Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy will have a ride to Reds games this season

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You may remember that Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy recently asked for a favor. You see, because McCoy is legally blind, a friend has been driving him to and from Reds home games for the past five seasons. However, after his friend had to step aside for health reasons, McCoy took to his personal blog last month to see if someone was willing to take over. Fortunately, he didn’t have much trouble finding a replacement.

In a must-read column over at FOXSportsOhio.com, McCoy writes that he was overwhelmed by the response. He received a total of 437 offers at last count, including one applicant who was willing to move back from Dubai for the opportunity.

McCoy ultimately selected Ray Snedegar, a retired Air Force load master. The gig only pays 55 cents a mile and will require late nights and a 180-mile round trip, but Snedegar doesn’t mind.

When he saw my blog, Snedegar sent his email, “Because it would give me a chance to mix and mingle with a lot of new people after losing my wife. I love baseball and I love Hal’s writing.”

Here’s hoping that Snedegar and McCoy have a great summer.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.