The MLB Players Alumni Association announces “Heart and Hustle Award” winners

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The MLB Players Alumni Assocation announced its annual “Heart and Hustle Award” today. The award is given to one player from each team “who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit, and tradition of the game.”

This award has drawn some criticism in the past for playing into old, tired stereotypes of what constitutes “heart” and “hustle.” Specifically, those old cliches about how it’s the gritty white dudes who worked hard while black and Latino players were more “naturally gifted” and, often, were accused of being lazy loafers. It’s crazy that such assumptions still linger among those who talk about sports, but they do. For example, last year 22 of the 30 Heart and Hustle winners were white Americans. Twenty-eight of the 30 were U.S. born.

This year’s group of winners is considerably more diverse. Here’s hoping that’s a sign that those old notions of who hustles and who doesn’t — and what “hustle” is, exactly — continues to fade into history.

American League

Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
Chicago White Sox: Todd Frazier
Cleveland Indians: Mike Napoli
Detroit Tigers: Ian Kinsler
Houston Astros: George Springer
Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Kole Calhoun
Minnesota Twins: Eduardo Nuñez
New York Yankees: Didi Gregorius
Oakland Athletics: Marcus Semien
Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz
Tampa Bay Rays: Logan Forsythe
Texas Rangers: Ian Desmond
Toronto Blue Jays: Kevin Pillar

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves: Nick Markakis
Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo
Cincinnati Reds: Zack Cozart
Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon
Los Angeles Dodgers: Chase Utley
Miami Marlins: Marcell Ozuna
Milwaukee Brewers: Jonathan Lucroy
New York Mets: Curtis Granderson
Philadelphia Phillies: Andres Blanco
Pittsburgh Pirates: David Freese
San Diego Padres: Jon Jay
San Francisco Giants: Brandon Crawford
St. Louis Cardinals: Stephen Piscotty
Washington Nationals: Daniel Murphy

 

Tyson Ross opts out of 2020 season

Tyson Ross opts out
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On Monday, Nationals pitcher Joe Ross became one of four players to opt out of the 2020 season due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Joe’s brother Tyson Ross opted out of the 2020 season as well, per Jon Heyman.

Ross, 33, is currently a free agent. He racked up 35 1/3 disappointing innings for the Tigers last year, posting a 6.11 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Mike Leake, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ian Desmond are the three other players to have opted out of the 2020 season thus far. None of these players are considered “high risk,” so they are forgoing their salaries and service time.