It’s bombs away off Bronson Arroyo

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The Brewers have already hit three homers in three innings off Bronson Arroyo, with Prince Fielder going deep in the second and Mark Kotsay and Ryan Braun delivering back-to-back shots in the third.  That makes 43 homers allowed by Arroyo this season.

Arroyo is now tied for sixth on the all-time single-season homers allowed list:

1. Bert Blyleven: 50 (271 2/3 IP, 1986 Twins)
2. Jose Lima: 48 (196 1/3 IP, 2000 Astros)
3. Bert Blyleven: 46 (267 IP, 1987 Twins)
3. Robin Roberts: 46 (297 1/3 IP, 1956 Phillies)
5. Jamie Moyer: 44 (202 IP, 2004 Mariners)
6. Bronson Arroyo: 43 (178 2/3 IP, 2011 Reds)
6. Eric Milton: 43 (201 IP, 2004 Phillies)
6. Pedro Ramos: 43 (231 IP, 1957 Senators)
9. Denny McLain: 42 (264 1/3 IP, 1966 Tigers)
10. Rick Helling: 41 (219 1/3 IP, 1999 Rangers)
10. Phil Niekro: 41 (342 IP, 1979 Braves)
10. Robin Roberts: 41 (305 IP, 1955 Phillies)

Blyleven (in both cases), Niekro, Helling and Roberts (in the latter case) all had good seasons while giving up all those homers.  Arroyo’s season, though, is right there with Lima’s for the worst on the list.  Lima was 7-16 with a 6.65 ERA in a high-offense era.  Arroyo has a 5.39 ERA at the moment.

On a per-inning bases, Lima’s 2000 season above is the only one that ranks above Arroyo as far as home run rate.  Arroyo is giving up .241 homers per inning.  Lima allowed .244.

Update: Arroyo stayed in until the seventh and gave up one more homer, that to George Kottaras.  It gave him 44 for the season, leaving him tied for fifth place all-time.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.