Help get a ballpark — a real Field O’ Dreams — built in Ireland

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A couple of years ago I did a post about baseball in Ireland and a documentary about it all called “The Emerald Diamond.” Yup, they play ball there.

The director of that documentary, John Fitzgerald, is helping to raise money for a baseball club in County Meath that wants to build a quality baseball field to serve as the center and home base of baseball in Ireland.  Check out the details — and make a donation if you’d like — here. Various donation levels will get you gifts like a copy of the documentary, a t-shirt or an Irish National Team cap. No, the one to the right here is not it.

And here’s a video overview:

 

Fitzgerald is trying to hit his goal by St. Patrick’s day. Chip in if you can.

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.