Torn oblique muscle looks likely to end Jim Edmonds' career

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Last week Jim Edmonds indicated that he plans to retire after the season and now it sounds like the 40-year-old outfielder may have already played his final game.
Edmonds is on the disabled list with an oblique injury that was originally listed as a strain, but he revealed yesterday that it’s actually a torn muscle:

I’m trying, but I have to let it heal. I don’t really know the timetable right now. The swelling has finally come down, it’s not as bad moving around. It’s coming along. I’ve never really had a muscle tear before. I tried throwing the other day, but I couldn’t. I’ll try again in the next couple of days and see how it goes.

Edmonds hit very well in a part-time role for the Brewers, batting .286/.350/.493 with eight homers and 21 doubles in 240 plate appearances, but played just nine games for the Reds after they acquired him for Chris Dickerson last month.
If he’s indeed finished Edmonds ends his career ranked sixth all time among center fielders with 391 homers, and also ranks eighth in slugging percentage, 10th in OPS, and 11th in RBIs and walks. Toss in eight Gold Glove awards and that seems like a pretty obvious Hall of Fame resume to me–Edmonds is seventh among all center fielders in Wins Above Replacement–but my guess is that he’ll garner little support when it comes time for the writers to actually vote.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.