Alfredo Aceves on brawling with Canada: “You’re just trying to defend and knock them out”

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Larry Walker said he “saw Satan” in Alfredo Aceves’ eyes during Saturday’s brawl between Canada and Mexico. So what did Aceves see while being punched by Tyson Gillies and tackled by a half-dozen other Canadians?

Here’s what he told Alex Speier of WEEI.com:

That was the first time I saw him there. Like I said, it’s part of the game. He was trying to defend his team. If it were me, I’d try to do the same thing. What can I say? It didn’t surprise me when he threw me to the floor. I reacted to it, because I didn’t do nothing to him. I was just calming down. The fighting was with the pitcher and the hitter. So I was saying, “Calm down, man, calm down, come on, man.”

And he just grabbed me and threw me on the floor. So I was like, “I’m going to throw you on the floor, man.” Then when I jumped in to this guy, I had seven guys against me. … You’re locked in. You’re just trying to defend and knock them out. That’s it. We were trying to defense ourselves. We didn’t do nothing to him. He just threw me.

Aceves’ inner-monologue sounds amazing.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.