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Rod Carew received former NFL player Konrad Reuland’s heart

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Hall of Famer Rod Carew underwent a heart transplant back in December. Today, in an absolute must-read article, Daniel Brown of the Bay Area News Group tells the story of Carew’s new heart. And who it came from: former Notre Dame, Stanford and NFL tight end Konrad Reuland.

What’s more, this was not the first encounter Reuland had with Carew:

Konrad excelled in every sport he tried and declared at a young age he would be a professional athlete one day. So it was understandably thrilling for the 6th grader when he had a chance encounter with a retired ballplayer at St. John’s Episcopal School in Santa Margarita. One of his schoolmates there was Cheyenne Carew.

“I picked him up from school and the first thing he said when he got in the car was, ‘Mom, I met Rod Carew today!” Mary recalled.

That was the first time Konrad gave his heart to Rod Carew.

The Carew and Reuland family are now teaming up in efforts to fight cardiovascular disease and to promote organ donation.

Just a stunning story of life and death and life.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.