Every year, the MLB Players Alumni Association announces a winner for its annual Heart and Hustle Award. The award is given to the player who “best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball.” The winner of the 2018 award is Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
Betts is the first member of the Red Sox to win the Heart and Hustle award since Dustin Pedroia in 2013. The winners since the award’s inception in 2005:
- 2005: SS David Eckstein, Cardinals
- 2006: 2B Craig Biggio, Astros
- 2007: 2B Craig Biggio, Astros
- 2008: OF Grady Sizemore, Indians
- 2009: 1B Albert Pujols, Cardinals
- 2010: SP Roy Halladay, Phillies
- 2011: OF Torii Hunter, Angels
- 2012: OF Mike Trout, Angels
- 2013: 2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
- 2014: UT Josh Harrison, Pirates
- 2015: 1B Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
- 2016: 3B Todd Frazier, White Sox
- 2017: OF Brett Gardner, Yankees
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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