Mariano Rivera won’t play in the All-Star Game

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In perhaps the least surprising All-Star Game-related news you’ll hear all week, Mariano Rivera has bowed out of the All-Star Game due to his wonky triceps. Tricep. No, triceps. Man that looks weird.

Anyway, given that he hasn’t pitched for a few days and given that, no matter what the folks at MLB will have you believe, this thing they’re doing in Phoenix really doesn’t count, this was inevitable.
Rivera is available to go tonight and all this weekend against Tampa Bay, but he’ll gladly take his few days off next week and be back to his usual dominating self when the Yankees resume play next Thursday.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.