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.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.