Satch vs. the Yankee Clipper

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Not that you need any other reasons to hate the fact that baseball was segregated for so long, but this one will make you fall into a debilitating “what if?” spiral:

Joe
DiMaggio was a prospect, a promising one for sure, but he still was two
months shy of making his New York Yankees spring-training debut. Leroy
“Satchel” Paige was a Negro Leagues pitching sensation whose exploits
seemed the stuff of myth until they actually were seen.

On a
Sunday afternoon, Jan. 26, 1936, at the Oaks Ball Park in Emeryville,
the two future Hall of Famers crossed paths in a fascinating but seldom
told chapter of their legendary careers.

Click through to Jeff Faraudo’s great story to see what happened. It’s enough to make you wonder what Paige in a Giants or Cubs jersey in the 30s and 40s would have been like.

Stupid history.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.