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Willians Astudillo admires the heck out of a winter league home run

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The hot stove season is colder than Nidavellir before Thor jump-started it, and I don’t see any Gods of Thunder walking through that door (oh please, you saw the movie). So let’s warm ourselves up a bit with some epic home run-admiring.

The home run hitter was Twins catcher Willians Astudillo, who is currently playing in the Venezuelan Winter League for Caribes de Anzoategui. No word if he’s running like the wind, but he’s raking down there, and has led his team into the postseason.

Last night he hit a big eighth inning homer and, oh my God, just watch his reaction:

If he took that knee and watched that ball fly out like that in a major league game every white dude over the age of 50 who had ever played high school baseball would be stricken with a case of the vapors and every bearded pitcher from the U.S. south or western exurbia would give taciturn quotes about how “that’s just not right.” Madison Bumgarner would likely stroke out. Frankly, I’d be worried about him.

The rest of us, however, thank you, Mr. Astudillo. We thank you for bringing us a bit of baseball joy in what has become a slog of an offseason.

Josh Reddick says he and his Astros teammates have received death threats

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Yesterday Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers. In the course of the interview, Fiers revealed that he has received death threats for blowing the whistle on the Astros’ cheating. Rob Manfred said last week, before the interview came out, that Major League Baseball would do everything in its power to protect Fiers and his family both when the A’s play in Houston and when they play anyplace else.

Manfred’s pledge of protection is going to need to be expanded, because today the guys on whom Fiers blew the whistle are saying they’ve received death threats as well.

At least Josh Reddick is saying it:

It’s obviously disgraceful for anyone to have to endure this sort of crap. People need to get a grip.