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The Astros will be the fourth World Series team to appear on Saturday Night Live


From Nomar Garciaparra and Billy Martin to George Steinbrenner and Bob Uecker, Saturday Night Live is no stranger to MLB personalities. They’ve parodied some of baseball’s biggest stars (think the eclectic “Baseball Dreams” sketch or Kenan Thompson’s David Ortiz impression) and played host to several World Series contenders, going as far back as the 1998 Yankees’ upstaging of Ben Stiller’s opening monologue. On Saturday, they’ll add World Series MVP George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman to that list.

By my count, only three World Series contenders have been featured in SNL sketches to date: the 1998 Yankees, 2001 Yankees and, most recently, the 2016 Cubs. Back in 1998, when the Yankees were fresh off of their 24th championship run against the Padres, Tino Martinez, Chili Davis, Graeme Lloyd, David Cone and David Wells crashed the show opener behind Ben Stiller. Stiller soaked up the raucous applause from the audience before eventually feigning surprise when he “discovered” the players standing behind him.

The Yankees were given a bigger platform in 2001, even though they had just lost a seven-game World Series run to the Diamondbacks. Derek Jeter hosted the episode, hitting baseballs into the audience during the monologue, bantering with a Red Sox fan on Weekend Update and starring in two sketches, including an unforgettable advertisement for “Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole” and a fistfight with Yankees’ fans during “Yankee Wives.”

The Cubs took things in a different direction after snapping their World Series drought in 2016. While they didn’t get away with anything as unexpectedly weird as Jeter’s Taco Hole, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler and David Ross spiced up a bachelorette party gone wrong and later returned to form a barbershop quartet with self-proclaimed Cubs’ super-fan Bill Murray.

There’s no word yet on what the Astros have planned — and, judging by the surprise strip show the Cubs put on last year, it might have very little to do with their championship title at all. Still, if SNL manages to refrain from poking fun at Jose Altuve’s height (never a given), it should be entertaining.

Saturday Night Live is scheduled to kick off on November 4 at 11:30 PM ET.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.