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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.

 

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.

Video: Jackie Bradley, Jr. robs Chris Davis of a home run

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Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.

This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.