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Matt Wieters loves his cat

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I think I’m going to have to start a Ballplayer Pet Hall of Fame. Not for the pets themselves — all pets are Hall of Famers in my book — but for the ballplayers who have the good taste to love cats, which most of you know is my pet of choice.

Matt Duffy is already in there. Mat Latos and his cat, Cat Latos. Greg Bird and Mr. Delicious. Kevin Kiermaier is not an inductee, but there’s going to be a large instructional exhibit about him given his past issues with cats. Kind of a cautionary tale thing.

The latest inductee: Nationals catcher Matt Wieters, who posed with his pet kitty Jalapeño in the Nationals team pet calendar, the proceeds of which go to the Humane Rescue Alliance of Washington, D.C.:

As the Post notes, he’s the only cat guy on there. Which is weird. I mean, yes, I understand the appeal of a good dog (they’re all good dogs, Brent), but you’d think that more ballplayers would like cats given how much easier it is to travel when you have cats. Ten game road trip? Have the neighbor feed the thing, like, twice. No problem.

Oh well. To each his own. But kudos to Wieters for representing Cat Nation. Even if doing so means that Jalapeño now needs months of therapy after being dragged out of its house and driven to the ballpark for a photo shoot. Cats are great, but my God they’re a pain in the butt sometimes.

(thanks to Wes for the heads up)

Koji Uehara has retired

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Jim Allen of Kyodo News reports that Koji Uehara has retired from baseball.

Uehara, 44, has spent the past two seasons with the Yomiuri Giants, which is the where he began his career way back in 1998. He spent eight years there as a starter, winning 20 games in his rookie season, then one year as a closer and one year in swingman duties before coming to the United States.

Once in the majors he pitched for four different major league teams over nine seasons — the Orioles, Rangers, Red Sox and Cubs — from 2009-2017. In that time he posted an excellent 2.66 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 572/78 K/BB ratio in 480.2 innings and notched 95 saves. He won a World Series ring with the Red Sox in 2013 and was an All-Star in 2014. Uehara’s last big league stint in America with the Cubs in 2017, for whom he posted a 3.98 ERA (111 ERA+) in 49 games.

Happy trails to an excellent reliever.