Behold: The Brian Cashman-Theo Epstein Mutual Admiration Society

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Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein were at the same charity event on Tuesday night and they each talked about how great it is that they’re not competing head-to-head in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry anymore. Why?  Each of them are just too awesome for the other to handle!

“I was never able to totally relax because I felt like he was always lurking,” Epstein said. “He had a great sense of the marketplace.”

You know, like when he deftly assessed the marketplace for overused setup men and gave Rafael Soriano three-years and $35 million!  What say you, Brian?

“I found the Red Sox were constantly making the right choice, not the popular choice,” Cashman said.

Right choices like Carl Crawford for seven years and $142 million!  He’s dead-on about the not-popular choices, though. For example, no one likes the John Lackey deal.

Up next: a Cubs-Yankees trade that favors Chicago that causes Red Sox fans to claim vicarious victory over New York.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.