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Braves release Lucas Duda

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The Atlanta Braves have released first baseman Lucas Duda.

Duda just signed a minor league deal with the Braves earlier this month after being released by the Royals. Which makes the second year in a row he went from the Royals to the Braves, having been traded to Atlanta by Kansas City during the 2018 season. Last year that led to 22 plate appearances with the big club but this year the Braves never even bothered to call him up after he went 8-for-57 with one homer over 16 games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He hit .171/.252/.324 with four homers in 119 plate appearances for Kansas City.

The smart money would be this being the end of the line for Duda who, at 33, is a couple of years removed from being a productive major leaguer in anything but the shortest of stretches.

Police are keeping reporters away from owners at the owners meetings

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The owners meetings are going on in Arlington, Texas right now and something unusual is happening: the owners are using police to shield them from reporters seeking comment.

Chandler Rome, the Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, attempted to talk to Astros owner Jim Crane at the hotel in which the meetings are taking place. Which makes sense because, duh, Rome covers the Astros and, if you haven’t noticed, the Astros are in the news lately.

Here’s how it went:

This was confirmed by other reporters:

To be clear: this is a radically different way things have ever been handled at MLB meetings of any kind. Reporters — who are credentialed specifically for these meetings at this location, they’re not just showing up — approach the GMs or the owners or whoever as they walk in the public parts of the hotel in which they’re held or in the areas designated for press conferences. It’s not contentious. Usually the figures of interest will stop and talk a bit then move on. If they don’t want to talk they just keep walking, often offering apologies or an excuse about being late for something and say they’ll be available later. It’s chill as far as reporters vs. the powerful tend to go.

But apparently not today. Not at the owners meetings. Now police — who are apparently off duty on contract security, but armed and in full official uniform — are shielding The Lords of Baseball from scrutiny.

We live in interesting times.