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Roberto Clemente Award Nominees announced

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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Curtis Granderson won the award last year. This year’s nominees were just announced:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves – Jason Motte
Baltimore Orioles – Chris Davis
Boston Red Sox – Rick Porcello
Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo
Chicago White Sox – José Abreu
Cincinnati Reds – Scooter Gennett
Cleveland Indians – Carlos Carrasco
Colorado Rockies – Ian Desmond
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – Jose Altuve
Kansas City Royals – Drew Butera
Los Angeles Angels – Cameron Maybin
Los Angeles Dodgers – Justin Turner
Miami Marlins – Dee Gordon
Milwaukee Brewers – Matt Garza
Minnesota Twins – Joe Mauer
New York Mets – T.J. Rivera
New York Yankees – Brett Gardner
Oakland Athletics – Liam Hendriks
Philadelphia Phillies – Cameron Rupp
Pittsburgh Pirates – Josh Harrison
St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright
San Diego Padres – Hunter Renfroe
San Francisco Giants – Buster Posey
Seattle Mariners – Robinson Canó
Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria
Texas Rangers – Cole Hamels
Toronto Blue Jays – Marcus Stroman
Washington Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman

Maybin remains the Angels’ nominee despite joining the Houston Astros at the end of August.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2017 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game. The blue ribbon panel includes Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB Advanced Media, and Vera Clemente (the late Roberto’s wife). There is also a fan voting component to this, with the winner of the fan vote, which begins in October, getting one “blue ribbon panel” vote.

Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.