Rangers planning Shannon Stone statue

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The Rangers will honor firefighter Shannon Stone with a statue set to be unveiled next year.

The statue, which is tentatively set to be named Rangers Fans, will feature Stone along with his 6-year-old son, Cooper.  The two were at the game together when Shannon Stone tumbled over a Rangers Ballpark railing catching a thrown ball from Josh Hamilton and fell to his death.

“We feel that this statue will be a most fitting tribute,” Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said in a press release. “It will not only serve to honor Mr. Stone’s memory but also to recognize Rangers fans and baseball fans everywhere.

“I have discussed the project with Jenny Stone, and she and the Stone family will be involved in the design and creation of the statue.”

Jenny Stone issued the following statement:

We continue to be appreciative of Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers as we deal with the loss of Shannon. Shannon and Cooper had a special relationship, and we are touched and grateful that it will be memorialized at one of their favorite places. Our hope is that this statue will not be a symbol of our family tragedy but rather a reminder of the importance of a family’s love – love of each other, love of spending time together, and love of the game.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.