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Rockies sign Ryan Howard to a minor league deal

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The Rockies inked first baseman Ryan Howard to a minor league contract on Saturday, per a team announcement. Howard signed a minors deal with the Braves at the start of the 2017 season, but was released by the team in May after an 11-game stint in Triple-A Gwinnett.

The 37-year-old infielder has yet to find a landing place in the big leagues after capping a 13-year run with the Phillies in 2016. His final season in the majors yielded uneven results, pairing an impressive 25 home runs with a less impressive .196/.257/.453 batting line in 362 PA.

While he’s far-removed from the 50+ homer, .300+ average of his peak years in Philadelphia, Howard could still bring some veteran experience and modest power potential to the plate in Colorado. Should he secure a spot on the active roster come September, he figures to slot in behind starting first baseman Mark Reynolds, who’s already mashing .278/.363/.504 with 23 homers and an .867 OPS, and No. 3 infield prospect Ryan McMahon.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

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Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.