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Alex Bregman taunted the Rangers on Twitter. Then he apologized.

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The culture of baseball is weird and often dumb. As professional athletes, ballplayers have one mission: win. Beat the other guys. That is the essence of sports.

Except, when you’re beating the other guys, you’re generally not supposed to look like you’re enjoying it too much. And, as Astros third baseman Alex Bregman learned yesterday, you’re not supposed to say that you want to beat the other guys.

Bregman took to Twitter just before yesterday’s game against the rival Rangers and tweeted out some motivation:

That hashtag, one presumes, means “Beat the s**t out of the Rangers” or something close to it. That “opperation” is evidence that you can go to LSU for a few years and not learn how to spell “operation.” Not that this typo-challenged OSU grad can judge such things too harshly. The point here is that, as far as taunting goes, it’s pretty weak sauce. People call it “bulletin board material,” but learning that a guy on the other team wants to beat you is not exactly a “bulletin.”

As this story from MLB.com notes, most of the Rangers just rolled their eyes at it. Keone Kela taunted back, noting that Bregman could use a dictionary, which is the way you deal with Twitter trolls. Mike Napoli, however, decided that this was a teachable moment or something, saying that if a young Rangers player did that, it would not go unaddressed:

“I might have a conversation with them about it,” Napoli said. “It’s the whole learning process of being young and keeping it within your clubhouse. He’s a good player, but if he feels like he needs to stay stuff like that to pump himself up, so be it.”

Which is also pretty eyeroll worthy, but that’s par for the course for veteran/young player/decorum politics in Major League Baseball.

Also eyeroll worthy is the fact that Bregman apologized for it after the game:

“I made a rookie mistake. I shouldn’t have tweeted that out. It was more of just trying to fire up our team. I shouldn’t have put it on social media at all. They have a great team over there. I didn’t mean to offend anybody over there.”

Oh well, do what you gotta do. For the record, Bregman went 1-for-3 with a run scored and the Astros beat the s**t out of the Rangers, 6-2.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.