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Indians, Twins to play two-game series in Puerto Rico next season

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Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the Indians and Twins will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a two-game series at hiram Bithorn Stadium April 17-18 next season. The games will be counted as Twins home games.

The last time regular season MLB games were held in Puerto Rico was seven years ago when the Mets and Marlins played a three-game series in June 2010.

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is from Puerto Rico, said, “It is a dream come true for me to play in Puerto Rico. When the Montreal Expos played in Puerto Rico [in 2003-04], I remember going to those games and thinking to myself, ‘I would love to be here playing in front of my country and people.’ Now that we have the opportunity next April, it is a dream realized for me. These will be the most memorable regular season games of my career, for sure.”

Twins president and CEO Dave St. Peter said, “The Minnesota Twins are honored to visit Puerto Rico and represent Major League Baseball in this international showcase. The Twins look forward to joining MLB and the Cleveland Indians organization in celebrating Puerto Rico’s rich baseball heritage and growing influence on our game.”

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.