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Yadier Molina wins 2018 Roberto Clemente Award

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Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been named the winner of the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award, voted on by fans and members of the media, is an annual award given to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”

Molina is the fifth Cardinal to win the award, joining Lou Brock (1975), Ozzie Smith (1995), Albert Pujols (2008), and Carlos Beltrán (2013). Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won it last year.

Molina has been providing aid to victims of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico last year. He posted about winning the award on Instagram:

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Hello fans, Yadi Molina here. I am so sorry I could’t be there to accept the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award in person, but I am currently in Colombia managing the next generation of Puerto Rican baseball stars on the under-23 national team playing in the Baseball World Cup. I tried my hardest to be there in person, but the travel was just impossible, so I sent my lovely wife and kids to be there for me. This award means more to me than I can express. As a native Puerto Rican, Roberto Clemente was everything I ever wanted to be growing up. He loved the game. He loved his island. He loved people. I pride myself in all of those things. So for me when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, I knew I wanted to make him and my island proud by serving any way that I could. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Cardinals organization for nominating me, to MLB for recognizing the great Roberto Clemente year after year, and of course to the fans for supporting me and my foundation’s relief efforts this year. I wish I could be there, but just know that this honor is one of the proudest of my life. Good luck to the Dodgers and Red Sox for a great World Series! Thank you all! y en español … Puerto Rico Te Amo!! Gracias a todos . mis exitos son todos de ustedes !! Graciasss los amo

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Molina wasn’t available to receive the award in person on Wednesday because he is coaching the Puerto Rican 23-U national team in Colombia. Molina’s wife, Wanda, accepted the award on his behalf.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.