Baseball and Bud to stay together for six more years

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No, not Selig, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did too. Bud as in Budweiser:

Budweiser and baseball, two American staples whose history can be traced back to the late 1800s, will continue to go hand-in-hand. Anheuser-Busch and Major League Baseball Properties today announced a six-year renewal of the sponsorship agreement that designates Budweiser as the Official Beer Sponsor of Major League Baseball, continuing a relationship that has lasted more than 30 years.

Sorry hipsters, your trappist/craft/home brew/fancy IPA whatever just missed the cut.  Meanwhile, baseball will continue to tolerate the Miller incursion in places like Milwaukee and Detroit. Colorado? Oh boy, we have no idea what to do with you.

In all seriousness, though, the Bud-baseball thing is quite something. They sponsor practically everything in baseball, from player of the month awards, playoff games (they’re sponsoring this year’s new play-in wild card game) and lots of other things. It’s almost to the point where the baseball-Bud partnership is so deep that one wonders if, perversely, it’s almost too good. Like, is the Bud logo on so many baseball things and vice-versa that you don’t really even see it anymore. I’m sure some marketing person could tell me if that’s actually a thing.

If so, maybe there is room for Olde Comp-le-cated Imperial Lentil Soup Stout to forge some kind of partnership with baseball. Because there’s nothing like drinking away a hot day at the ballpark with that sort of thing.

Watch: Ryan Goins tags Todd Frazier with the hidden ball trick

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The Yankees are facing a convoluted path to the postseason, and they didn’t do themselves any favors after Todd Frazier fell for Ryan Goins‘ hidden ball trick in the third inning of Friday’s series opener. With one out and Frazier on second base, Jacoby Ellsbury skied a deep fly ball to right field, where it was caught by Jose Bautista just shy of the warning track and tossed back to Goins at second. Goins faked the throw to Marco Estrada, then sneakily (or not so sneakily, depending on your vantage point) gloved the ball and caught Frazier off the bag for the third out.

Of course, it helped that Frazier’s back was turned during the throw, so Goins’ fake-out may not have been as obvious as it was when the Yankees reviewed the tape several minutes later.

Goins earned another spot on the highlight reel in the sixth inning, mashing his second grand slam of the season while Frazier — and the rest of the Yankees’ offense, sans one home-run-record-slaying Aaron Judge — scrambled to catch up. The Yankees currently trail the Blue Jays 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and will need to pull off a comeback (and hope the Astros and Athletics clinch their respective games) before they can lay claim to a playoff spot.

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.