Indians trade Jake Bauers to Mariners for player or cash

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND — Jake Bauers ran out of chances with the Indians. The Mariners are giving him another one.

Less than a week after Cleveland designated the first baseman/outfielder for assignment, Bauers was traded to Seattle for a player to be named or cash.

Bauers, who never produced offensively the way the Indians needed, immediately went into the Mariners’ starting lineup for a day game in Detroit. He’ll be back in Cleveland on Friday when Seattle opens a three-game series.

Bauers was given the Indians’ starting job to open the season despite being outplayed by Bobby Bradley in training camp because he was out of minor league options.

Bauers batted just .190 with six RBIs in 43 games before the Indians designated him for assignment last weekend and recalled Bradley, who already has a homer and four hits in 10 at-bats since coming up.

With first baseman Evan White out with a hip injury, the Mariners are hoping Bauers can produce. He’ll fill in at first while White, who will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma, works his way back and then likely be used in the outfield.

Mariners manager Scott Servais thinks a change of scenery may help Bauers, who is an excellent fielder but has struggled at the plate.

“It takes some players longer to figure it out the big league level, and sometimes it’s a coach, it’s just being in a different uniform that can somehow flip the switch and allows that player to take off and relax,” Servais said before Thursday’s game. “It happens to multiple players, every year in our game and happened to me in my career.

“You get an opportunity to play a little bit, people look at you a little bit differently, they see it through a different lens and maybe they can unlock something. Hopefully that’s what we can do with Jake.”

The 25-year-old Bauers was acquired by Cleveland from Tampa Bay in a three-team deal in 2018. He did not play for the Indians in 2020, spending the abbreviated season at the club’s alternate training site.

In 160 games over two seasons, Bauers batted .218 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs for the Indians.

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.