UPDATE: Jerry Hairston joins brother in San Diego

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UPDATE: Hairston is officially a Padre, agreeing to a one-year, $2.125 million deal.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that free agent utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. is “closing in” on a contract to join his younger brother Scott in San Diego.

Hairston would make more than $2 million with the Padres, according to
Rosenthal, and is expected to play a super-utility role with the club.
Last weekend, Hairston was linked to joining his brother Scott in Oakland. Of course, this was before Scott was re-acquired by the Padres this weekend as part of the Kevin Kouzmanoff deal.

Hairston, who turns 34 in May, batted .251/.315/.394 with 10 home runs, 34 RBI and seven stolen bases in 383 at-bats between the Reds and World Champion Yankees last season, appearing at all three outfield positions, second base, shortstop and third base.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.