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The White Sox are releasing Brett Lawrie

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The Chicago White Sox announced this afternoon that they’ve requested release waivers on infielder Brett Lawrie. This is a preliminary move made with the intention of giving him his unconditional release.

That’s unexpected.

The White Sox and Lawrie agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal back in December, avoiding arbitration. That was a salary cut from the year before, but if they didn’t want him they could’ve simply non-tendered him. What happened between December and now is unclear, but he’s obviously no longer in Chicago’s plans.

Lawrie posted a more or less normal-for-him season in 2016, batting .248/.310/.413. His career line is .261/.315/.419. He was the White Sox’ second baseman last year after playing mostly third base for the A’s and Blue Jays earlier in his career.

It’s been quite a fall for Lawrie over the past few years. He was once thought of as a potential star. While he never realized his potential in Toronto, he was still valued enough to where the Jays were able to use him as the centerpiece in a package to acquire Josh Donaldson before the 2015 season. Donaldson went on to win the MVP in his first year in Toronto.

Now Lawrie is looking for a job at a time of the year when most teams are looking to cut players, not sign them.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.