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2017 Hank Aaron Award nominees named


Major League Baseball just announced the 2017 nominees for the Hank Aaron Award.

The award is intended to honor the best offensive performers in each league. Except, in participation trophy-fashion, every team gets a nominee and, for inexplicable reasons, fans get to vote on winners via the Internet and via tweeting the names of their favorite players with special hashtags. Viva Merit-Based Awards. Viva including a guy from each team so as to engage as many people as possible based on team allegience. It’s almost as if this is about web traffic and stuff. Crazy, I know!

Kris Bryant won the award last year. He’s not nominated for the Cubs this year. Anthony Rizzo is. This despite the fact that Bryant had a better year than Rizzo by every measure except for RBI and was eighth in offensive WAR in all of baseball. Hank Aaron was one of the greatest of all time, but he deserves an award with a less ridiculous selection process.

Your nominees:

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.