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Derek Dietrich homers three times vs. Pirates

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On Monday, Reds utilityman Derek Dietrich hit a long solo home run off of Pirates reliever Alex McRae. Dietrich admired his work and took a slow trot around the bases. Some thought the Pirates might try to throw at Dietrich on Tuesday to punish him for his transgression. They did not.

Dietrich one-upped himself, blasting three two-run home runs on Tuesday. The first came in the fourth inning off of Jordan Lyles, increasing the Reds’ lead to 3-0. Dietrich went yard again in the fifth against Geoff Hartlieb, boosting the Reds’ advantage to 6-0. Dietrich made it three in the seventh, victimizing Hartlieb once more to make it a 10-0 game. The Reds eventually won, 11-6.

After his three blasts, Dietrich is now hitting .254/.364/.720 with 17 home runs, 35 RBI, and 24 runs scored in 140 plate appearances on the season. The Marlins designated him for assignment in a cost-cutting move back in November and he went unsigned late into February. The Reds snagged him on a minor league contract. Dietrich was one of many talented, established players who couldn’t find guaranteed major league contracts for some reason.

Dietrich’s three-homer game is the sixth this season, as Kris Bryant, Justin Turner, Christian Yelich, Gary Sánchez, and Paul Goldschmidt have also accomplished the feat. Scooter Gennett was the last member of the Reds to have a three-homer night, blasting four round-trippers on June 6, 2017 against the Cardinals.

The last-place Reds, at 25-29 and only six games out of first place in the NL Central entering Tuesday’s action, may not be sellers if things keep going the way they have been. If the Reds do lose ground in the division, Dietrich — a potential All-Star — could be a hot commodity ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. At the very least, Dietrich has likely played his way into a guaranteed contract this coming offseason.

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.