Autographed baseballs bringing out the worst in people, Part II

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Following up on that post about the autographed Derek Jeter baseballs is a link to another story about how memorabilia is pretty much awful. The story involves a deceased father’s extensive autographed baseball collection and the fight to inherit it by his two adult-yet-totally-childish sons, each of whom claims ownership.

The dead father, by the way, was on the board of the Chicago White Sox, so proximity to ballplayers meant that this is a big, big collection.

The worst thing about all of this, however, is not the fight between the sons. Nor is it about the peril of improper estate planning.  No, the worst thing about it is how one of the sons’ thefts of autographed baseballs was explained via a totally gratuitous swipe at Ray Durham, who I always kinda liked:

A closer look revealed that someone had taken another ball and secretly replaced it with a ball signed by Ray Durham, a former second baseman for the White Sox and other teams. Durham is a friend of the Pogofsky family, but his career .277 batting average did not merit his autographed ball sitting among balls signed by the game’s most legendary players.

The Durham ball “is worth, like $5,” Benjamin Pogofsky said.

Ray Durham, thankfully, could not be reached for comment.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.

The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.

Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.

Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.