Minions: stand down

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Jeff Pearlman wrote something reasonable and reflective over at his personal blog in the wake of this morning’s nonsense. Go read it.

Jeff: you have no need to apologize to me, though I do appreciate the gesture. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe and the last thing I think anyone should do is to hold back if they feel passionate about something. I don’t think you crossed any lines in what you wrote.

That said, I agree with a lot of the sentiment of Pearlman’s post.  I get into a lot of little scrapes like this because that’s just how I’m wired. I think Jeff does too, because that’s how he’s wired.  It happens. And it’s just sports, so it’s worth taking a moment for perspective once in a while.

I think Jeff and I still disagree pretty vehemently about a lot of issues, but it’s nice when people can disagree and be polite about it.  I don’t always succeed at that, and I’m not happy with myself when I don’t live up to the standards to which I aspire.  I think Jeff probably feels the same way.

(psst! Minions: please leave a number where you can be reached if I need you, OK?)

*And no, I have no idea if I’m Nixon or Mao in that pic. I just wanted a picture of a couple of people who could be civil with one another when necessary despite the worst parts of their nature and stuff. Please don’t read anything into it.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.