Braves release Adrian Gonzalez

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If you’re one of those people who tune out of baseball news during offseason weekends — and there are a lot of you — this headline may be confusing to you. It’s all just part of one of the more creative salary dump trades in recent memory.

In case you missed it, the Braves traded Matt Kemp to the Dodgers on Saturday for Brandon McCarthyScott KazmirCharlie CulbersonAdrian Gonzalez and cash considerations. The Dodgers reportedly have no intention of keeping Matt Kemp and will likely release him. The Braves have absolutely no intention of keeping Gonzalez, and released him this afternoon.

For their trouble, the Braves pick up a couple of starting pitchers and a decent backup in Culberson while ridding themselves of Kemp. The Dodgers, in NBA-style, pick up the expiring contract of Kemp and some more salary relief which will allow them to get under the luxury tax for this year and set them up to compete in next year’s talent-laden free agent market. Gonzalez only agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to Atlanta with the understanding that he’d be released, thereby making him a free agent. The man wants to start someplace in 2018 and that place was not going to be in Los Angeles or for any team that had to pay him his full contract. Now he can be had on the cheap and will likely latch on someplace soon.

And thus ends the Adrian Gonzalez era in Atlanta. What was your favorite part of his Braves career? Mine was his career 0.0 WAR in a Braves uniform, which made him a more effective first baseman than Gerald Perry was in seven seasons in Atlanta back in the 80s.

And people ask me why I don’t get too mad about what happens with the Braves. I lived through the Gerald Perry era, dudes. Everything after that has been cream cheese.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).