D’Backs eyeing free agent first baseman Paul Konerko

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The free agent market will be fairly thin this winter, but that doesn’t mean the rumors won’t be flying.

Paul Konerko, a free agent, posted a stellar .312/.393/.584 batting line in 2010 with 39 home runs and 111 RBI.  The on-base and slugging percentages were career highs.

The White Sox never engaged in talks toward an extension with Konerko during the season, which indicates that they are prepared to let him walk.  And there will be no shortage of teams looking for a solid power bat.  In fact, one club has already thrown its hat in the ring.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Diamondbacks have expressed interest in the free agent and have made signing him an “offseason priority.”

Konerko grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and still makes his home there.  Turning 35 in March, he might be attracted by the idea of settling down near his home.  And playing in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field should suit him well.

If the D’Backs do sign Konerko, it probably means that Adam LaRoche will not be brought back.  He has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011 that comes with a $1.5 million buyout.

Yadier Molina leaves game after taking two foul balls to the mask

Associated Press
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The St. Louis Cardinals have been eliminated from contention for the NL Central crown and are hanging on by the thinnest of threads in the race for the second NL Wild Card, two and a half games back of the Rockies with the Brewers in between. Last night those dim playoff hopes took what may have been a fatal blow thanks to a couple of foul balls that knocked Yadier Molina out of the game and, possibly, out for the season.

In the seventh inning of last night’s Cubs-Cardinals game Molina took a Kris Bryant foul ball off of his mask. It sent him to his knees. He gathered himself, set back up and, on the very next pitch, took a second foul ball, right to the mask. He was much slower in rising that time and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny immediately — and wisely — pulled Molina from the game.

Molina is being monitored for a concussion. Whether he has one or not, prudence would dictate sitting him down for the rest of what are likely the Cardinals final six games of 2017.

Addison Russell delivered nachos to a Cardinals fan last night

Associated Press
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Last night, in the Cubs-Cardinals game in St. Louis, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell dove into the stands to catch a foul ball. As so often happens in such instances, a fan’s food got disrupted. Specifically, a plate of nachos. That’s sad, but as we learned last week, if you sit down close where there is no netting, you assume the risk of loss!

Russell, though, did the guy a solid. A couple of innings later when he came out for the bottom half, Russell delivered the fan a new plate of nachos. He even posed for a selfie with the guy. That’s beyond solid. Watch:

After the game Russell explained his actions, saying “You don’t want to get in front of a man and his nachos.” Especially that guy’s nachos. Good play Addison.