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Mookie Betts, Nolan Arenado among 2018 Gold Glove Award winners

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The finalists for the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced two weeks ago. The winners were announced tonight on ESPN. Here they are.

American League

C: Salvador Pérez (Royals), fifth career Gold Glove
1B: Matt Olson (Athletics), first career Gold Glove
2B: Ian Kinsler (Red Sox), second career Gold Glove
3B: Matt Chapman (Athletics), first career Gold Glove
SS: Andrelton Simmons (Angels), fourth career Gold Glove
LF: Alex Gordon (Royals), sixth career Gold Glove
CF: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Red Sox), first career Gold Glove
RF: Mookie Betts (Red Sox), third career Gold Glove
P: Dallas Keuchel (Astros), fourth career Gold Glove

Both Athletics corner infielders named Matt won Gold Gloves. Pérez resumes dominance over the catching position, having won it four straight years before Martín Maldonado interrupted him last year.

Notable snubs in the AL include Mike Trout, Alex Bregman, and Francisco Lindor.

National League

C: Yadier Molina (Cardinals), ninth career Gold Glove award
1B: Tie! Anthony Rizzo (Cubs), second career Gold Glove; Freddie Freeman (Braves), first career Gold Glove
2B: DJ LeMahieu (Rockies), third career Gold Glove
3B: Nolan Arenado (Rockies), sixth career Gold Glove
SS: Nick Ahmed (Diamondbacks), first career Gold Glove
LF: Corey Dickerson (Pirates), first career Gold Glove
CF: Ender Inciarte (Braves), third career Gold Glove
RF: Nick Markakis (Braves), third career Gold Glove
P: Zack Greinke (Diamondbacks), fifth career Gold Glove

Ahmed interrupts Brandon Crawford‘s run of dominance at shortstop. Crawford had won in each of the last three years. Arendo has now won Gold Gloves in each of the last six years. Rizzo and Freeman tied at first base. It’s the first NL Gold Glove tie since 2007 when Aaron Rowand and Jeff Francoeur tied in the outfield. The last AL tie was in 2012 when Jeremy Hellickson and Jake Peavy tied at pitcher. Markakis wins his first Gold Glove since 2014, interrupting Jason Heyward‘s hold on the position. Heyward had won in each of the last four years and in five of the last six. Molina won his ninth career Gold Glove, leaving him one shy of tying Johnny Bench for the most all-time among catchers. Greinke wins his fifth in a row.

Some snubs in the NL include the aforementioned Crawford and Heyward, as well as Lorenzo Cain, Kolten Wong, and Javier Báez.

Astros hitting coach receives 20-game suspension; A’s Laureano six

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron received a 20-game suspension and a fine Tuesday for his role in a benches-clearing brawl at Oakland, while Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was given a six-game suspension and a fine.

Cintron’s suspension is the longest for an on-field transgression in 15 years, since Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers received 20 games for his altercation with two cameramen in 2005.

“I accept MLB’s suspension and will learn from this,” Cintron said in a statement. “Although I never referenced Ramon’s mother, my actions were inappropriate. I apologize for my part in Sunday’s unfortunate incident. As coaches, we are held to a higher standard and should be an example to the players. Hopefully, other coaches will learn from my mistake so that this never happens again in the future.”

Laureano appealed, so his discipline didn’t begin Tuesday night in Oakland’s game against the Angels. He was in the lineup batting second and playing center field at Angel Stadium.

Laureano was hit by a pitch from Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 7-2 victory Sunday. He began exchanging words with a gesturing Cintron then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward the 41-year-old Cintron.

Astros catcher Dustin Garneau tackled Laureano before the A’s outfielder got to the hitting coach. Laureano is a former Astros player and the rival clubs have been the top two in the AL West the past two years. A’s pitcher Mike Fiers, another former Houston player, revealed the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in November to The Athletic.

Laureano was hit for the third time in the weekend series swept by Oakland – the fifth time the A’s were hit in all while the Astros didn’t get plunked once – and he pointed at Castellanos.

Players rushed out of both dugouts. Laureano was ejected by plate umpire Ted Barrett, and the umpiring crew could easily be heard yelling at the players to “get back to the dugout!” through a ballpark with no fans.

“I just thought that, whew, boy they threw the book at us big time. But what can you do?” said Astros manager Dusty Baker, who had already been ejected by the time the brawl occurred and didn’t see it on TV. “The ruling is the ruling. I talked to the powers that be in the commissioner’s office this afternoon and we had a good conversation. So … we have to deal with it and hopefully this brings our guys even closer together. He was a big part of our team.”

The A’s lost the AL wild-card game each of the past two seasons after winning 97 games both years to place second in the AL West behind three-time reigning division champion Houston, which won a World Series in 2017 and an AL pennant last season.

Laureano began Tuesday batting .259 with three homers and 10 RBIs as the A’s regular center fielder and No. 2 hitter.

“It’s just something we have to deal with,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of the suspension. “I don’t make those decisions, and whatever I think about them doesn’t really matter anyway, so I think the best thing to do is try to get it behind us as quickly as we can.”

Melvin wasn’t sure how he would potentially structure his outfield and lineup without Laureano for several games.

“You can’t replace him,” Melvin said. “You just have to play short.”

The Dodgers and Astros had their own dustup when Los Angeles visited Houston last month. LA lost the ’17 World Series to the Astros when the sign-stealing scam was happening.

In announcing the punishments, MLB said Cintron’s discipline was “for his role in inciting and escalating the conflict between the two clubs.” Given the coronavirus pandemic, baseball has established strict guidelines about avoiding brawls.

“The explanation was that he’s a coach and especially with the COVID situation out here … in essence they’re not going to stand for it,” Baker said. “Basically, somebody had to be the example. Especially in these times that we’re going through.”

A former infielder from Puerto Rico, Cintron played parts of nine major league seasons with Arizona, the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore and Washington. He won’t be eligible to coach again until Sept. 2, when the Astros are scheduled to host Texas.

“Cintron said what he did was wrong, and he apologized for it,” Baker said. “It still doesn’t take the fact away that it happened.”