Sheriff Joe Arpaio calls off the chain gangs

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He’s a pretender.

Maricoa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, who made headlines last week by announcing that he was going to use chain gangs of DUI offenders to pick up trash outside Chase Field during All-Star week, apparently bowed to criticism and changed his mind Monday.

The sheriff had planned to have three chain gangs decked out in striped jail garb posted around Chase Field during Tuesday’s game. One was to be made up entirely of undocumented immigrants convicted of drunken driving.

We can assume MLB didn’t respond kindly to the idea of having its event used as a showcase for Arpaio’s policies and ambitions.

Report: A’s trying to finish deal for Jeurys Familia

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The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.

Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.

While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.