The Red Sox lottery game is outrageously lucrative

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Remember back in March when I used the Red Sox scratchoff lottery game to unleash a big anti-lottery screed?  At the time I said I’d provide updates as warranted. That was kind of snarky, actually, but today we have a good reason to update anyway:  the Massachusetts lottery has now brought in $1 billion in revenue as a result of Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins-themed lottery games.

A little over 10% of that has gone towards local aid to Massachusetts municipalities.  A large chunk — they won’t say how much — has gone to the teams as licensing fees.  As is made clear in the article, the purpose of the announcement, while ostensibly to say how much money the lottery has brought in, was really about allowing the lottery commissioner/gubernatorial candidate to get some face time with the big team owners.

I still think the whole thing stinks for all the reasons I said back in March.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.