Nats’ draftee Zach Houchins is in Twitter trouble

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The Nats’ 15th round pick was a shortstop named Zach Houchins, who played for  Louisburg Junior College in North Carolina.  Mr. Houchins used to have a Twitter account, but he deleted it after people noticed that he had a bunch of inflammatory stuff on there.  A lesson Mr. Houchins was apparently not taught: deleting your Twitter account doesn’t really do anything because the Internet remembers everything.  Here are the tweets, captured by the Nats blog For Love of the Nationals.

He’s not my son, so I’m not going to lecture him, but the tweets come off as totally jerky at best, racist at worst.  According to Adam Kilgore, the Nationals are investigating the situation. My guess is that the investigation will really be the Nats monitoring how much of a sh*t storm this turns into. Which is pretty much how this sort of thing always goes.

Anyway, for those of you who are still unclear on the concept: Twitter is basically an open microphone hooked up to big ass Marshall amps set up on the public square of the biggest city on the planet. What you say there is going to be all over the place if anyone cares to look. Treat it as such.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.