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CC Sabathia says he’s only been called the N-word in Boston

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Last night, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said he was taunted by Red Sox fans at Fenway Park with racist slurs and one fan even threw peanuts at him. The Red Sox and Major League Baseball both issued public apologies to Jones and the Orioles.

In the aftermath, Boston fans have become very defensive about the incident, saying that last night’s boorish fans represent a very tiny fraction of the city’s fan base. Others pointed to other cities’ fans who have acted similarly, as if to deflect responsibility.

Back in January, Red Sox starter David Price said he was on the receiving end of racist slurs from Boston fans as well. Outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. said he received racial taunts in 2014 when he was struggling. Barry Bonds said in 2004 that he would never play for the Red Sox because Boston is “too racist for me.” Vernon Wells said that, as a player, he was warned about only two stadiums where racist comments were common, and Fenway was one.

Add Yankees starter CC Sabathia to the list. The lefty said, “I’ve never been called the N-word” anywhere but Boston, Newsday’s Erik Boland reports. Sabathia continued, “We know. There’s 62 of us. We all know. When you go to Boston, expect it.” Sabathia said he hasn’t heard racist taunts from Boston fans since he’s been with the Yankees, though, because of increased security in the bullpen.

Yes, racism is everywhere in America, not just Boston. But the combination of Boston being one of the larger metropolitan areas in the country and a very strong city-wide passion for sports leads to more incidents like Monday night’s. Rather than deflect responsibility, Boston fans should hold each other accountable for behavior. Jones last night said that there were “59 or 60” fans ejected from the ballpark. How many others did nothing but watch as these boors acted out? How many others silently cheered them on? The correct response, when players like Jones and Sabathia say that Boston fans are racist, is to acknowledge the problem and vow to make it better. Discrediting the lived experiences of people of color is how white people avoid having to deal with their own complicity in a racist system.

Jose Bautista is starting at third base for the first time in over four years

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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is getting a rare start at third base today. How rare is it? Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae notes that he last started at third base on April 14, 2013 against the Royals.

Bautista has played some third base already this year. On April 27 against the Cardinals, Bautista pinch-hit for third baseman Chris Coghlan and stayed in the game at the position. Last Saturday, Bautista moved from right field to third base as part of a handful of defensive switches. Overall, he’s played four defensive innings at the hot corner this season.

The Blue Jays have had to get creative at third base while Josh Donaldson has dealt with a calf injury. Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan have drawn most of the starts at third base, but catcher Russell Martin started there on Sunday and tonight we’ll see Bautista there.

Braves’ bullpen hasn’t allowed a hit to last 54 batters, setting franchise record

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The Braves announced on Tuesday, citing Elias Sports, that the bullpen set a franchise record, preventing the last 54 batters faced from getting a hit.

The last reliever to allow a hit was Josh Collmenter to the first batter he faced against the Blue Jays last Thursday. Since then, the bullpen has logged 15 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings with a 10/4 K/BB ratio. Here are the logs since Collmenter gave up that hit.

Date Opp. Pitcher BF IP H R ER BB SO
May 18 vs. TOR Josh Collmenter 7 2.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 18 vs. TOR Ian Krol 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 19 vs. WAS Jason Motte 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 0
May 19 vs. WAS Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 19 vs. WAS Arodys Vizcaino 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
May 19 vs. WAS Jim Johnson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 20 vs. WAS Ian Krol 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 1
May 20 vs. WAS Jason Motte 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 0
May 20 vs. WAS Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
May 20 vs. WAS Arodys Vizcaino 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 20 vs. WAS Jim Johnson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 21 vs. WAS Luke Jackson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
May 22 vs. PIT Jason Motte 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
May 22 vs. PIT Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 22 vs. PIT Arodys Vizcaino 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 22 vs. PIT Jim Johnson 4 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 54 15.1 0 0 0 4 10

Despite the hot streak lately, the Braves’ bullpen still ranks in the middle of the pack in ERA at 4.07. Its 21.3 percent strikeout rate ranks 18th out of 30 teams and its 8.6 percent walk rate is ninth.