Mike Aviles’ daughters to throw out the first pitch in Cleveland today

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The Indians announced today that the twin 4-year-old daughters of infielder Mike Aviles will throw ceremonial first pitches tonight at Progressive Field before the Yankees-Indians game.

This is notable in that one of the twins, Adriana Aviles — the other is her sister Maiya — was diagnosed with leukemia in May and is being treated at Cleveland Clinic. We’ve noted several instances of how this has impacted Mike Aviles this year and how the Indians, their management and players have been doing a fantastic job in supporting and accommodating them this year.

In late May, Aviles’ teammates shaved their heads in support them. In early June, Tribe owner Paul Dolan did the same thing, letting Aviles shave his head. Last month, when a lot of teams were showing interest in Aviles at the trade deadline, Dolan made it clear that they would not trade Aviles, even if it made sense for the team, because he didn’t want to disrupt the family as Adriana undergoes treatment in Cleveland.

It’ll be a nice scene tonight.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?