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Monday, March 09, 2020

8th? BBTF Central Park Softball Game: October 3

Let’s start planning for this year’s game. First questions:

1. Who is submitting the permit request? (Answer: Hysterical & Useless)

2. What dates should we aim for? (Answer: July 25 October 3)

3. Where is the post-game destination?


Thursday, October 01, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-1-2020

Washington Times, October 1, 1920:

$20,000 FUND TO BRIBE GIANTS IS CHARGED

Garry Herrmann, President of Cincinnati Club, Claims 1919 Flag Was Thrown

The startling charge that a “slush” fund of $20,000 was used to bribe players of the New York Giants to lose the National League championship to Cincinnati is reported to have been made by Herrmann. Affidavits supporting the charge are said to have been presented to the grand jury by the Cincinnati magnate.

Herrmann was the first witness before the jury today. He brought with him affidavits of pitcher Pat Hogan, pitcher James Ring, outfielder Earl Neale, and Christy Mathewson, former manager of the Cincinnati team.

Although details of Herrmann’s testimony are not known, it is reported he ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 01, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

DORKTOWN: The Secret to Not Allowing Homers to Babe Ruth was Being Bad, Apparently

But take a close look there. Notice anything weird? Specifically, look at the row of dots representing pitchers who Ruth took deep zero times in his Yankee career. More specifically, the two dots in that row chilling in solitary (dual?) confinement. Not one, but two pitchers who he faced approximately 70 times each without ever homering.

One of them was a gentleman by the name of Ed Wells (71 plate appearances), the other was Roy Mahaffey (68 plate appearances). So they both held Ruth homerless despite the fact that he hit at least five homers against 38 of the other 41 pitchers who he faced at least that much (and even the remaining three allowed four, four, and two homers to the Babe)....

For Ruth to have faced one pitcher so much ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2020 at 09:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth

MLB promised free COVID-19 testing for essential workers. We’re still waiting

Tucked away in Major League Baseball’s 113-page manual for playing through the coronavirus pandemic is a subtle assurance from the league and its owners to the public that baseball in 2020 would offset whatever resource drain might result from the business of baseball.

As Section 2.1.5, titled “Voluntary Testing of Household Members and First Responders” read: “MLB will offer free diagnostic/PCR and antibody/serology testing for…healthcare workers or other first responders in the Clubs’ home cities as a public service.”

MLB would clean up after itself, in other words, supplying free tests aimed at the workers cheered on by clanging pots and pans, in lieu of standing ovations at Yankee Stadium or Wrigley Field. Even if these ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2020 at 09:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Carlos Correa addresses Astros haters after sweeping Twins: ‘What are they going to say now?’

“I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people don’t want to see us here,” said shortstop Carlos Correa, who homered as part of a two-knock game, “but what are they going to say now?”

Correa’s frustration is understandable. It can’t be fun to have critics question the legitimacy of one’s accomplishments at every turn. The obvious retort, though, is that Correa and the Astros did it to themselves. Remember, this all stems from Houston’s sign-stealing scheme that led Major League Baseball to suspend both the club’s former manager and general manager, and to fine and strip the organization of draft picks. Yes, other teams were probably doing similar things, but the Astros got caught; that means suffering the consequences, such as ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 10:38 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

Minnesota Twins eliminated by Houston Astros as postseason losing streak hits 18 games

The Minnesota Twins’ postseason losing streak has reached a stunning 18 games—and now their 2020 season is over. The Houston Astros eliminated the Twins with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday at Target Field in Minneapolis, a disappointing finish for a team that had rallied to win its second consecutive American League Central title and finished with the best home record in the majors during the 60-game regular season.

The Twins’ playoff streak is not only a major league record, but is the longest in U.S. sports history. The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks lost 16 straight playoff games from 1975 to 1979. Before the Twins, the previous MLB record belonged to the Boston Red Sox, who lost 13 playoff games in a row starting with the infamous Game 6 of the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 10:29 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, twins

MLB allowing limited number of fans for NLCS, World Series in Arlington, Texas

Fans can take themselves out to the ballgame for the first time this season during the National League Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game. That is about 28% of the 40,518-capacity, retractable-roof stadium of the Texas Rangers, which opened this year adjacent to old Globe Life Park, the team’s open-air home from 1994 through 2019.

The World Series is being played at a neutral site for the first time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be played at one stadium for the first time since the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Browns at Sportsman’s Park in 1944.

Some of the seats will be ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 10:28 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, world series

YouTube TV is losing Fox regional sports networks

A number of Fox regional sports networks (RSNs) will no longer be available for YouTube TV subscribers beginning October 1st, the company announced.

The move comes after YouTube and Fox first spoke publicly about Fox channels leaving YouTube TV in February, but the two companies came to an agreement to carry the rest of the MLB, NBA, and NHL seasons through 2020. As the NBA and NHL’s seasons come to an end, and with the MLB set to finish around the end of October, Fox and YouTube’s agreement is also being severed.

“To bring you 85+ channels, we periodically renegotiate contracts with content owners,” the official YouTube TV Twitter account tweeted. “Starting October 1, 2020, FOX RSNs will no longer be available on YouTube TV. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 04:01 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks

Wild Card Round Day Two OMNICHATTER (9/30/20)

CIN-ATL Noon ESPN
HOU-MIN 1PM ESPN2
MIA-CHC 2PM ABC
CHW-OAK 3PM ESPN
TOR-TBR 4PM TBS
STL-SDP 5PM ESPN2
NYY-CLE 7PM ESPN
MIL-LAD 10PM ESPN

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 30, 2020 at 11:55 AM | 231 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2020

Pittsburgh Press, September 30, 1920:

“Buck” Weaver, suspended third baseman of the Whitesox team, is expected to tell his story of the “throwing” of the series to the grand jury today. Fred McMullin, it is reported, may follow Weaver. Both have opened negotiations for the giving of their testimony.

“Swede” Risberg, shortstop, is said to have declared he was not going to confess because he has nothing to confess. “And if anybody squeals on me,” he is reported to have said, “I’ll put them out of business.”

Elsewhere on the front page, nobody can find Eddie Cicotte, Abe Attell says ten New York gamblers won a quarter million dollars from fixing the 1919 World Series, and there are rumors that gamblers are working to get the Dodgers to throw ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 10:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Anaheim City Council approves $150-million cash stadium sale to Angels owner

The Anaheim City Council voted early Wednesday to approve a revised deal with Angels owner Arte Moreno, selling Angel Stadium and the surrounding land for $150 million in cash in return for the team’s commitment to stay in Anaheim through 2050.

The council had voted last December to sell the 150-acre site to Moreno’s company, SRB Management, for $325 million. The city this month proposed to credit SRB for $170 million of that price, with the company agreeing to build almost 500 units of affordable housing and a seven-acre park within the community that will rise from the stadium parking lots.

After almost eight hours of debate — and after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday — the council approved the revised deal on a 5-2 vote, with council ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 09:57 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

As Marlins prepare for postseason, is the franchise turning a corner under Derek Jeter?

And, three years into the regime of owner Bruce Sherman and CEO Derek Jeter, they’re actually pretty good. Thirty-one wins isn’t a juggernaut, but what about 31 wins when 18 roster spots were changed out between games three and four? What about 31 wins when the Philadelphia Phillies had 28, and the New York Mets and Washington Nationals had 26? There’s something about showing up and playing hard, about finding a few wins where others are finding alibis, about taking the first wobbly steps toward turning the course — and reputation — of a franchise that only recently became deserving of that sort of effort.

So, on the sixth anniversary of a day he was the designated hitter in Boston and did not play shortstop and legged out an ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 09:44 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Bill James: A Galaxy of Royal Stars

Not that this is a serious topic or anything, but with Alex Gordon announcing his retirement there was discussion among friends of where he ranks among the Royals’ all-time greats, or perhaps they are merely goods.  I made up a system for ranking the Royals, consistent with the principles of the many ranking systems I have created over the years, and since there was some interest in this, I thought I should explain how this was done.

        First, we start with each player’s Win Shares in each season as a Royal….

It seems relatively obvious that two 10-Win Seasons should not be treated as equal to one 20-Win Season.  High-impact seasons win pennants; 10-Win Seasons are kind of replaceable.  How to adjust for this.

        ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 09:32 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Phillies source believes GM Matt Klentak will return. Still no word from owner John Middleton.

A team source said Monday that he believes Klentak will return and, predictably, that sentiment was met with wide disdain when it was posted on Twitter.

It should be noted that the team source is not making the call here, but it was a voice that should be heard by Middleton. The Phillies’ managing partner made it clear before the season that one of the voices he definitely still listens to is former general manager and team president Pat Gillick. I don’t know how Gillick feels about Klentak’s job performance after five seasons.

The bottom line under Klentak obviously has not been good enough. The Phillies have gone five straight years under the general manager without reaching the postseason and they have also failed to post a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 09:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt klentak, phillies

Removing Fans Didn’t Remove MLB’s Home-Field Advantage

This season, fans were banned from ballparks, which gave home-field advantage scholars the natural experiment they were waiting for. At first, teams’ home field edge seemed to have dissipated or disappeared with flesh-and-blood fans replaced by cardboard cutouts, which seemed consistent with previous research on basketball and soccer games played in empty stadiums or between teams with the same home facility. On August 17, MLB.com’s Mike Petriello noted that home teams had won only 50.5 percent of their games, which was lower than any full-season figure.

However, FanGraphs’ Ben Clemens observed days later that while home teams weren’t yet winning at their typical clip, they were still outproducing visiting teams at the plate, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 09:28 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: home field advantage

FiveThirtyEight: MLB Starting Pitchers Will Have Less Rest This Postseason

Clubs will have to go deeper into their starting pitching rotations, which will likely help some teams and hurt others. Which teams could benefit, and which might be hurt? Let’s look at this question in a couple of different ways.

First, let’s use FiveThirtyEight’s pitcher ratings, which are based on rolling game scores.1 These scores try to predict how a pitcher will perform in a typical start; they’re not perfect — because of the shortened season this year, performance during the end of last year’s season still contributes to each pitcher’s rating — but they offer a good first cut at the question. We looked for teams that had at least one high-end, ace-type starter2 and depth — meaning four or more active starters with ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 30, 2020 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: post-season

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Yuli Gurriel takes pay cut to $7M to stay with Astros

First baseman Yuli Gurriel and the Houston Astros have agreed to a one-year contract with an option for 2022 that guarantees $7 million, a cut of nearly 20% from his 2020 deal.

The agreement was announced hours before the defending AL champions started their first-round playoff matchup against at Minnesota on Tuesday, an odd time to reach a contract for a future season.

Gurriel’s 2020 contract called for an $8.3 million salary and wound up being worth $3,074,074 prorated.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2020 at 01:04 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yuli gurriel

Wild Card Round Day One OMNICHATTER (9/29/20)

Post-season baseball begins today.  We had 13 years between the 1981 Division Series and the Division Series being formalized.  I suspect it will not take that long for this round to become a regular part of post-season baseball.

Scoreboards for the Major Leagues and all minor leagues.

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 29, 2020 at 11:35 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Rays top-ten prospect Shane McClanahan added to postseason roster

The Tampa Bay Rays will be including one of their top pitching prospects on their postseason roster as Marc Topkin reports that Shane McClanahan is be called up to join the big league squad and will potentially make his Major League debut during the Wild Card round of the postseason.

McClanahan was a first round selection by the Rays in the 2018 draft, selected at 31st overall out of the University of South Florida; he was considered the top left-handed pitcher in the draft by Baseball America. He made his professional debut that summer and was electric as he carved through opposing hitters during his brief time on the mound. In 2019, McClanahan surged through the system and finished the year at the Double-A level.

I believe McClanahan ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2020 at 11:23 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, shane mcclanahan

MLB, USA Baseball announce new format for Appalachian League

The Appalachian League will become a part of the Prospect Development Pipeline (“PDP”), the collaborative effort between MLB and USA Baseball that establishes a player development pathway for amateur baseball players in the United States, and will be an integral part of the identification and development process for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and other future national teams. Appalachian League participants will receive extensive visibility to MLB Club scouts through both in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology. Players will receive instruction from former MLB players and educational programming designed to prepare them for careers as professional athletes. Plans include a 54-game regular season and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2020 at 11:22 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: appalachian league

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-29-2020

Pittsburgh Press, September 29, 1920:

INDICT GAMBLERS

2 MORE WHITESOX CONFESS

Two more members of the Chicago Whitesox confessed today that they had connived to “throw” the 1919 world’s series to Cincinnati for a bribe of $100,000. They are Claude “Lefty” Williams, pitcher, who told his story to the grand jury, and Oscar “Happy” Felsch, center fielder, who admitted his part in the gigantic plot to the International News Service.

It was reported that George “Buck” Weaver, another of the eight players under indictment, was preparing to go before the grand jury and make a clean breast of his alleged connection with the scandal.

“I got my $5,000,” Felsch said in a statement to the International News Service, “and I guess the others did, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 29, 2020 at 10:20 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Former Dodgers fan favorite Jay Johnstone dies at 74 after COVID-19 battle

Jay Johnstone, the fun-loving outfielder who was best known for his clubhouse pranks and a dramatic pinch-hit home run that helped the Dodgers win the 1981 World Series, died Saturday, his daughter, Mary Jayne Sarah Johnstone, confirmed on Facebook. He was 74.

Johnstone, who hit .267 with 102 home runs and 531 RBIs in a 20-year major league career from 1966-85, suffered from dementia and was in a Granada Hills nursing home when he died of complications from COVID-19.

“COVID was the one thing he couldn’t fight,” Johnstone’s daughter told the Associated Press on Monday. “It’s really kind of shocking.”

Johnstone was born on Nov. 20, 1945, in Manchester, Conn., and his family moved to Southern California when he was a toddler. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2020 at 02:32 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: jay johnstone, obituatries

Monday, September 28, 2020

Ranking the three best and worst moves Brodie Van Wagenen has made as Mets GM

Yay

1. Signing Jacob deGrom to an extension

This gets overlooked to the point where you wonder if people even remember that it was Van Wagenen who inked deGrom to a five-year extension worth $137.5 million.

Boo

1. Including Jarred Kelenic in the Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano trade

This one was indefensible at the time and will remain indefensible no matter how well Kelenic performs with the Seattle Mariners and no matter how valuable Diaz (dominant in 2020) and Cano (very good in 2020) are during their Mets careers.

The simple fact is that there was no reason for the Mets to ever consider, let alone include Kelenic in that deal—not when they were doing Seattle a favor by eating so much of Cano’s contract.

Lassus Posted: September 28, 2020 at 05:39 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets mets mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-28-2020

Seattle Star, September 28, 1920:

EIGHT INDICTED WHITE SOX PLAYERS ARE SUSPENDED FROM GAME

CHICAGO PITCHER CONFESSES ACCEPTING CROOKED MONEY

Details of the “confession” made by Eddie Cicotte, White Sox pitcher, on which eight members of the team were indicted by the Cook county grand jury for crookedness in the 1919 world series, were made public late today. Cicotte told the grand jury that each of the eight men were paid individually by the gamblers. He said he got $10,000, and Joe Jackson, another player, $5,000. “Jackson held out for $20,000 but he only got $5,000,” Cicotte told the grand jury. “They promised to pay Jackson the remainder but they never did.”

The crap had officially hit the fan.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 28, 2020 at 10:33 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

MLB rookie status for 2020 amended

The original rule called for players to be considered rookies so long as they had not (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of the 26-player limit (excluding time on the injured list).

With the season shortened and roster sizes of 28 for the vast majority of 2020, the rule has been amended as follows:

1. Because there was no “September callup” period this year, days of service on the Major League roster will include September 2020. So any player who accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 2020 season or during previous seasons prior to Sept. 1 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 28, 2020 at 09:50 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies

Sunday, September 27, 2020

MLB playoffs: Bracket, dates, neutral-site bubbles, everything else to know about 2020 baseball postseason

And here are the bubble locations for the expanded playoffs:

NLDS: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston
ALDS: Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
NLCS: Globe Life Field
ALCS: Petco Park
World Series: Globe Life Field

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 09:58 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs

Los Angeles Angels fire GM Billy Eppler after five seasons

The Los Angeles Angels will have a new general manager next season.

The Angels fired Billy Eppler on Sunday afternoon after five seasons with the organization, the team announced. Eppler’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season.

“The Angels organization would like to thank Billy for his dedication and work ethic over the last five years,” president John Carpino said in a statement. “We wish him and his family all the best.”

Eppler was hired by the Angels after the 2015 season. The team failed to reach the postseason or compile a winning record under his watch. They went just 332-376 in his five years, and finished this season with a 26-34 record after a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday — their ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 06:21 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, billy eppler

Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson to undergo Tommy John surgery

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced Sunday that starting pitcher Dakota Hudson will require Tommy John surgery. The news is a blow to the Cardinals rotation not only for the rest of this season, which Hudson was expected to miss anyway after the team placed him on the 45-day IL in recent days, but it’s also an unfortunate hit to the team’s 2021 roster.

Though the Cardinals’ description of Hudson’s injury was inconsistent on whether the problem was with the flexor tendon or the elbow in the days following the initial sign of a problem on September 18. Ultimately, after consultations with team doctors and renowned specialist Dr. James Andrews, “everybody concluded this was in his best interest,” Mozeliak said ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 01:58 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dakota hudson, tommy john surgery

Ron Roenicke let go as Boston Red Sox manager; team will begin search immediately

Ron Roenicke will not return to manage the Red Sox in 2021, the club announced before Sunday’s game. A search for his replacement will begin immediately.

Roenicke was hired as Boston’s manager in February, replacing Alex Cora. The Red Sox are 23-36 this season and will play their final game of the year Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.

“Throughout this difficult season, Ron’s consistency and professionalism kept the environment in our clubhouse productive and gave all of our players room to grow and develop,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a statement. “While we believe that, moving forward, we will benefit from new leadership and new energy, that does not diminish how strongly we feel about Ron. He is a man of the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 01:40 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, ron roenicke

Former San Francisco Giants OF Hunter Pence announces retirement, ending 14-year MLB career

Veteran outfielder Hunter Pence announced his retirement Saturday, bringing an end to a 14-year MLB career.

“Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career, when you have say, ‘I am retiring from baseball,’” Pence said in a video on Twitter. “I’ve given it everything I possibly can, and the game has given back to me tenfold.”

Pence, 37, was designated for assignment in August by the San Francisco Giants after hitting .096 with two home runs and six RBIs in 52 at-bats this season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 11:59 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: hunter pence

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