Astros extend GM Ed Wade through 2012

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You’re reading that correctly. After committing nearly $30 million to Pedro Feliz, Brandon Lyon, Brett Myers, Jason Michaels, Geoff Blum and Brian Moehler this offseason, the Astros have extended the contract of general manager Ed Wade through the 2012 season, reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. An official announcement is expected later this afternoon.

Wade was entering the final year of a three-year contract. During his tenure in Houston, Wade pulled off the trade for speedster Michael Bourn as well as Randy Wolf, who helped the Astros make a late season push in 2008. It’s tempting to jump all over the general manager for the offseason moves mentioned above, but I firmly believe that Drayton McLane’s refusal to legitimately rebuild makes Wade look slightly worse than he really is.

Mariano Rivera awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.

Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”

Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.