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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Bleier’

 

JML Update, Playoff edition

Posted on: October 16th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Once again, the NY Yankees find themselves in a 2-0 deficit following losses in Houston to start the American league Championship Series. Alex Bregman, batting eighth in the lineup, got one of the Astros’ six hits on Friday in their 2-1 win. The next day he was 0-for-2 with a walk as Houston won by the same score, this time snatching the victory in the bottom of the ninth behind the outstanding pitching of Justin Verlander, who went old school tossing a complete game five-hitter (Houston also manged just five hits) and striking out 13.

The venue changes to the Big Apple beginning tonight.

Meanwhile, the LA Dodgers added Joc Pederson to their roster following the sidelining of Cory Seeger. Pederson, who missed the NLDS, appeared as a defensive replacement in Saturday as the Dodgers beat the visiting Chicago Cubs, 5-2. Same thing the next day, only he had a chance to come to bat and produced a sacrifice in a 4-1 win thanks to a walk-off home run by Justin Turner. That series now moves to the Windy City.

In non-playoff news:

JML Update, games of 9/27/17

Posted on: September 28th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Alex Bregman singled, doubled (#38), and drove in a run as the Houston Astros (98-60) once again roughed up their intrastate rivals, the Texas Rangers, this time by a score of 12-2.  That was about the only highlight of the evening.

Richard Bleier gave up a hit in one scoreless inning of relief as the Baltimore Orioles (75-84) lost to the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-3.

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (75-84) fell to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 10-7.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-4 as the Milwaukee Brewers (83-75) were shut out, 6-0, by the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Ian Kinsler was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (62-96) lost to the host KC Royals, 7-4.

Joc Pederson flied out as a pinch-hitter as the LA Dodgers (102-57) beat the visiting San Diego Padres, 10-0. He remained in the game as the centerfielder.

Danny Valencia did not appear for the Seattle Mariners (77-82) in their 6-5 walk-off loss to the host Oakland As. Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis Cardinals (82-76) in their 5-1 loss to the visiting Chicago Cubs. Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (71-87) in their 7-1 loss to the host NY Mets. Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (99-59) in their 4-2 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins.

JML Update, Weekend Edition (Games of 9/22-24/17)

Posted on: September 25th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Can it really be that we’re down to the last week of the regular season? Where did the time go?

Ian Kinsler picked a bad time to get hot. Over the weekend, the second baseman was four-13, with a double (#35) and two home runs (#22), four RBIs, and three runs scored. But the Detroit Tigers (62-94) remained true to form for the season and dropped all three games to the visiting Minnesota Twins. Friday’s shot was another solo blast but his most recent came with two out in the bottom of the ninth yesterday, a — gasp — two-run shot to make the final score 10-4. Was this Kinsler’s last hurrah in a Tigers uni?

Oh, and that talk about Brad Ausmus returning in 2018? Forget it. But the NY Mets will be looking for a new skipper… Just sayin’. Can’t really blame the front office. He was given a good team a few years ago but things never really gelled, between poor performances and injuries. Of course, those happen to every team. The evidence of a good manager is dealing with it and still managing to win. Ausmus did a nice thing here by defending Kinsler’s disappointing season.

Alex Bregman was 2-for-10 with his 17th home run, a two-run blast in yesterday’s game that gave the Houston Astros (95-60) a temporary 2-1 lead in a game they would lose to the visiting LA Angels, 7-5. It was their only loss in the three-game set.

Ryan Braun was 4-for-13 with two doubles (26), two runs scored and an RBI as the Milwaukee Brewers (82-74) hurt their post-season chances by dropping two of three to the visiting Chicago Cubs. What does the future hold for him?

Kevin Pillar was 2-11 with his 37th double and 15th stolen base as the Toronto Blue Jays (73-83) took two of three from the visiting NY Yankees, winners of one of the AL Wild Card spots.

Joc Pederson was 1-for-1 with two walks as the LA Dodgers (99-57) beat the visiting San Francisco Giants yesterday, 3-1, taking two of their three games. It was his only outing on the weekend. He also stole his fourth base of the year.

Danny Valencia entered the Saturday game between his Seattle Mariners (75-81) and the visiting Cleveland Indians as a pinch runner, remaining in the game to play right field and first base (not at the same time). He was 0-for-1 with a walk in the 11-4 loss, his only appearance in the series, which concludes today

Richard Bleier appeared in back-to-back-to-back games for the Baltimore Orioles in their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, combining for 2.1 innings, two runs (unearned), three hits, and two strikeouts as the Os (75-82) lost two of three.

Ryan Sherriff‘s only appearance: 9/22 in which he gave up a run on one hit in one-third of an inning, recording a “K” for the out the St. Louis Cardinals (81-74) held off the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (98-58) in their weekend set against the Mariners. He did get into a game on the 20th, walking the only batter he faced against the Angels. Prior to that, Breslow had not been on the mound since Sept. 9.

Max Fried gets the start tonight for the Atlanta Braves who visit the Mets. He has not been in a game since Sept. 16, where he struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect inning against the Mets in Atlanta.

 

JML Update, Games of 9/18/17

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Only two Jewish hitters in action and both hit home runs.

Ian Kinsler blasted his MOT-leading 19th (another solo job) but the Detroit Tigers (62-88) fell to the visiting Oakland As, 8-3. Kinsler drove in another run with his 24th double, so he accounted for 67 percent of his team’s scoring.

Ryan Braun gave the Milwaukee Brewers (80-70) the only run they would need as they shut out the host Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-0. Braun’s 17th came in the fourth inning. He also singled and stole his 12th base.

Things were not so bright for Richard Bleier, who gave up a hit and was charged with a run without retiring a batter as the Baltimore Orioles (73-78) lost in 11 to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 10-8.

Joc Pederson did not appear for the LA Dodgers (96-54) in their 4-3 loss to the host Philadelphia Phillies.

Everyone else had the day off.

Just FYI, the Cleveland Indians (Craig Breslow) and Houston Astros (Alex Bregman) have clinched their divisions (AL Central and West, respectively) while the Dodgers, despite their MLB-best record, have just secured a spot in the post-season (NL West). Mathematically, the Brewers, Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays (Kevin Pillar), and St. Louis Cardinals (Ryan Sherriff) are all still alive for a Wild Card berth.

 

JML Update, Weekend edition (9/15-9/17, 2017)

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

NOTE: In the case of four-game series that began on Thursday, the numbers here cover only the games played Friday-Sunday.

Star honors for the weekend go to Ryan Braun, who was 5-for-13 with his 16th homer. He also had two doubles (24) and his second triple of the year. He drove in two, scored three, and walked twice as the Milwaukee Brewers (79-70) took two of three from the host Miami Marlins.

Ian Kinsler was 3-for-11 with two walks and two runs scored and his 14th stolen base as the Detroit Tigers  (62-87) split their four-game series with the visiting Chicago Cubs. Among the hits was his 23rd double of the year.

Kevin Pillar had just one hit in nine at-bats for the Toronto Blue Jays (70-80) but it was a home run (#16) and put his team on the scoreboard in an eventual 4-3 win over the host Minnesota Twins. Pillar also walked twice in that one and scored another run. All told, he struck out four times over the weekend. Now, I haven’t seen every great defensive play of the year, but I have a hard time believing none of Pillar’s web-gems were not worthy for consideration in this made-up award orgy.  Getting a bit tire of every single thing being “brought to you” or sponsored by some business entity.

Alex Bregman was 1-for-14 but  the Houston Astros (91-58) swept the visiting Seattle Mariners. Perhaps he’s still hobbled by that nagging hamstring injury. Danny Valencia‘s only appearance came as the starting first baseman in the middle game in which he was 0-for-1 with a walk before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Joc Pederson struck out two of the three times he came to bat between Friday’s and Saturday’s games. The LA Dodgers (96-53) won two of their three games against the host Washington Nationals.

Richard Bleier had a so-so weekend for the Baltimore Orioles (73-77), who lost three of four to the host NY Yankees. Bleier appeared twice, tossing two scoreless innings on Friday (two hits, including a home run, and two strikeouts) and retiring the only batter he faced on Sunday to earn his third hold.

Ryan Sherriff retired the only batter he faced for the St. Louis Cardinals (77-72) against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. The Cubs swept the three-game series.

The Cleveland Indians saw their winning streak stopped at 22 at the hands of the visiting KC Royals on Friday. Craig Breslow did not appear in that one. In fact, he hasn’t pitched since Sept. 9.

Max Fried did not appear for the Atlanta Braves (67-81), who dropped two of three to the visiting NY Mets.

JML Update, Weekend Edition (9/8-9/10/17)

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

It was a weekend of highs and lows for several of the boys.

Kevin Pillar experienced both: He hit into a triple play in the sixth inning of Friday’s game for the Toronto Blue Jays (66-77) in a 5-4 loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers (60-82). He was o-for-4 in that one. But baseball is said to be a game of redemption: Kinsler was 4-for-4 on Saturday with home run #15 as Jays turned the tables with a 5-4 victory of their own. On Sunday, Pillar had two more hits and another RBI in another Toronto win, this time by a more comfortable margin of 8-2.

Ian Kinsler was in the middle of that triple play, making the throw to first to nip Pillar. His home run in that one proved to be the difference. His 17th provided all the runs for the Tigers yesterday and was the first time all season that he went deep with a runner on base.

Also on the ups: Ryan Braun, who cracked career home run #300 in the first inning on Friday, providing all the runs the Milwaukee Brewers would get in their 2-0 shutout over the host Chicago Cubs. The Brewers (75-69) swept their three-game set to move two games behind the first place Cubbies. Braun was 0-for-3 on Saturday and 1-for-4 on Sunday with stolen base #10 for the year and 191 for his career which, combined with the 300 HRs, puts him in some sort of exclusive 300/180 club to hear the announcers in the clip talk. (I probably should have led with Braun’s milestone, but I had the early shift at work and I’m too tired and lazy to rearrange.)

Max Fried did not fare too well in his second start for the Atlanta Braves (64-78). He allowed four runs (three earned) in 3.2 innings against the visiting Miami Marlins, giving up six hits  — including Giancarlo Stanton’s 54th home rune — and walking one while striking out three. The Braves won on a walk-off walk so Fried was not saddled with a loss. By the way, the Braves won the next night on a three-run walk-off home run, which allowed the Washington Nationals to clinch the NL East title.

Ryan Sherriff picked up the first hold off his career on Friday, giving up a hit and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning as the St. Louis Cardinals (75-68, tied with the Brewers) beat the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-1. It was his only outing of the weekend.

Richard Bleier pitched twice for the Baltimore Orioles (71-72), who got caught in the Cleveland Indians rip saw. The Tribe (87-56) has won 18 in a row, including this weekend’s sweep of the visiting O’s. Bleier totaled 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and striking out one. Craig Breslow picked up his first hold of the year, retiring the only batter he faced in the middle game of the series.

As well as the Indians have been playing, the LA Dodgers (91-52) have been that bad. They lost their tenth straight and fifteenth out of the last 16 by dropping their series to the visiting Colorado Rockies. Joc Pederson started two consecutive games for the first time in a while, but he was 0-for-7 with a two walks (including one as a pinch-hitter yesterday). It’s only because of the huge success they had early on that the Dodgers still have the best record in the Majors.

The Houston Astros (86-57) have also struggled over the past several weeks, but not to the Dodgers’ extent. They dropped their four-game series (including a Saturday double-header) to the Oakland As with Alex Bregman sitting out Friday’s contest as he nursed a hamstring injury which some thought would mean the end of his season. But he came back for the next three, going 3-for-11 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and two RBIs.

Danny Valencia appeared in only the middle game of the Seattle Mariners’ meetings with the visiting LA Angels. He was 0-for-3 with a walk. The Mariners (71-72) took two of the three games.

 

 

JML Update, Games of 7/5/17

Posted on: September 6th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Kevin Pillar had a single and double (#34) and scored a run in seven at-bats as the Toronto Blue Jays (64-75) lost to the host Boston Red Sox, 3-2, in 19 innings. The winning single was hit in Pillar’s direction but there was no superhuman effort in this story and his throw was unable to nab the game-winner at the plate. I was actually watching the last several innings, the product of insomnia.

Alex Bregman got the Houston Astros (85-53) on the scoreboard with a sacrifice fly in the third inning and was hitless in three official at-bats. The outfield fly didn’t miss being a rand slam by much in Justin Verlander’s debut for the Astros, who held off the host Seattle Mariners (69-70), 3-1. Danny Valencia did not appear for the Ms.

kinslerIan Kinsler (left) was 1-for-4 with a run scored as the Detroit Tigers (59-79) crossed the plate seven times in the second en route to a 13-2 drubbing of the visiting KC Royals. He came out for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. Kinsler’s future with the Tigers is up in their air. Reports are that he wants to be back in 2018, but the team seems to be willing to part with the 35-year-old second baseman as they rebuild. On the other hand, they could use his veteran leadership as they do. One also has to wonder about the future of manager Brad Ausmus, who has not had great success since he was hired.

Same box score line for Ryan Braun with a different result: the Milwaukee Brewers (72-67) lost to the host Cincinnati Reds, 9-2. He also walked and stole his ninth base. Braun remains one home run shy of the 300 mark.

Richard Bleier gave up an unearned run on one hit as the Baltimore Orioles (71-68) came back from a 6-1 deficit to beat the visiting NY Yankees, 7-6, on Manny Machado’s two-run walk off homer. It was his second long-ball of the night in a game that was delayed by rain for more than two hours because of rain.

Craig Breslow did not appear for the Cleveland Indians (82-56) who beat the host Chicago White Sox, 9-4, for their 13th consecutive victory. Ryan Sherriff did not appear for the St. Louis cardinals (71-67) in their 8-4 win over the host San Diego Padres. The meeting between the Texas Rangers and host Atlanta Braves was postponed by rain so nothing for Max Fried, who’s already being touted as the next Tom Glavine? Please.

The LA Dodgers (92-46) recalled beleaguered outfielder Joc Pederson yesterday. They lost, 3-1, to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, their fifth straight defeat and ninth in their last 10.

JML Update, games of 8/31/17

Posted on: September 1st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Yesterday was the deadline for trades that would qualify players to appear in the post-season. The Detroit Tigers made a couple of big deals, parting ways with their ace Justin Verlander and outfielder Justin Upton, but Ian Kinsler remains mired with the last-place team, which was idle last night. There’s still a better-than-average chance that Kinsler will be dealt after the season.

Verlander joins Alex Bregman and the first-place Houston Astros (80-53), who beat the visiting Texas Rangers, 5-1. Bregman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI, and his 15th stolen base. As noted on RotoBaller.com, “Bregman has had an excellent month of August, slashing .339/.392/.587 with three triples, four stolen bases, five home runs, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 19 runs batted in.”

Kevin Pillar drove in a pair with his 32nd double — his second hit of the game — as the Toronto Blue Jays (62-72) beat the host Baltimore Orioles (68-66), 8-6. Richard Bleier saw his eight-game scoreless streak come to an end, but only after he stopped the bleeding in the fifth when the Jays scored five times. He allowed one run on one hit in the sixth, but that was only because Mychal Givens, who relieved him, gave up a homer to Kendrys Morales, so not totally Bleier’s fault.

Ryan Braun joined the RBI parade, plating his on a sacrifice fly as the Milwaukee Brewers (70-64) beat the visiting Washington Nationals, 6-3. Braun had one hit in three official at-bats and scored a run.

September begins the month where rosters can expand to 40 players so teams generally promote their top prospects. Joc Pederson is in somewhat of a limbo and will not be rejoining the LA Dodgers, at least not immediately. But Maybe the Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves — two teams in the doldrums — will bring back pitchers Brad Goldberg and Max Fried, respectively. Neither of them enjoyed great success in their initial outings.

Shameless self-promotion time: My latest interview on the Hank Greenberg book, courtesy Nathan Bierma, host of the Tigers History podcast.

 

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JML Update, Games of 8/30/17

Posted on: August 31st, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

Ryan Braun hit his 21st double in four at-bats as the Milwaukee Brewers (69-64) held off the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5. Keon Broxton made a home run-saving catch to end the game, but I think the announcers got a little too enthusiastic. The hit would have given the Cards (66-66) a 7-6 lead, but since the Brewers were the home team, they would have had one more shot at a victory, so calling the effort a “game-saver” is not necessarily so.

Ryan Sherriff did his job for St. Louis, retiring the only batter he faced to end the three-run rally in the sixth that gave the Brewers the lead.

Danny Valencia struck out as a pinch-hitter then struck out again when he remained in the game as the Seattle Mariners (68-66) dropped this one to the host Baltimore Orioles (68-65), 8-7. Richard Bleier retired the only batter he faced, picking up his second “hold” of the year. One of these days I’m going to opine on Keith Law’s excellent book, Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball to let you know how silly some of these categories are.

Craig Breslow completed the fine day by Jewish relievers, giving up one hit in one inning to help the Cleveland Indians (75-56) en route to a three-game sweep of the host NY Yankees, 9-4, in the first game of a regular doubleheader, i.e., not one of those two-admission money grabs that are the norm these days.

Kevin Pillar was 1-for-4 as the Toronto Blue Jays (61-72) lost to the visiting Boston Red Sox, 7-1.

Alex Bregman was o-for-4 for the Houston Astros (79-53), who lost to the visiting Texas Rangers, 8-1. Actually both teams are “visiting” Tropicana field in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Ian Kinsler did not appear for the Detroit Tigers (58-74) in their 6-2 win over the host Colorado Rockies.

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JML Update, Weekend Edition (8/25-27/2017)

Posted on: August 28th, 2017 by Ron Kaplan

Let’s start with pitching for a change.

Welcome, Ryan Sherriff, who had a darned good debut for the St. Louis Cardinals (66-65) on Friday in a 5-1 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. Sherriff — who toiled in the minors for seven years — came on in the 7-3 loss, tossing three shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out four. Sadly, there’s no clips from MLB.com to mark the occasion but there are these, including an interview with his mother, Renee.

 

Stats courtesy JewishBaseballNews.com

And welcome back, Craig Breslow. The veteran lefty was called up by his new team, the Cleveland Indians (75-53) and pitched one inning (two strikeouts) in yesterday’s 12-0 win over the visiting KC Royals, completing a three-game sweep.

Richard Bleier appeared in all three games for the Baltimore Orioles (65-65), who completed a three-game sweep over the host Boston Red Sox. Bleier pitched one inning on Friday with one walk; retired the only batter he faced on Saturday; and walked the only batter he faced yesterday.

Now for the batters…

Ian Kinsler accounted for the Detroit Tigers’ only run in yesterday’s 5-1 loss to the host Chicago White Sox. His 14th of the season came to open the eighth inning and his only hit in three official at-bats ( he also walked). Kinsler was 1-for-8 with another RBI, run scored, and stolen base (#13) as the Tigers (56-73) dropped two of three to the Sox. Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus was one of the Tigers suspended for his part in the recent brawls with the NY Yankees and he’s not taking any guff from Joe Girardi.

Alex Bregman was 5-for-13 — all singles — with a run scored and his 14th stolen base as the Houston Astros (79-51) took two of three from the host LA Angels.

Kevin Pillar was 3-for-9 in the first two games as the Toronto Blue Jays (61-69) hosted the Minnesota Twins. His line also includes a run scored and an RBI.

Danny Valencia appeared in all three games for the Seattle Mariners (66-65) who dropped to of their three games to the host NY Yankees. He was 0-for-5, splitting time between first base and right field on Friday, in a 2-1, 10-inning win that was decided by a pinch-hit home run by Yonder Alonso, the man who basically replaced him in the lineup. Valencia entered the next game in the eighth as a pinch-hitter himself, doubling and scoring a run in a 6-3 loss. He was called out on strikes in the ninth to end the festivities. He also ended Sunday’s game, flying out as a pinch-hitter in a 10-1 loss abetted by five Mariners’ errors.

Ryan Braun was hitless over the weekend, 0-for-9 with three strikeouts as the Milwaukee Brewers (68-63) took two of three from the host LA Dodgers, who lost their first series since June. Funny how wrong this preview was about Ryan’s prowess at Dodger Stadium.

The Atlanta Braves sent down pitcher Max Fried, but he’ll probably be back soon. In the meantime, the Atlanta Jewish Times posted this article on his roots.

As you may know, the last three days was set up as “Players’ Weekend.” The teams had special uniforms that bore the nicknames of most of the athletes. Many had special cleats designed which will ostensibly be auctioned off as a fundraiser. Some were inspired, others not so much. Of course, the cynic in me cannot let this go without a snarky comment. IMO, this was just another money grab, as fans will no doubt flock to buy replica Jersey with these nicknames. These unis were not especially attractive either. It also gives a bit of marketing power to those companies who provide the cleats and other equipment for the players for this weekend.

Here’s a list of the nicknames for the JMLs, via MLB.com. Some names are missing either because they’re new to their team or, in the case of Joc Pederson and Scott Feldman, are not currently with theirs. :

Alex Bregman: “A-Breg”
Mashing up the first initial of a first name and first syllable of a surname are common these days, as Bregman shows.
Tribute patch: Brady — Brady is Bregman’s Godson, who has autism.

Kevin Pillar: “Pill”
Pillar’s usual “Superman” nickname was unavailable due to it being trademarked, so Pillar went with a variation of his name. He says he’ll still be able to wear Superman cleats for Players Weekend, along with cleats he intends to use to raise money for a charity cause of his choice.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad — Pillar says his parents are a big reason he’s made the Majors, and he wanted to pay tribute to them.

Ryan Braun: “OCHO”
Fans of the film “Dodgeball” will recognize the reference to No. 8.
Tribute patch: Mom, Dad & Steve — Steve, his younger brother, was an infielder in the Brewers’ organization from 2008-10.

Danny Valencia: Last name
Valencia chose to use his last name, because he said he really doesn’t have a creative nickname.
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Valencia said that he will pay tribute to his Mom and Dad, as they paved a way for him and sacrificed to allow him to chase his dreams.

Richard Bleier: Using last name
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad
Bleier’s father, Lawrence, is from the Bronx and grew up playing stickball. His mother is named Kathy. Both had a major impact on his baseball career, which started at South Plantation High School in Plantation, Fla.

Ian Kinsler: “Bootsie”
Kinsler’s nickname comes from his 2007 season in Texas. He missed a month with a stress fracture in his foot, and when then-manager Ron Washington spotted him in a walking boot, he nicknamed him. “When I got here, we got David Price and then he started calling me that,” Kinsler said. “I don’t know how he found out about it.”
Tribute patch: Mom and Dad — Kinsler’s father got him into Little League baseball in Tucson, Arizona, when he was 9 years old. His parents drove him back and forth to games.

 

 

   
 

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