Fisticuffsmanship! The Mississippi Braves and Mobile Baybears throw down

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We don’t see that many full-blown fights in major league baseball these days. Everyone knows the potential costs aren’t worth the benefits, I suppose. Or else they’re all friends and stuff.  But the minor leagues still give us a good fracas now and again.

On Saturday it was the Mobile Baybears vs. the Mississippi Braves. There were two out in the bottom of the ninth when a wild pitch caused the Braves’ pitcher to have to cover home plate as a Baybears tried to score from third.  The runner took out the legs of the pitcher and then …

I’ll say this much: normally in a fight that involves a pitcher you see the pitcher sort of back off and other players come in to mix it up. It was interesting then to see Braves pitcher Michael Tarsi take the lead here.

Not that I approve of course. Say no to violence. Stay in school. Only you can stop forest fires, etc.

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.