Looking at the bad guys in “42”

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Rob Neyer is at his absolute best when he’s writing historically. He has a tremendously large baseball library and, it appears anyway, he either has most of it memorized or at least painstakingly indexed.  Yesterday he used that brain and those tools to put together a great column. The subject: the stories behind the players and coaches in the movie “42” who served as the movie’s villains.

For what it’s worth, the movie got their roles down pretty good as far as these things go. But even though a lot of historical drama amps up the bad guy factor to comical proportions, even with real life figures, Rob notes that the makers of “42” seemed to avoid that for the most part.

Like I said, great stuff. Well, except for the part where he claims that the actor who played Wash in “Firefly” wasn’t handsome. That one just hurt. I hope Zoe doesn’t read this.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.

Rays activate Kevin Kiermaier

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The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.

Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.