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Braves will host 2021 All-Star Game

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As expected, the Braves will host the 2021 All-Star Game at SunTrust Park, the club announced on Wednesday. The Indians are hosting this year’s midsummer festivities and the Dodgers will next year ahead of the Braves. The Phillies have been announced as the host of the 2026 All-Star Game for the U.S. semiquincentennial.

The Braves last hosted the All-Star Game in 2000 at Turner Field, a game which the American League won 6-3 over the National League. That was the fourth game of a 13-game streak in which the National League did not beat the American League. (The A.L. won 12 of those games with the other famously ending in an 11-inning tie.)

The likely All-Stars from the Braves this year include Freddie Freeman, Mike Soroka, and Ronald Acuña Jr. Josh Donaldson and Max Fried could also find their way onto the team.

It will be interesting to see how Major League Baseball handles the Tomahawk Chop during the All-Star Game fetivities. The league encouraged the Indians to get rid of Chief Wahoo, which it finally did, mostly. Commissioner Rob Manfred suggested in February that it was good that the Braves distanced themselves from mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa, a mascot that was discontinued after the 1986 season. It would follow that Manfred would also think it good if the Chop became no more. While Manfred can’t forbid fans from doing the Chop, he can instruct the Braves not to encourage fans to start it at least. It’s a whole thing that could’ve been avoided if the league had been more proactive on this front a long time ago.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.