No Yankees showed up at Bob Sheppard's funeral. Is this really an issue?

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Bill Madden’s Daily News column about Bob Sheppard’s funeral mass is headlined “Yankees a no-show at Bob Sheppard’s funeral, an act George
Steinbrenner wouldn’t have stood for.”  He doesn’t hit it quite as hard as that in the column, but he does make a couple of references to how it was a shame that no Yankees players showed up.

I suppose it’s somewhat curious, what with the Yankees having a day off yesterday and everything, but I’m having a hard time getting worked up about it. For one thing, Madden himself notes that, while there was certainly respect for Sheppard among just about everyone, Sheppard wasn’t at all close with players.  He interacted with them on pronunciation matters and if they went to mass with him, but it’s not like there were personal relationships there.

And of course we have no idea what the family’s wishes were. Isn’t it entirely possible that they had requested that things be kept relatively tame? Brian Cashman and a small Yankees delegation was there, but by all accounts Sheppard had a full and fulfilling private life away from the Yankees, so maybe whoever planned the funeral wanted to make it a smaller affair and the word circulated the the Yankees delegation was sufficient?  Would anyone want the paparazzi who follows A-Rod around to be standing outside of the church?

My take on it is that unless we get some upset quotes from someone in Sheppard’s family about it — which, if personal decorum is inherited, would never, ever happen — this is a non-issue.

Yoenis Cespedes: “I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland”

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Yoenis Cespedes told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants to finish his career with the Athletics, according to an exclusive interview released on Friday. The Mets’ 31-year-old outfielder praised Oakland manager Bob Melvin, telling Slusser, “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin” and adding that while he didn’t know if a return to Oakland would be possible, his love for the city had not faded.

Melvin, for his part, said he wasn’t surprised that the slugger wants another go-round with his first major league club, even if only as a final hurrah. Cespedes hit well over two and a half seasons with the A’s, compiling a cumulative .262/.318/.470 batting line from 2012 to 2014 and enjoying two postseason runs with the club before he was traded for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes in 2014.

There’s been relatively little for Cespedes to complain about since his departure from Oakland, of course: he turned in a career-best performance in 2015, slashing .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 6.7 fWAR in back-to-back gigs with the Tigers and Mets, and netted a whopping three-year, $75 million contract prior to the 2016 season. Still, there’s something special about the A’s, as the slugger relayed to teammate Jerry Blevins:

I told Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.

Whether or not Cespedes gets his wish, it’s unlikely he’ll pursue any kind of deal with the A’s for the time being. He’s still owed $23.75 million in 2017 and 2018 and isn’t scheduled to hit free agency until 2019.

Brewers sell Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes

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The Brewers offloaded outfielder Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement on Friday. Choice signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in early May, but did not earn a major league stint in 11 weeks with the team.

It’s been two full years since the 27-year-old outfielder snagged a big league opportunity of any kind. He last appeared with the Rangers in 2015 and played in just one game, striking out in his only at-bat. His production rate sagged through three consecutive minor league assignments with the Indians, Orioles and Brewers and peaked in 2016 after slashing .246/.304/.456 with 14 home runs for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus. He was off to a decent start this season for the Brewers’ Double-A Biloxi, working a .272/.349/.503 batting line with nine home runs and an .852 OPS through his first 195 PA.

Choice is poised to join several other ex-major leaguers on the Heroes’ roster, including left-hander Andy Van Hekken, right-hander Jake Brigham and infielder/outfielder Danny Dorn.

6:43 PM: Danny Dorn no longer plays for the Nexen Heroes, as he was released to clear roster space for Choice.