Brewers’ Christian Yelich back on injured list, 1 day after returning

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is going back on the injured list just one day after getting activated.

The Brewers announced Tuesday that Yelich was returning to the IL due to the lower back strain that has bothered the 2018 NL MVP for the last three weeks. The Brewers recalled outfielder Tyrone Taylor from Triple-A Nashville.

“I’m just not where I need to be to go out there on an everyday basis and compete in a Major League Baseball game,” Yelich said before the Brewers played Tuesday night at Philadelphia.

“I wasn’t where I needed to be yesterday. It just wasn’t good. I was able to make it through the game, but being able to stack them on top of each other health-wise and being able to play a certain level, it just wasn’t there. That’s pretty much why we’re back to where we are,” he said.

Yelich went 2 for 4 on Monday night at Phiadelphia in his first game since April 11. He is batting .353 with a .463 on-base percentage, no homers and one RBI in just 10 games.

“We’re kind of at a point where we need to get more answers,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That was why he played last night. He obviously got through the game and obviously performed, but he’s at the point where he’s not going to be able to go out there on a regular basis, so we need to get more answers, we need to get some better answers and we need to get him healthier. He’s just at this point not healthy enough to be a regular contributor.”

Counsell said nothing happened Monday that made Yelich’s situation worse, but the experience helped them realize the star outfielder wasn’t ready to play on a daily basis. Counsell said Yelich “kind of gutted out” Monday’s game.

The back problem caused Yelich to undergo an MRI in late April. Counsell said the MRI showed no structural damage.

“I don’t really want to go too far into the specifics of what’s really going on, but I definitely think that it’s something we need to look at and get a hold on and see what we can do going forward in the future to either get a hold on it or at least have some sort of understanding on how to keep it at bay a little bit,” Yelich said.

Taylor has capitalized on his opportunity while Yelich has been hurt. The 27-year-old is batting .323 with a .400 on-base percentage, two homers, seven RBIs and a .981 OPS in 16 games.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.