Fred Talbot: 1941-2013

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Fred Talbot, a right-hander from Virginia who pitched eight seasons in the majors for the Yankees, A’s, White Sox, and Pilots from 1963-1970, passed away last week at age 71.

Talbot had a 38-56 record and 4.12 ERA in 854 career innings despite playing in the pitcher-friendly 1960s, but I’ll forever remember him as a prominent character in the greatest baseball book of all time, Jim Bouton’s must-read “Ball Four.”

Bouton and Talbot often had an adversarial relationship as Yankees and Pilots teammates, but he was also portrayed as an amusing story-teller and the victim of a pretty great prank.

His obituary was published in the Washington Post.

Yankees activate Giancarlo Stanton

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The New York Yankees have activated Giancarlo Stanton. He’ll be in the lineup in tonight’s game against the Rays.

Stanton has been on the injured list since April 1 due to a left biceps strain and a left shoulder strain sustained in what Aaron Boone called a “funky swing” at the time. He began a rehab assignment in late May, had it halted due to injury, and resumed it recently. He’s been swinging the bat well during his most recent stint, socking four homers in ten games.

That pop will be welcome. The Yankees have weathered Stanton’s injury — and injuries to Aaron Judge and scads of other players — but a team can’t defy gravity forever. At some point you need your established threats back. With Stanton coming back tonight, Judge coming back later this week and with the addition of Edwin Encarnación in that trade with Seattle, the Bombers should continue to hit bombs throughout the summer.