Roger McDowell returns to the Braves

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Just in time for Baseball’s Civil Rights Weekend celebrations in Atlanta, Roger McDowell, the Braves’ gay-slurring pitching coach, returns from his suspension today:

An emotional Roger McDowell has returned from his two-week suspension and is vowing he won’t repeat the inappropriate comments and crude gestures he made to fans that led to his punishment by Major League Baseball. McDowell’s eyes were red as he apologized Friday “to anyone who was offended by my actions.” He struggled to remain composed while he talked about his return as the Braves’ pitching coach.

In other news, the Braves record and team ERA was better in McDowell’s absence than it was before his suspension. But let us not equate correlation and causation.

José Abreu undergoes lower abdominal surgery, expected out two weeks

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White Sox first baseman José Abreu underwent lower abdominal surgery on Tuesday, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It was an outpatient procedure that is expected to keep him away from baseball activity for two weeks.

Abreu, 31, was held out of Tuesday’s lineup, his first day off in more than two months. This season, Abreu has hit a productive .272/.331/.491 with 22 home runs and 78 RBI in 526 plate appearances.

The White Sox will likely play Matt Davidson at first base and put Daniel Palka at DH while Abreu is out.