Shin-Soo Choo hoping to move to a better team

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Via Paul Hoynes at the Plain Dealer is a story in the Korea Times in which Shin-Soo Choo is quoted as saying “if I could move to a better team, I could generate a better record and improve more.”

Seeing as though Choo is only in his first year of arbitration eligibility with the Indians, such sentiments are a bit premature. They’re also the sort of thing that usually causes controversy. For what it’s worth, however, Indians GM Chris Antonetti is blowing it off, saying that he met with Choo just before the end of the season and
talked to him again on the phone when he returned home to Arizona:

“During those conversations, Choo expressed his passion for winning in
Cleveland,” said Antonetti. “I will rely on what Choo told me directly
rather than translated comments through a third party.”

Stuff gets lost in translation, so that’s probably the right tack to take. Even if what Choo is quoted as saying is true. And even if what Choo is quoted as saying is what he actually said.

Braves clinch NL East title

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So much for a last-minute, nail-biting finish to this division race. The Braves cemented their division title with a dominant 5-3 finish over the Phillies on Saturday, laying claim to the NL East title for the first time since 2013.

The Braves asserted themselves right off the bat after amassing a four-run lead from Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman, both of whom cleared the bases with two-run singles in the first two innings. Ronald Acuna Jr., meanwhile, found another way to make his presence known after swiping his 15th stolen base of the year and joining Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Cepeda, and Mike Trout as one of the youngest players to collect at least 25 home runs and 15 stolen bags in major league history.

Not to be outdone, Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz delivered one of the strongest starts of his season to date. The righty set down six innings of no-hit ball against the Phillies, and, with just 62 pitches under his belt, looked ready to go the distance before he lost his bid on Odubel Herrera‘s leadoff single in the seventh.

Unfortunately for the Braves, the Phillies not only upended Foltynewicz’s no-hit attempt, but the shutout as well. In the eighth inning, Cesar Hernandez and Rhys Hoskins wrestled two RBI singles from Atlanta’s bullpen and brought Philadelphia within one run of tying the game. Hoskins was the last Phillies batter to reach base, however, as Jonny Venters and Arodys Vizcaino tossed a combined 1 2/3 scoreless innings (backed by a final RBI hit from Kurt Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth) to cap the Braves’ win — and the NL East title.

With the loss, the Phillies sit seven games back of a wild card spot in the National League. They’ll need to outpace the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Cardinals in order to make 2018 their first postseason-qualifying year since 2011.