San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves

The Braves hazed their rookies after losing 4-0 to the Padres

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Padres starter Burch Smith proved to be too much for the Braves’ offense this afternoon as the right-hander shut them out over seven innings, logging ten strikeouts. Behind Chase Headley’s two-run home run in the sixth and Tommy Medica’s solo shot in the seventh, the Padres had more than enough offense to topple the NL East-leading Braves.

After the game, the Braves had their rookies dress up in a “tennis theme” as Kevin Faigle of WRDW Augusta described on Facebook.

Kevin McAlpin posted this photo:

I know the Braves were just doing this to innocently have fun, but these rookie hazing antics need to stop. They are often homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic in nature. In the photo above, the Braves are embarrassing their rookies by making them dress up in women’s clothing. Other forms of hazing involve rookies donning pink backpacks, ones that a six-year-old girl would wear to school.

There’s a way to have fun innocently, and then there’s having fun at the expense of an often-discriminated-against group of people, reinforcing to others that such behavior is acceptable. This looks even worse considering Major League Baseball has been a part of the “It Gets Better” campaign.

We’ve had plenty of incidents at colleges in recent years where students have been hazed, some even killed. Rookie hazing isn’t harmless when it’s seen by millions of people.

I forget who said it, and I’m just paraphrasing, but when it comes to humor, your jokes should always be aiming up at somebody — or at least moving laterally — rather than striking down at disadvantaged people from a position of power.

Report: Mariners’ Taijuan Walker drawing “strong” trade interest

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout after completing eight innings against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot.  He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.

Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.

The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.

Report: Mets, Brewers continue discussing Jonathan Lucroy

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 20:  Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks back to the dugout in the eighth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.