Great Moments in Changing One’s Mind

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In 2011, right after Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice, Jon Heyman had this to say about Barry Bonds:

While I do believe Bonds took steroids, I don’t believe all steroid users should be excluded from the Hall of Fame. I’m not here to sit in moral judgment of another human being.

I was rather surprised at that when it happened, but was quite pleased too, lauding him for his sensible take.

Heyman did not cast a ballot for Barry Bonds in this year’s election, however, saying he “didn’t want to reward the cheats.” He went on Twitter last night to congratulate his colleagues for taking a stand against the steroid guys too, quite proud of barring the doors to the Hall of Fame to the likes of Barry Bonds.

Everyone is entitled to change their mind, of course. Indeed, the worst thing is for someone to make up their mind once about something and never reconsider it again. Facts on the ground change, people mature and their opinions change. We should always revisit or conclusions and test our convictions about things lest we turn into stubborn, calcified stumps.

But I’m not sure what happened in the past 21 months to change Heyman’s so thoroughly about Barry Bonds, and he has done nothing to explain why, in April 2011 Bonds was a Hall of Famer in his eyes and in December 2012 he couldn’t abide the thought.

Report: Braves extend Kurt Suzuki

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Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.

Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.

It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.

“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”

Mikie Mahtook is likely done for the season

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Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.

This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.

With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.