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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.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

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First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.

Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.