Did Brewers' celebration go too far?

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Sunday’s extra-inning affair between
the Brewers and Giants was everything you could ask for in a September
baseball game. A little bit of history, the Brewers turned a
triple-play for the first time since 1999. The game had plenty of
drama, too, ultimately being decided on a 12th inning walk-off blast by
Prince Fielder. The loss knocked the Giants two games behind the
Rockies in the Wild Card race. So why am I writing about this on Monday?




Upon rounding the bases after his
game-winning homer, Fielder untucked his uniform, seemingly setting
things up to toss his helmet as he approached home plate, a popular and
accepted form of celebration in recent years. However, the Brewers went
against the grain, using a choreographed celebration where when Fielder touched the plate, he extended his arms to the sky and his teammates fell to the ground around
him. With even veterans like Craig Counsell taking part, it was a
ridiculous piece of theatre that
won’t be forgotten by the Giants any time soon.



“Did you see that celebration?” bench coach Ron Wotus
asked. “You would like to think professionals would have a lot more
respect for the game and their opponents. That was choreographed.”




Yet, if you were to read the recaps
this morning, you’ll see the incident celebrated in pictures and
highlights. I’m no Yankees fan, but imagine if this was Alex Rodriguez?
The criticism would be overwhelming. Fielder is getting a pass today. No bones about it.




Surely the Brewers may have thought
twice about doing this if they were going to face the Giants again on
Monday, but don’t be surprised to see Fielder catch one in the back or
worse when he faces them next season.

Yankees acquire James Paxton from Mariners

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The Yankees announced that the club has acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners in exchange for three prospects: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a solid return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worries about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field, and Paxton’s durability. Paxton has made more than 20 starts in a season just twice in his career — the last two years (24 and 28). The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.