The White Sox lose coach Kevin Hickey

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Kevin Hickey, who has served as a “pregame instructor” — basically a non-titled coach, right? — for the Chicago White Sox for several years died yesterday. From CSNChicago.com:

Kevin Hickey, who pitched on the South Side from 1981-83 and served as a pregame instructor since 2004, died Wednesday at Rush Memorial Center. He was 56.

Hickey was unresponsive in the intensive care unit at Rush University Medical Center after being moved to Chicago from Dallas in early April. He was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas on April 5 after missing the White Sox workout prior to Opening Day.

His death unleashed an outpouring of emotion from all kinds of people who have or had associations with the White Sox, from ownership to Ozzie Guillen to any number of players who worked with him.

Before coaching, Hickey spent some time pitching for the Sox in the early 80s. His career path was an unusual one. He never played high school ball and was discovered by the White Sox after showing up for a tryout one day. His experience before that was playing softball.

Even if you’ve never heard of him — and I can’t say that I did before I heard of his death — he clearly had a big impact on those who did know him. There are a lot of people like that.

Report: Mets sign Wilson Ramos to two-year, $19 million deal

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The Mets have signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, SNY’s Andy Martino reports. The total value of the contract is $19 million, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Ramos, 31, split last season between the Rays and Phillies, putting up one of the best offensive seasons among catchers. In 416 total plate appearances, he hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.

Ramos will presumably get the lion’s share of plate appearances behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud backing him up. Grandal was made a qualifying offer, so the Mets would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. And, of course, Realmuto would have cost prospects. Ramos simply costs money.

The Mets were aggressively pursuing a catching upgrade, having been involved in rumors surrounding J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, but ultimately settled on Ramos. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made a significant impact on the team already, having also added second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from a trade with the Mariners.