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Must-click link: The Tigers do a fan and his kids a solid

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I follow Mike Gentz on Twitter. Mostly because his avatar is Wooderson from “Dazed and Confused.” Also because he’s around my age and his youthful baseball memories — centering on the Ralph Houk/Les Moss/Sparky Anderson Tigers — match my own pretty perfectly. Oh, and he’s a nice guy too.

Unfortunately, he and his two boys have had a horrible, awful year as Mike’s wife Dawn died of melanoma in April. Watching him from afar, via Twitter, as he has dealt with his loss while being there for his boys, running a business and still trying to keep up with his beloved Detroit Tigers has been at turns sad, funny, touching and always moving. Life goes on, even when it’s hard.

Recently the Detroit Tigers did something really nice for Mike: they invited him and his sons to Comerica Park for a day with the team. Mike wrote it up today over at the Bless You Boys blog.  You want to go check it out now.

Great job, Tigers. And great job Mike.

Mets’ Neil Walker expected to undergo season-ending back surgery

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.

If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.

Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.

Video: Stephen Cardullo celebrates his birthday by hitting a grand slam

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 31:  Stephen Cardullo #65 of the Colorado Rockies watches his first career Major League home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on August 31, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.

In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.

Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.