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 Posted: Sun Sep 24th, 2017 07:15 am
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lobo316



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Jose Abreu has suddenly found himself in some very exclusive company.

The Chicago White Sox slugger, long a consistent contributor on some inconsistent and rebuilding South Side teams, laced his 100th RBI of 2017 on Saturday when he drilled a single in the bottom of the first inning off Kansas City Royals starter Danny Duffy.

In doing so, Abreu etched his name into the annals of baseball history. He joined Albert Pujols and Joe DiMaggio as the only batters to ever tally at least 25 home runs and 100 RBIs in each of their first four seasons.

When José Abreu recorded his 100th RBI of the season Saturday, he joined exclusive company. pic.twitter.com/0v5YCHFhjc

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 24, 2017
That's it. Only three players have done it. Of the two who came before Abreu, one is a Hall of Famer and the other will be. In other words: they're amazing at swinging a bat.

Abreu has been the beacon of light in an otherwise bleak season for the 62-92 White Sox. Following his 1-for-4 outing, he is now batting .304/.356/.548 with 31 homers and an even 100 RBIs through 149 games.

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 Posted: Sun Sep 24th, 2017 07:16 am
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Oakland Athletics fans haven't seen this kind of power from one of their players since the days of Connie Mack.

Athletics outfielder Khris Davis put his name beside one of the game's all-time greats Saturday night when he hit his 40th home run of the season off Texas Rangers starter Miguel Gonzalez. That blast made the 29-year-old only the second Athletics player ever - and first since the club moved to Oakland in 1968 - with consecutive 40-homer seasons, joining Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx, who hit 40 each year from 1932-34 when they were located in Philadelphia.

#Khrushed! Khris Davis goes Oppo Taco for his 40th A's lead 1-0! Watch here: https://t.co/984FZe6l8o pic.twitter.com/Zl9y85Djim

— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 24, 2017
Davis' power has actually increased since joining the A's, despite playing home games at the cavernous Oakland Coliseum. After hitting just 60 homers in three total seasons with Milwaukee from 2013-15, he's now hit 81 bombs for the Athletics since Opening Day 2016.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2017 05:14 am
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When J.D. Martinez went yard Saturday night, he solidified his place in Arizona Diamondbacks lore.

His solo shot in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins was the 14th home run he's hit in 19 September games, setting a new franchise record for home runs in a single month.

J.D. passes @Luisgonzo20 for the most homers within a month in #Dbacks history. #JustDingers pic.twitter.com/z0BUublpEa

— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 24, 2017
The previous record-holder was Luis Gonzalez, possibly the most iconic Diamondback in the franchise's relatively brief history. He hit 13 in April 2001, the same season he finished with 57. That just so happened to be the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series over the New York Yankees.

Since being acquired by the Diamondbacks at the trade deadline, Martinez has yielded one of the most potent bats in the game. He's hit 27 long balls in 56 games, giving him 43 on the season between Detroit and the desert.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2017 05:15 am
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With the Oakland Athletics' Bruce Maxwell becoming the first MLB player to protest during the national anthem, players and managers around the league are being faced with questions about how teams should approach the delicate issue, and Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell weighed in Sunday.

"I follow it closely," Farrell told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal before Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Reds. "As it relates to our players, if they were to choose to express themselves in the way we've seen other athletes in other sports, we would fully support them.

"We would have their back as an organization if that's the expression they chose to do; it's their constitutional right.

"I can't say we've held meeting about it," the Red Sox skipper continued, alluding to the way Maxwell approached the Athletics prior to his protest.

"At this point, I'm not aware any one of our players would. I'm aware what Maxwell did in Oakland. He had a meeting with the team and he didn't want to put anyone in an uncomfortable position, didn't want to catch anyone by surprise. I respect that. We haven't had that type of setting here."

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 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2017 05:16 am
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Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell provided further insight on his beliefs that led to his decision to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, citing President Donald Trump's lack of compassion towards people of color.

"I was talking to my dad about this. Our fearless leader right now is expressing that it's OK to judge people by the color of their skin. It's OK to separate people by their differences. That's not OK," Maxwell told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

"There's not been one time Trump has tried to sit in our seat. He grew up in a bubble, a golden bubble. He's never tried to reach out and understand where African-Americans and Hispanics and Muslims are coming from. All he knows is what he's experienced, and that's life on a silver platter. That's a big thing for me."

Maxwell, who comes from a military family, will continue to kneel during anthems, saying if "things don't really change" his protest will continue into next season, as well.

"It might take a little while. Racism has been going on since this country was founded," Maxwell added.

"But stepping up and recognizing the fact that people in this country are being treated unjustly is a big problem when it comes to mankind, and I'm pretty sure people who died for this country fought so I could do this."

The Athletics will conclude a three-game series on Sunday against the Texas Rangers.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2017 05:26 am
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The Los Angeles Dodgers will be without Yasiel Puig for its series finale Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, a day after the erratic outfielder made a questionable decision on the basepaths.

Manager Dave Roberts was asked about Puig's absence Sunday and indicated the benching could be related to other incidents, per Andy McCullough from the LA Times.

"It's important the guys I put in the lineup that I can trust them," Roberts told David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports.

In Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Giants, Puig was behind an odd stolen base attempt that ended the game. The 26-year-old decided to test the arm of Buster Posey, leading Puig - who didn't slide - to injure his ankle.

Afterward, an irritated Roberts said Puig ran on his own, according to Alanna Rizzo from SportsNetLA. It was the Dodgers' fifth loss in their last seven games, bringing their September record to 7-16.

Puig has hit .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs and 70 RBIs this season, along with 2.4 WAR - fifth highest on the team among position players.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2017 05:27 am
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Despite being in the middle of a game against the Miami Marlins, the Arizona Diamondbacks clinched their first postseason berth since 2011 by virtue of both the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers losing Sunday.

While the Brewers' and Cardinals' losses mean the Diamondbacks are at least assured of a wild-card game, Arizona can clinch home field in the elimination contest with a victory over Miami.

With the Diamondbacks clinching, just two spots remain up for grabs in the National League postseason race; the winner of the NL Central and the second wild-card position. The Chicago Cubs' magic number to clinch their division has shrunk to just two, which means the Brewers and Colorado Rockies are the likely contenders for the final playoff spot.

Arizona has enjoyed surprising success this year, buoyed by the best starting rotation in the NL, according to WAR.

Prior to this season, the Diamondbacks had made it to the postseason five times since entering the league in 1998, including a World Series championship in 2001.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 25th, 2017 05:29 am
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With a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon, the Washington Nationals clinched home-field advantage for the 2017 National League Division Series.

Game 1 is scheduled for Oct. 6. No times have been announced.

The Nationals' opponent in that series has yet to be determined, but it's more than likely that as holders of the second-best record in the Senior Circuit they'll host the NL Central champions. Currently the Chicago Cubs are 4 1/2 games up on Milwaukee, with a magic number of four to clinch that crown and earn a trip to the nation's capital.

If the Nationals and Cubs have identical records at season's end, Washington will still get home field by virtue of winning the season series 4-3, according to Mark Zuckerman of MASN.

Washington has owned home-field advantage in each of its three prior division series appearances since 2012, including last October against the Dodgers. That edge hasn't helped the club, however, as the Nationals franchise has yet to win a playoff series since moving to the District of Columbia. The team has twice been eliminated in a decisive NLDS Game 5 at Nationals Park, first in 2012 and again last October.

The Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise, established in 1969, has never made the World Series and owns but a single playoff series victory while known as the Expos in 1981. Fans in Washington, D.C. haven't seen their team win a playoff round since 1924, when the original Senators won their only World Series title.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 26th, 2017 02:05 am
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Clayton Kershaw's remarkable consistency has earned him his own page in the Los Angeles Dodgers' history books.

With his six-strikeout outing Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, Kershaw guaranteed himself a seventh season with at least 200 strikeouts. That lifts him past club legends and Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, who only reached the two-century mark in six seasons with the club, according to Baseball Reference.

Throughout his 10-year career, Kershaw has failed to record 200 strikeouts in only three seasons: 2008 (his debut campaign), 2009, and 2016. The left-hander only pitched 149 innings in 2016, missing two months of the season with a herniated disc in his back.

Though he again missed time in 2017 with another back issue, Kershaw still ranks seventh in the National League for the most strikeouts this season - 65 behind Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who tops the table.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 26th, 2017 02:07 am
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell pressed a hand to his heart and took to a knee for the national anthem for the second straight game Sunday, part of a protest movement that has been criticized by President Donald Trump.

On Saturday, the 26-year-old rookie became the first major league player to kneel during ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' before the A's played Texas. Again Sunday, teammate Mark Canha put a hand on Maxwell's shoulder in a show of support like he also did Saturday.

Maxwell received support from NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant of the champion Golden State Warriors.

''More power to him, man. He's standing up for something great,'' Durant said across town after the team's second practice of training camp. ''We all respect it, support it and appreciate it.''

Maxwell said after Sunday's game that he's received threats since kneeling, including racial epithets and warnings ''to watch my back.''

''I mean, I expected it, it's nothing different that I haven't dealt with in my life,'' Maxwell said. ''The threats that I'm getting are part of the problem.''

Maxwell hasn't reported the threats to authorities.

''We call these guys `keyboard warriors,''' Maxwell said.

A's manager Bob Melvin said Maxwell's protest was a courageous act, noting that the decision to become the first player in the majors to adopt the protest came with risk.

''It does take a lot of courage because you know that now the potential of the crosshairs are on you and for a guy who's not as established, I'm sure, and I'm not speaking for him, but I'm sure there were some feelings for him that there was some risk,'' Melvin said before Sunday's game. ''I do know that he felt better about it afterwards because there's a lot of uncertainty when you take that type of step.''

Canha acknowledged trepidation about his decision to support Maxwell.

''I had to think about what I was going to do to show my support for Bruce, for 20 minutes, and even then I was hesitant to do it,'' Canha said. ''Even then I was like, you know that fear of, I thought about Colin Kaepernick, well jeez - I love baseball, I want to play baseball, I love my job and love this country, I want to be part of this country, but to live in fear. Just the fact that I had that small amount of fear and that small amount of hesitation, speaks volumes about that we need some change.''

Kaepernick was the first athlete to take a knee during the anthem while playing quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He is now a free agent, and his supporters believe NFL teams have refused to sign him because of his protests.

Maxwell doesn't believe his activism will hurt his career and said he's determined to continue with it regardless.

''I've talked to our superiors (Melvin and A's general manager David Forst) and they understand why I'm doing it and they respect the fact that I am doing it,'' Maxwell said.

''If it ends up driving me out of baseball, then so be it. This is bigger than a monetary standpoint, this is bigger than the uniform I put on every day. This is about the people in this country and we all deserve to be treated equally. That's the whole purpose of us taking a knee during the national anthem.''

Maxwell explained his decision to kneel during the anthem in a clubhouse meeting he called before Saturday's game.

''I think we showed the last two days we're just rolling with it,'' A's catcher Josh Phegley said.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 26th, 2017 02:08 am
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Drama continues to brew in Detroit as the Tigers trudge toward the end of one of their worst seasons in over a decade.

Victor Martinez and Justin Verlander had an altercation in the dugout following a bench-clearing brawl with the Yankees in late August, and sources within the clubhouse say that's just the most public sign Martinez has become "an entitled player and a clubhouse problem," reports Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.

The 38-year-old's season ended after he underwent cardiac ablation surgery Sept. 11.

Martinez stopped leading the Tigers as his performance declined over the last two seasons, sources said. The incident that seriously damaged his relationship with his teammates occurred late last season following an Aug. 27 game in which four players, including Martinez, were ejected. When Tigers players entered the clubhouse after the game, Martinez wasn't there, several people with first-hand knowledge of the situation told Fenech.

When Martinez found out his departure had become a popular topic of conversation among the rest of the team, he reportedly confronted another player and accused him of orchestrating a "whisper campaign." Martinez and the player apparently had to be physically separated, and a source said the veteran's handling of the situation didn't go over well with his teammates.

In 107 games this year - his fewest since 2008 - Martinez has hit .255/.324/.372 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs. He's owed $18 million for next season.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 26th, 2017 02:09 am
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Moments before he set the rookie record for home runs in a single season on Monday, New York Yankees slugging outfielder Aaron Judge was named Player of the Week in the American League.

The 25-year-old Judge, who crushed home runs No. 49 and 50 against the Kansas City Royals Monday afternoon, hit .429 with five dingers last week as he continues to vie for the AL MVP award.

In the National League, two members of the Miami Marlins shared the honor as Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna were named the co-recipients of the award.

Stanton, who is making his own MVP case, hit three home runs and now has 57 for the year, while Ozuna hit .500/.615/1.000 for the underachieving 73-82 Marlins.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 01:35 am
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Mookie Betts has hit himself into some legendary company.

The Boston Red Sox right fielder picked up an RBI groundout during the first inning of Monday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, giving him his 100th RBI of the season.

It's the second straight year that Betts has reached the century mark for RBIs, joining Hall of Famer Ted Williams as the only two players in franchise history with at least 100 RBIs in consecutive seasons before turning 25.

Williams recorded 100-plus RBIs in each of his first four seasons in the majors (1939-1942) before leaving to serve in the military.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 01:36 am
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For the second straight game, Yasiel Puig has been held out of the lineup, and this time it's because the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder was late to Dodger Stadium on Monday.

Puig was benched for Sunday's game after getting thrown out stealing second for the final out of Saturday's contest. However, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts indicated that the benching was a result of repeated offenses, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.

"You show up late for work, there's going to be consequences," Roberts told McCullough before Monday's game.

"No one player can be bigger than the team," Roberts continued, elaborating on Puig's tardiness. "That was a decision that he made, not me."

Roberts capped off his comments suggesting he has not decided how long Puig will be benched with the postseason right around the corner.

Puig had settled into a productive role in 2017 with the team relying on multiple sluggers this season. The 26-year-old outfielder has posted a slash line of .259/.339/.474 with 26 homers and 15 stolen bases while batting primarily in the bottom half of the lineup.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 27th, 2017 01:38 am
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Maxwell's first AB since kneeling. Cheer was as good as any #Athletics batter tonight. pic.twitter.com/giMNj1vQvl

— Kalama Hines (@HINESight_2020) September 26, 2017
Oakland has Bruce Maxwell's back.

On Monday, the rookie catcher - who, over the weekend, became the first baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem - appeared in his first game since beginning his protest. Maxwell's at-bat was greeted with a loud, standing applause from a sparse crowd of Athletics fans at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before he flew out to left field.

"It was unexpected, just because of the negativity that I've gotten, but it was refreshing," Maxwell said of the ovation, according to Jane Lee of MLB.com. "People actually care about people in this country, so it's a good thing."


Although the 26-year-old had made headlines on the weekend for his protest, Monday marked Maxwell's first game in nearly a week. He had been placed in concussion protocol by the A's after being hit by a foul ball while catching in a game on Sept. 20.

Maxwell also got support Monday from members of the Oakland Unified School District Honor Band, who collectively took a knee in solidarity with Maxwell while performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the game.

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