Quote of the Day: Rickey's Hall of Fame speech

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Rickey Henderson, on how he got started playing baseball:

When I was a kid in Oakland, Mr. Hank Thomas tricked me into playing
Babe Ruth baseball by coming to pick me up with a glazed doughnut and a
cup of hot chocolate. That was how he got me up and out of bed and to
the ballpark.

My first year in high school, my favorite sport was football. I
didn’t like baseball. But my counselor, Mrs. Wilkerson, bribed me into
playing baseball. She would pay me a quarter every time I would get a
hit, score a run or steal a base. After my first 10 games, I had 30
hits, 25 runs scored and 33 steals. Not bad money for a kid in high
school!

While his Hall of Fame induction speech wasn’t exactly polished you could tell that Henderson put a lot of time and effort
into both the content and delivery, and he delighted the Cooperstown
crowd with a very entertaining talk that included plenty of laughs,
many heartfelt thank yous, and even some gentle ribbing at Reggie
Jackson.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.