Illinois legislator wants the White Sox out of Arizona

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Arizona outline.jpgAn Illinois legislator is calling for the Chicago White Sox to move
their spring training camp out of Arizona because he objects to Arizona’s new immigration law. The lawmaker — Martin Sandoval — says that it encourages racial profiling and that he doesn’t want to keep spending taxpayers’ money on a team that continues
doing business in Arizona.

Politicians grandstanding on such issues is pretty par for the course, so I’ll no more criticize an out-of-state legislator from taking this position than I would criticize the cat for eating my potted lillies. It’s annoying but inevitable and ultimately unstoppable so it’s best to just ignore it.

But the White Sox’ response is interesting:

“We feel it would be inappropriate for the Chicago White Sox to comment
independently on a national, major league-wide issue, one which would
impact more than just the White Sox,” team spokesman Scott Reifert said.
“Obviously, we enjoy a wonderful partnership with the city of
Glendale.”

And it is a major league-wide issue. Which Bud Selig and Major League Baseball seems not to want acknowledge whatsoever. Which is fine in the abstract, but not fine given that its most important constituencies — the players’ union and the individual teams — are (a) taking positions on it; and (b) getting beat up about it.

And the longer major league baseball waits to make some official statement
on the Arizona immigration law, the more we’ll see of this sort of
thing.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

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.