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Must-Click Link: Jason Kipnis talks about . . . everything

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Vince Grzegorek of Cleveland Scene has a great, long interview with Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis that you should really, really read.

It’s not like most player interviews in that it obviously did not take place in the space of ten minutes in front of Kipnis’ locker, with a small handful of quotes woven into a larger story. The two were away from the park, speaking over a long period of time about a great many things. As a result, Kipnis comes off far, far more human and far more interesting here than players usually do. This is a no-cliche zone that gives us actual insight into the clubhouse dynamic and players’ feelings and attitudes.

He talks some about the World Series and how he, as a Chicago native, had a really hard time dealing with being back home in Chicago after losing to the Cubs. He talks about Progressive Field being so empty once last year that he could hear the radio play-by-play man give away his big leadoff to the pitcher while he was on first. He talks about how players in the clubhouse talk about politics. He talks about how Trevor Bauer is weird. He talks about how he was so drugged up with (perfectly legal) painkillers during the World Series that he couldn’t tell if a ball hit him in the ribs.

In one of my favorite bits he talks about clubhouse leadership and the dynamic between the young players and the older players. Kipnis is just 30, but on the Indians that makes him an elder statesman. The younger ones are making him question things:

“We come from different eras,” Kipnis says. “I had older guys telling me to carry their bags, and you didn’t say anything, you just did it. And this Millennial age, they’re so good that everyone is like, ‘Don’t tell them to carry your bags.’ It’s tough, they ask why all the time. You’ll say, ‘Don’t sit on that couch,’ and they’ll ask why. And you’re like, ‘I don’t know. I wasn’t allowed to.’ And they’re like, ‘That’s stupid,’ and they sit on the couch and you’re like, ‘Huh.’

It’s a great read for a slow baseball news day. Highest recommendation.

 

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.