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Joey Votto and Erik Kratz got into a heated argument over balls and strikes

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Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Brewers catcher Erik Kratz got into a heated argument in the bottom of the third inning of Thursday evening’s game in Cincinnati. Junior Guerra threw a 3-1 fastball that was just a bit off the plate, but home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz called it a strike. Votto wasn’t happy, so he had some words with the ump. Kratz wasn’t happy with Votto, either because he was trying to get his strike zone shrunk or that he was taking a long time to get his point across. Kratz stood up and the two exchanged words face-to-face, and then the benches emptied. The players congregated around home plate, but just to exchange words. There were no punches thrown and no one was ejected.

The Brewers went on to win 6-4. After the game, when asked about the discussion the two had, Kratz said (via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy), “Completely blown out of proportion, that’s all. We were discussing the Canadian dollar and flawed systems in our two governments. He was coming from a different side of it, and we were just discussing those kinds of things.”

Needless to say, Kratz had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. It’s always amusing when players make up some innocuous topic to dance around explaining what was actually said. It’s also fun to imagine Kratz and Votto actually having such a conversation.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”