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Giants release a statement regarding its co-owner’s donation to Cindy Hyde-Smith

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Over the weekend news broke that both Major League Baseball’s political PAC and one of the part-owners of the San Francisco Giants made donations to the campaign of U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Such donations have come under fire due to Hyde-Smith’s recents comments and actions making jokes out of lynchings and glorifying Confederate history.

Major League Baseball, facing immediate blowback on Saturday night, issued a hasty — and, frankly, poor — statement yesterday morning saying it was asking for the donation to be returned. It has not said why the donation was made in the first place. The statement, quite obviously, was an exercise in damage control.

The Giants just issued a statement of their own regarding the donation by Charles Johnson, one of the team’s many part-owners. The central point of it — Johnson is a private individual who made the donation in his individual capacity and the team can’t do anything about it — is fine. It is, as they say, what it is. The statement is pretty bad in its own right, however, in that it spends far more time trying to defend the Giants as a brand, citing the team’s philanthropic bonafides than it does talking about Johnson’s donation.

Indeed, Johnson’s name isn’t even mentioned at all [click the statement to enlarge]:

The message: “our team is great and you should support it for all of the great things it does, but in no instance should anything one of the team’s owners does reflect poorly on it. This is so much the case that we shall not even speak the owner’s name, let alone hold him accountable in any way for doing a thing we explicitly say in the first sentence of this statement we do not approve of.”

Do better, Giants. An Major League Baseball? At least make a damn effort.

 

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.