There will be a benefit for Richard Durrett’s family in Dallas on Saturday

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ESPN Dallas writer Richard Durrett died suddenly last week. For as much of a loss that represents for those of us who loved his work, it’s utterly insignificant compared to the loss felt by his family. Richard was just 38, was married, had two small children and one on the way.

Thankfully, the Rangers have stepped up to help out the Durrett family in their time of need, but if you’re in or near the Dallas Metroplex, you can take part in an event that will help them out too.

There will be a fundraiser for the Durrett Family at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House in Dallas on Saturday from 3pm-7pm. There you can donate, commiserate and do some good for some folks who could use it. The centerpiece of it will be a silent auction and raffle with some pretty cool prizes and/or experiences, including:

  • A game day experience with Dallas Stars play-by-play man Ralph Strangis;
  • A game day experience with Dallas Mavericks play-by-play man Chuck Cooperstein;
  • An inning in the booth with Texas Rangers play-by-play man Eric Nadel;
  • An autographed bow tie from Fox’s Ken Rosenthal;
  • An in-studio experience with Norm Hitzges and Mike Sirois of 1310 The Ticket in Dallas;
  • An in-studio experience with Ben Rogers and Skin Wade of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas; and
  • Game-used, autographed bats from Mark MacLemore and Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers

Again: it’s at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, 1154 Peavy Road in Dallas, this Saturday from 3pm-7pm. Winners of the auctions and raffles will be announced at 6pm.

If you’re in the area, please try to make it down there to help some good people in baseball’s family who are having the toughest of times right now.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.

Indians to move Danny Salazar to the bullpen

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MLB.com’s William Kosileski reports that Indians starter Danny Salazar is being moved to the bullpen and will be available as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The Indians will go on a five-game road strip starting on June 2, and manager Terry Francona said that Salazar could get a start during that trip.

Salazar, 27, has struggled to a 5.50 ERA over his first 10 starts this season. While none of those starts were absolute disasters, he failed to finish the sixth inning in seven of those 10 starts. It’s a far cry from his performance over the last two seasons, when he finished with a 3.45 ERA and 3.87 ERA.

Salazar’s walk rate is up to a career-high 11.9 percent, per FanGraphs, and he’s allowing many more line drives at the expense of ground balls. Compared to 2016, his line drive rate is up 8.9 percent and his ground ball rate is down 10.4 percent. All of that could explain Salazar’s struggles to some extent.