The Astros aren't always cheap

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Earlier this week I bashed the Astros for not letting people bring in outside food. That’s cheap in my mind, but this other thing they’re doing is the opposite of cheap. It’s actually pretty cool:

If the Astros have their way, the upper decks at Minute Maid Park will be filled with kids for the rest of the summer.

The team unveiled an unprecedented ticket promotion on Thursday in
which kids 14 years old and under can attend games for free in selected
seating areas until Aug. 23. Fans will receive two free tickets for
children with the purchase of each full price adult ticket purchased in
the Mezzanine, View Deck 1 or View Deck 2. The promotion, announced by
club owner Drayton McLane, is called “Kids Free All Summer.”

Tickets for this promotion go on sale at 10 AM Eastern today, both at the ballpark and at Astros.com.

As is evidenced by the food policy, not everyone gets everything right
all the time. But this one the Astros got right, and they deserve to be
applauded for it.

(thanks to reader aarcraft for the heads up)

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.