Major League Baseball needs more livestock on the field

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Michael Taylor.jpgAthletics’ prospect Michael Taylor spent the winter playing in Mexico. Sounds fun:

“Animals on the field. Like chickens and stuff like that. People having
barbecues in the stands. Just piling up firewood. The passion. They had
bands, a lot of live music,” he said yesterday at Phoenix Municipal
Stadium.

“It was just a different environment. Baseball fans usually cheer
when something happens on the field. These guys were cheering, singing,
dancing the entire game. And the mascots are crazy. The mascots would
be on the field, too. Dancing and doing shows. It’s kind of different
to be in rightfield and have a mascot 60 feet from you doing a dance
with another mascot. During play. They’re involved. It’s a show.”

U.S. baseball hasn’t been that fun since they banned ten cent beer night.  In other news, Taylor bears his fellow Stanford alum Ruben Amaro Jr. for trading him as part of the Roy Halladay deal:

Asked if Amaro had broken some sort of Cardinal code, he laughed.

“No, he actually upheld the Stanford code, which is to make the best business deal possible,” Taylor said.

That’s the Stanford code? How . . . inspiring.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.