Adrian Beltre passes Julio Franco, becomes all-time games played leader among Dominicans

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Congratulations are in order for Adrian Beltre, who just became the all-time MLB games played leader among natives of the Dominican Republic when he stepped to bat in the top of the first inning Sunday afternoon in Detroit. Beltre has now played in 2,528 games over parts of 18 major league seasons.

Julio Franco, the previous holder of this record, appeared in 2,527 games between 1982-2007.

Beltre, normally one to deflect questions about his accomplishments and growing Hall of Fame resume, opened about this particular mark to columnist Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News …

“I’m proud of it,” Beltre said earlier this week. “I’m accomplishing things I never even thought about. It means I’ve been healthy and able to compete for a long time. … We are proud and we have always been proud of representing the Dominican. [Pedro Martinez’s] speech made me proud. We all grew up playing the game with whatever we had, a baseball, a tennis ball, any kind of ball, a sock even. We find a way to play. I’ve never forgotten that we played just for the fun of it. I try to never forget to have fun.”

Beltre is having a down year, but he hit his 400th career home run earlier this summer and he recently passed 2,700 career hits. Oh, and the Rangers suddenly hold the second American League Wild Card spot.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.