Ron Washington is past the cocaine scandal and appears to be thriving

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The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner catches up with Ron Washington, indirect author of one of the offseason’s most sensational stories.

The biggest takeaway: it sounds like, if anything, the experience has made the Rangers’ team cohesion stronger than it was. The players have rallied around Washington, actually. Which isn’t necessarily surprising. Washington is almost universally well-liked in baseball circles.  When you have that sort of goodwill in your back pocket, you’re given a greater benefit of the doubt.

Washington has paid for his transgression — Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels says that they were considering extending him last season but did not, in large part because of the cocaine thing — but he may just yet get to beat it. All he has to do is win. Which is what every manager has to do.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.