Link-O-Rama: Hall sentenced to 45 years in prison

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* Former Yankees, Indians, Cubs, and Giants outfielder Mel Hall has been sentenced to 45 years in prison after being convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl who he coached on a basketball team.

The 48-year-old Hall, who has also been accused of carrying on inappropriate relationships with several other children, will be eligible for parole in 22.5 years.

* It’s probably not a great sign that A.J. Hinch is holding a team meeting 36 games into his managerial career. As Ozzie Guillen put it last week: “Good teams win games. Bad teams have meetings.”

* Also not a good sign for a manager: Cleveland’s most prominent sports columnist is wondering if Eric Wedge has “reached his limit with floundering Tribe.”

* Chipper Jones is happy
that John Smoltz’s altered comeback timetable has him avoiding the
Braves in his second start. Instead of facing his former teammates,
Smoltz will start against the Orioles after getting the Nationals in
his Red Sox debut next Thursday.

* After eight straight Republican victories, the Democrats finally won the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park last night.

Carlos Gomez doesn’t see any need to apologize for walk-off homer celebration

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On Sunday, Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez hit a walk-off home run against the Twins. He was very fired up about his accomplishment and celebrated:

The Twins have already gotten upset with a player for bunting while Jose Berrios worked on a one-hit shutout. No one on the Twins said anything about Gomez’s antics, but even if they had, Gomez wouldn’t have felt any need to apologize, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Gomez said, “It’s something I know a lot of people are talking good about this, that baseball needs more of that. And some people say it’s not good. If enjoying and having fun in baseball is bad, I’m guilty.”

He added, “I was not trying to disrespect anybody. I was not looking to the other side, not looking at the ball. I was looking at my guys.”

Gomez also said that baseball is “getting a little boring.” His advice? “Enjoy it. Have fun. It’s competition.”

Can’t argue with that.