John Kibler, former ump dies, gets lame sendoff by the AP

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John Kibler was a Korean War veteran, a former New York State patrolman and a major league umpire for more than 25 years. In that capacity, he worked the World Series four times. He was married to Mrs. Kibler for more than 50 years and had a couple of sons who I assume are fine, upstanding young me in their communities.

Quite a life. More than a lot of us will ever do. Which makes me wonder why the Associated Press chose this particular headline to mark his recent passing:

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This is like writing an obit about the former police chief with a headline that references the fact that he stood behind the mayor during an interesting speech that one time.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.