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Joe Girardi to A.J. Hinch: “Go win it all”

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Following the conclusion of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night, there was a heartfelt moment between the two managers. According to the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Joe Girardi hung around the clubhouse in order to congratulate A.J. Hinch. “I know it’s your first time through,” Girardi told the Astros’ skipper. “Go win it all.”

It’s a classy move on Girardi’s part. Had the Yankees advanced on Saturday, it would have marked his second trip to the World Series in eight years. He helped the team through their last championship run back in 2009 and knows the intricacies of the postseason better than most other managers in this year’s playoff bracket. His words were warmly received by Hinch, who said it was a “lesson for him” and “one of the classiest things he’d seen from one manager to another.”

Girardi wasn’t the only one who had kind words for his opponents on Saturday. Brett Gardner also voiced his support for Houston, telling reporters, “My hat goes off to those guys over there, and I wish them the best of luck in the World Series.” Aaron Judge described the series as “a lot of fun,” crediting both the Astros and the electric crowds in Yankee Stadium and Minute Maid Park for keeping the series challenging and exciting.

Game 7 starter Charlie Morton acknowledged the Yankees’ efforts, too, but said he’s keeping his mind focused on the team’s next hurdle. “We beat a great team. It’s unbelievable,” Morton said. “We’re looking at a few days of being in L.A., playing another great team. We’ll celebrate tonight and then get ready.” Should things go south in Los Angeles, the Astros will not only have played two outstanding teams, but they’ll have a clear blueprint on how to accept that loss with both grace and dignity.

Scooter Gennett wins arbitration case against Reds

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The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.

Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.

Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.