Nelson Cruz

Is Nelson Cruz “selfish” for not appealing is suspension?

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A quick talking point coming out in the wake of Nelson Cruz deciding not to appeal his suspension is that he is being selfish:

Go search for “Cruz selfish” on Twitter to see hundreds of other similar comments.

As I mentioned before, yes, there is self-interest at play here. But are we really going to go down the “Nelson Cruz is selfish” rabbit hole here as a character judgment as opposed to merely a descriptor of motivations? I mean, you can go there if you want — it’s a free country — but I feel like doing so is likely to tie a person in knots.

A-Rod is appealing, as far as we know. He’s been widely described as selfish (among other things). Now Cruz is not appealing and he’s selfish too. Ryan Braun didn’t appeal his discipline and he’s … what, exactly? Before you answer, note that he’s been described as evil incarnate for appealing his positive PED test last year.

It’s almost like people are going to call these guys names no matter what they do. And sure, maybe they deserve some name-calling since they are rule-breakers. But let us not pretend that you weren’t gonna call them names before they chose what they were going to do with their appeal, OK?

The Nationals acquire Marc Rzepczynski from the Athletics

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25:  Marc Rzepczynski #35 of the Oakland Athletics throws against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.

Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.

On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.

 

Video: Minor leaguer dives over the wall to rob a home run

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Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.

Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: