatis Sr. of his son. “They treated him here [in the Dominican Republic]. It’s not a big deal, just a fall. He scraped his knee and hands a little.”

Tatis Sr. also said that reports that Tatis Jr. fell off a motorcycle were false.

Tatis Jr, the 22-year-old Padres phenom, was reported to have been in a minor accident earlier this week. The report simply stated that a motorcycle was involved, but now it appears that Tatis Jr. may not have been the one who was actually riding the motorcycle.

This latest update on Tatis Jr, who will be entering the second season of a 14-year, $340 million contract, is an encouraging one. It is especially so since the All-Star slugger dealt with notable injury issues last season.

Photo: Feb 28, 2020; Peoria, Arizona, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore mayor tried to place funny bet on Orioles

Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott definitely believes in his city’s MLB team … at least to a certain extent.

Scott was on hand Friday to open the new Caesars Sportsbook at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore. Sports betting officially opened in the state of Maryland this week after being approved by lawmakers earlier in the year.

The second-year mayor announced his intention to place three opening bets: one that Ravens star Lamar Jackson will win MVP, one that the Ravens will win the Super Bowl, … and one that the Orioles will be .500 next year.

Perhaps fortunately for Scott, he was ultimately told that he could not place a bet on the Orioles going .500.

While the Orioles being .500 is a much less ambitious yardstick than Scott’s other two bets, it would be a major stretch for them to reach. The O’s went just 52-110 (.321) last year, their third straight campaign with 100 or more losses (not counting the COVID-shortened 2020 season). In fact, the last time that they finished .500 or better was back in 2016.

We have actually seen the Orioles pull off some huge betting upsets before. But Scott being unable here to bet on them going .500 in 2022 was more than likely for his own good.

Photo: Aug 5, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde (18) stands on the field during the second inning against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime MLB scout Jim Fregosi Jr. dies at 57 due to massive heart attack

Jim Fregosi Jr photo

The MLB community lost a valued member with the death of Jim Fregosi Jr.

Fregosi Jr., a longtime scout, died on Thursday due to a massive heart attack. The news was reported by longtime Colorado Rockies/baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby, via Bob Nightengale.

Fregosi Jr. is the son of former All-Star Jim Fregosi. Fregosi Jr. played college ball at New Mexico and was a conference player of the year. He was drafted by the Cardinals in 1985, but his career stalled in Single-A ball.

Fregosi Jr. later went into scouting. He worked for the Phillies for 17 seasons between 1992 and 2011 (he had a two-year stint with the Rockies in between). Fregosi Jr. has worked with the Royals since 2011, serving as a special assistant to the general manager.

His voice apparently was well respected within the organization.

The Royals issued a statement on Fregosi Jr.’s death.

The Phillies also issued a statement.

Fregosi Jr.’s death comes seven years after his father died in 2014. Fregosi Jr. leaves behind his wife and three children.

Yasiel Puig signs to play in Korea for max salary

Yasiel Puig with the Reds

Yasiel Puig will be playing baseball in Korea next season.

Puig signed with the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO League. The Cuban ballplayer confirmed the news via Twitter.

Puig has been playing for the Toros Del Este in the Dominican Winter League. He’ll be playing in Korea afterwards.

Puig is set to receive a 1-year, $1 million deal, which is the maximum amount for a first-year foreign player in Korea.

Puig received interest in 2020 from the KBO but still tried to continue his MLB career. A positive COVID test ruined his chances of playing in the shortened 2020 season. His chances of playing in the 2021 season were damaged by a sexual battery accusation. He recently settled the case.

The 31-year-old outfielder batted .267 with 24 home runs and 19 stolen bases in 2019.

Photo: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr. was involved in motorcycle accident in Dominican Republic

Fernando Tatis Jr

Fernando Tatis Jr. has escaped with only minor injuries after an accident this week in his native Dominican Republic.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Tatis Jr. was involved in a minor accident on Sunday and suffered only minor scrapes. Acee adds that the Padres star was doing normal activities as of Tuesday, citing people familiar with the All-Star slugger’s status.

An initial report out of the Dominican Republic stated that a motorcycle was involved in the accident, which occurred in the city of Higuey, and that Tatis was taken to a nearby medical center for treatment.

The 22-year-old Tatis is one of the brightest young stars in baseball. He hit an NL-leading 42 home runs last season to go along with 97 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. Tatis also finished third in NL MVP voting and won a Silver Slugger Award. It was his first season of a 14-year, $340 million contract.

Additionally, Tatis dealt with a nagging injury issue last season that briefly caused him to change positions.

Photo: Feb 28, 2020; Peoria, Arizona, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Peoria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Look: Vladimir Guerrero has other sons who can rake too

Vladimir Guerrero waving to the crowd

Vladimir Guerrero may be well on his way to becoming the LaVar Ball of Major League Baseball.

MLB insider Hector Gomez shared some videos this week revealing that Guerrero has other sons who can rake too besides just Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Gomez tweeted a video of 15-year-old Vladi Miguel Guerrero, a left-handed hitter, sending some pitches into space.

There is also 15-year-old Pablo Guerrero, who is an outfielder, hits right-handed, and has an arm similar to his father’s.

Gomez even shared a video of 12-year-old Wilton Guerrero Jr. taking batting practice, fielding grounders, and running sprints. Gomez did not make clear what Wilton’s relationship to Guerrero is, so he may be Guerrero’s nephew, the son of Guerrero’s brother Wilton Guerrero Sr.

For those curious, Guerrero has nine children in total, five of them sons.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has done a great job of carrying the family name, earning AL MVP runner-up last season and shining on some of baseball’s brightest stages. But it turns out that he could have a couple of his brothers breathing down his neck before long.

Aug 26, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels former player Vladimir Guerrero waves at the crowd following his induction into the Los Angeles Angels hall of fame before the game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Yankees OF throws shade at team after leaving in free agency

Clint Frazier

One ex-New York Yankee is feeling pretty liberated to be out of pinstripes.

Former Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier threw some shade at his old team in a tweet on Tuesday. Frazier signed with the Chicago Cubs in free agency earlier this offseason.

He expressed excitement about joining the Cubs and added in a swipe at the Yankees’ no facial hair policy by writing “here’s to leaving my razor at home” to conclude his tweet.

While the tweet on its own could have been construed as Frazier just joking around, Frazier left no doubt that he was trying to diss the Yankees with what he wrote in subsequent tweets.

“I’ll be continuing to wear #77 as well,” Frazier added in the tweet thread. “I requested #7 but unfortunately it was taken, marking that as the first time I ever asked for that number.”

You may recall that there was a controversy in 2017 when it was reported that Frazier had asked the Yankees to wear Mickey Mantle’s retired No. 7 jersey. That story was ultimately proven to be untrue though.

“Me being happy I’m on the Cubs has nothing to do with Yankees fans,” Frazier added in another tweet. “It has to do with the fact that I’m happy to be able to play somewhere I’ll get a better chance at playing.”

Finally a Yankees fan replied to him by saying that “I’m so glad this dude isn’t a Yankee anymore. Frazier tweeted back, “so am I” with a bunch of laughing-face emojis.

Frazier was with the Yankees for the last five seasons but never played more than 70 games in a single year. Much of that had to do with injuries though, as Frazier struggled with lingering concussion symptoms and other issues. Frazier also hit just .239 as a Yankee, including a dismal .186 last year. Still, the Yankees never really seemed to give Frazier as much opportunity as he would have liked.

The 27-year-old was once a highly-touted prospect for the Yankees. But on top of his woes with injuries and playing time, Frazier also took exception to the way that the team did business and once even feuded with a prominent Yankees broadcaster. Now that he is finally getting a fresh start elsewhere, Frazier seems to be as happy as a clam.

Baseball writer explains controversial Barry Bonds Hall of Fame vote

Barry Bonds

The Barry Bonds Hall of Fame debate will always be a divisive one, and one baseball writer decided to light the match again this week.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network, one of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voters for the 2022 MLB Hall of Fame class, revealed his ballot this week. Most notably, Heyman cast his vote for Bonds, whose Hall of Fame argument has notoriously been tainted by his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Heyman also voted for Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Scott Rolen, and Curt Schilling while choosing to leave his other five votes blank. He did not vote for Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, or any other player on the ballot linked to PED use.

Heyman explained his vote for Bonds on Saturday.

“I have resisted supporting all steroid-linked/improved players as I question the authenticity of their achievements but have made Bonds the 1 exception as the narrative that he didn’t use steroids until after at least 1998 is compelling,” he tweeted. “By then he had 3 MVPs and 7 top-5 finishes.”

If Heyman’s personal cutoff is 1998, Bonds had indeed already put together a fairly elite career to that point. In addition to the accolades that Heyman mentioned, Bonds hit .290 with 410 home runs over that span. He had also racked up eight All-Star appearances, eight Gold Glove Awards, and seven Silver Slugger Awards.

But it is still difficult to cherry-pick certain seasons where a player may not have been using PEDs as the same case could logically be made for players like Rodriguez, Ramirez, etc. Thus, it is better to look at a player’s entire body of work, which for Bonds is inextricably tied to PED use.

Bonds is in his final year of Hall of Fame eligibility and has never received more than 61.8 percent of the vote (players need at least 75 percent to make the cut). The all-time home run king (technically) has his fair share of Hall of Fame supporters. But despite the reasoning of Heyman and others, Bonds still seems like a longshot to be enshrined in his last crack at Cooperstown.

Photo: Jul 8, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants former outfielder Barry Bonds looks on prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-MLB All-Star surprisingly drawing consideration for Mets manager job

Curtis Granderson in the dugout

A candidate for the New York Mets’ managerial vacancy is coming out of left field … literally and figuratively.

Robert Murray of FanSided reported Friday that former All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson is among those under consideration for Mets manager.

Granderson, who is still only 40 years old, is a surprising addition to the mix given that he has no managerial experience. But he was very well-liked as a player and was even voted by his peers as one of the game’s friendliest players in 2010. Granderson also became involved in the MLB Players Association as early as 2006 and reportedly had a significant role in negotiations towards the 2011 labor agreement.

Additionally, Granderson played for the Mets from 2014 to 2017 and definitely endeared himself to the local fanbase.

That said, the Mets’ last two managers, Luis Rojas and Mickey Callaway, were also fairly inexperienced and neither worked out particularly well. It would make sense for the team to consider a seasoned veteran manager, which is why this candidate is said to be high atop their list.

Photo: Apr 30, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Curtis Granderson (21) looks on prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports