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MLB reduces Willson Contreras’ suspension to one game

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Cubs’ catcher Willson Contreras has received a reduced suspension for his altercation with home plate umpire Jordan Baker,¬†MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat¬†reported Sunday. Contreras was initially slated to sit out for two games, but he appealed the ruling yesterday and will only serve a one-game suspension. He’ll take a seat on Sunday when the Cubs go for the sweep in their series finale against the Cardinals.

The 25-year-old backstop was fined and suspended for arguing balls and strikes and inadvertently hitting home plate umpire Jordan Baker with his mask during Friday’s 8-2 win. Both Contreras and right-hander John Lackey were also ejected and fined for their actions. While Baker’s misread of a called strike three sparked a heated dispute at the time, Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon told reporters that the catcher was nothing but remorseful as the team suited up for Saturday’s game.

“[Contreras] was dying to talk to him,” Maddon said. “He could not wait. He motioned to [Baker] from the dugout. When he got to third base, going first to third, I saw the exchange and they were both smiling.”

Without Contreras, the Cubs will turn to Alex Avila behind the dish. Avila is in his first season with the club after a midseason trade from the Tigers and is batting a cumulative .269/.388/.461 with 14 home runs and an .849 OPS through 357 PA this year.

CC Sabathia hopes to play one more year

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Back in May, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said he’d retire if the Yankees won the World Series. That still may be the plan, but he recently told MLB.com that he’s going to try to pitch in 2019, health willing:

“I’m start to start. I go out one start and feel like I can pitch five more years. I go out another start and I’m done. But if I can stay healthy — if my knee holds up — hopefully I’ll play one more.”

Sabathia is enjoying a nice late-career renaissance, having transformed himself from the dominant lefty he used to be to a crafty one over the past several seasons. Sabathia will turn 38 on Saturday, but he’s having another solid season. He has a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 18 starts.

Will a World Series decide whether he hangs ’em up? Will his knee? Guess we’ll know by November.