Jim Leyland will take his shirt off for charity

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Dana Wakiji of the Detroit News files this report from Curtis Granderson’s charity event:

The highlight of the evening was the live bachelor auction. Comedian
Jeff Dye, a third-place finisher on Season 6 of NBC’s “Last Comic
Standing,” did a quick set of comedy before serving as auctioneer for
bachelors Granderson, [Edwin] Jackson and [Ryan] Perry. Dye mentioned
that Jackson, like Perry, had tattoos. Jackson’s tattoos could only be
revealed by removing his shirt, so he asked his manager’s permission.

“You take your shirt off, I’ll take mine off,” [Jim] Leyland yelled
from the middle of the room. Jackson obliged by removing his shirt and
showing off his tattooed back and arms. He then demanded his manager
keep his word. Leyland came up to the stage and said he would remove
his shirt as long as the picture did not end up on TV or in the
newspaper.

And in what may be the greatest triumph of journalistic ethics in the
history of mankind, photos of a shirtless, 65-year-old, chain-smoking
Jim Leyland have indeed not shown up online. You can see all the Edwin
Jackson back tattoos you want, though.

Report: Braves sign Kurt Suzuki

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Minnesota Twins hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.

Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.