There will be self-serve beer machines at the All-Star Game

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I’m going to the All-Star Game in Minneapolis next week. When I’m there, my company expenses will be limited to flight, hotel and a modest but sufficient per diem for meals and the like. However — and while I have never really tested this because I don’t do in-depth, shoeleather reporting — I presume that NBC also has to pay for various costs associated with the production of journalistic content, right?

In other news:

Self-serve beer stations are up and running in Target Field, so Minnesota Twins fans and those who attend the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities next week can decide what they want and even how much they want of it.

Gleeman was at Target Field over the weekend and said that they basically looked like the fancy Coke dispensers you’re starting to see at various fast food restaurants. I would hope that it won’t let you mix up beers like you’d mix Fanta and Sprite because, eww, but so far, so good!

The mechanics have a lot of safeguards in it such as requiring you show ID to a real person first and get a pre-paid card with which to fill up your cup at the machines. But the bottom line:

The machine allows a customer to use the card to pour up to 48 ounces of beer every 15 minutes.

I think I could make that work. Any more details?

Bud and Bud Light will cost 38 cents an ounce, while Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale will cost 40 cents an ounce.

Welp, OK, maybe I’ll just watch other people use it while I’m on my way to some of the other beer options on-site.

Mookie Betts could play second base in the World Series

Mookie Betts
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The Red Sox have some tough decisions to make in advance of the World Series next week; namely, what to do with some of their hottest-hitting players once the series shifts to a National League park — and National League rules. During a press conference on Saturday, manager Alex Cora said he’d be open to the idea of starting All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts at second base when the club’s regular DH, J.D. Martinez, is forced to play the outfield during away games.

The Red Sox carry home field advantage through the Fall Classic, so Games 1 and 2 will be played at Fenway Park — as well as Games 6 and 7, should those become necessary. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 7 later tonight, World Series Games 3 through 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium or Miller Park. That’s when Betts might take over the keystone from Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt, both of whom have shared second base duties over the course of the 2018 postseason.

The idea isn’t without merit. Betts and Martinez comprise two of the team’s top talents at the plate and, should the Red Sox need to stave off elimination in Games 4 and 5, sitting either of them doesn’t make sense. The 26-year-old Betts led the team with a staggering .346/.438/.640 batting line, 32 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and career-best 10.4 fWAR over 614 PA, while Martinez posted some career totals of his own, slashing .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs, a 1.031 OPS, and 5.9 fWAR in 649 PA. This wouldn’t be the first time Betts has taken reps at second, either, as he’s logged 15 games at the position over the course of his five-year career, most recently during a 4-1 win over the Yankees in August.

Whether or not Betts is considered a lock for all three games is another question, one to which Cora didn’t give a definite answer. “I don’t know, man,” the skipper told reporters Saturday. “[Betts] already played second during the regular season, so there’s always a chance, I guess.” He later added that while Betts would be taking ground balls at second, it’s part of the routine he’s maintained all year — so nothing should be read into it until a clear decision has been announced.