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Clay Buchholz owes Donald Trump everything

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We’ve talked about this before, but if I had to guess, I’d say that there is a greater percentage of Donald Trump supporters in major league clubhouses than in locker rooms of any other major sport. Be it demographics, temperament or any other factors, most folks who cover baseball for a living agree that ballplayers are a pretty conservative lot in the aggregate.

As such, “Ballplayer supports Donald Trump” is not really a story, at least if it doesn’t involve more, such as the ballplayer himself making outlandish statements or going down the Curt Schilling rabbit hole or what have you. A lot of ballplayers support Trump. Big whoop.

Not many can claim they support Trump as much as Clay Buchholz does. Indeed, his support of Trump is at a completely different level. It’s personal. Very, very personal. Why? Bob Nightengale tells us in this column today:

It was 10 years ago when Buchholz and about a dozen of his Boston Red Sox teammates and friends went to a UFC Fight in Anaheim, Calif. They went to an after-hours party as guests of Trump, who knew they played for the Red Sox.

“I remember him saying, “Ok, who’s single here and who’s married?’’ Buchholz said. “I told him I was single. That’s when he introduced me.’’

He met Lindsay Clubine, a model on the show Deal or No Deal, who was helping host Trump’s “Affliction: Banned Fight’ event.”

The two of them got married a year later and now have three children. Buchholz says “if not for the president none of this possible. He’ll always be a good friend. I’m able to tell my kids that the President of the United States introduced their mom and dad.” Makes sense. Indeed, it’s a pretty expected reaction for someone in that situation.

Whatever your politics, it’s OK to be loyal to the one who introduced you to the love of your life. Even if they’re vile and terrible! For example, Twitter introduced me to my wife, and I remain loyal to it even if it’s a warm and steamy pile of garbage. Love is blind.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.