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Athletics still see Bruce Maxwell as the starting catcher

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Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell has made a lot of headlines lately, both for good reasons and for bad reasons. The good: In September, he became the first Major League Baseball player to protest police violence against people of color by kneeling for the national anthem. The bad: Allegedly, Maxwell was inebriated and pulled a gun on a food delivery person last month.

The Athletics still see Maxwell as the club’s starting catcher, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reported recently. Maxwell pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear in court on December 28 for a pretrial hearing.

GM David Forst said, “I don’t want to talk about the off-field stuff right now. We’ll let the criminal proceedings play out. But from a baseball standpoint, I expect Bruce to be our catcher next year.”

Maxwell, 26, hit .237/.329/.333 with three home runs, 22 RBI, and 21 runs scored in 253 plate appearances last season. He got the majority of starts behind the plate once the Brewers claimed Stephen Vogt off waivers from the A’s in late June.

Robinson Canó benched for lack of hustle

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Mets second baseman Robinson Canó is not in the lineup for Monday’s series opener against the division rival Nationals. Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, it’s punishment for failing to run hard on a pair of double plays over the weekend against the Marlins.

Manager Mickey Callaway said, “He understands that it’s unacceptable to not run balls out. He understands that he needs to do that at all times.”

Canó first gaffe came in the top of the seventh inning on Friday, with his team trailing 7-3. Facing Adam Conley, Canó hit a grounder back to the pitcher, who turned a 1-6-3 double play. Canó was only halfway up the first base line when the throw got to first base.

In the fourth inning on Sunday, with the game still scoreless, Canó tapped a Sandy Alcantara pitch in the dirt. Thinking it was foul, Canó didn’t run, but catcher Chad Wallach charged and grabbed the ball while it was still in fair territory. He threw to second base for the force out and then the ball was easily whipped to first base to complete the double play as Canó still thought it was foul.

This likely wouldn’t be as big a deal as it currently is if Canó were actually producing at the plate and if the Mets weren’t in a freefall. Canó has a .245/.293/.374 batting line on the season. Meanwhile, the Mets are 20-25 and riding a five-game losing streak which includes having been shut out in each of their last two games.