Russell Martin challenges Martin Maldonado to a fight for charity

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The Brewers and Pirates got involved in a nasty brawl yesterday afternoon in Pittsburgh after outfielder Carlos Gomez flipped his bat on a triple, which ticked off starter Gerrit Cole. Martin Maldonado was right in the middle of the skirmish and landed a punch on Travis Snider, who showed up to the ballpark today with a shiner and a cut under his left eye. MLB will issue punishments in the coming days, but Snider’s teammate, Russell Martin, still wants Maldonado to see his comeuppance.

This, of course, will never happen, but it’s clear that emotions are still running high here. Anyway, here’s what Maldonado had to say about Martin’s challenge:

The Pirates will play the Brewers in Milwaukee for a three-game series beginning on May 13. This likely isn’t the last we have heard of this situation.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.