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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.

 

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.