Sports 'A movie waiting to happen': Braves infielder Sean Kazmar Jr. makes first MLB appearance since 2008
Opinion: MLB pulling All-Star Game from Georgia is league's most important move since Jackie Robinson
Major League Baseball made its boldest move since integration by pulling the All-Star Game following a bevy of voter restrictions in Georgia.In protesting Georgia’s new discriminatory voting bill, MLB acted without waiting to see what other leagues or conferences will do.
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2004 MLB Draft, infielder Sean Kazmar Jr. made his last MLB appearance on September 23, 2008 for the San Diego Padres. He played in 19 games that year and never made it back to the Major Leagues, until today.
Called up by the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, Kazmar Jr. entered the Braves' game against the Chicago Cubs in the 5th inning as a pinch hitter, grounding out into a double play.
With his appearance, the 12-year, 206-day gap between Major League appearances since Minnie Miñoso in 1976, per ESPN's Jeff Passan and the Elias Sports Bureau.
Cleveland infielder Yu Chang pushes back against racist messages after committing error
Chang posted to his Instagram story and Twitter account a handful of racist messages sent to him.Chang, who is Taiwanese, tried to start an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth inning in Chicago. Instead, his throw from first base glanced off baserunner Yasmani Grandal's helmet, enabling Nick Madrigal to chug home with the winning run for the White Sox.
What separates Kazmar Jr. from Miñoso is that Kazmar Jr. has been playing every year since the last time he saw MLB action. The 36-year-old infielder has been in the farm systems of the Padres, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets and Braves since 2009.
For the first time since 2008, Sean Kazmar Jr. is back in the big leagues!— Atlanta Braves (@Braves)
Braves manager Brian Snitker, who was Kazmar Jr.'s manager for Atlanta's Class AAA Gwinnett Braves from 2014-2016, said calling up the infielder was one of the greatest moments in his managerial career.
"I thought about this is whenever I got this job, I said one of the greatest things that could happen to me was have Kaz up here," Snitker told reporters before Saturday's game. "It's a book or a movie waiting to happen."
Aguilar's double lifts Marlins past Braves; Acuña 2 homers
ATLANTA — The Miami Marlins wanted to show they could hold their own against the team that has won three straight NL East titles and swept them out of the playoffs last season. Even on a night when they squandered a 5-0 lead and surrendered two homers to torrid-hitting Ronald Acuña Jr., the Marlins bounced back for their third straight win in Atlanta, beating the Braves 6-5 in 10 innings on Wednesday night. Jesus Aguilar drove in the winning run with a leadoff double after Starling Marte was placed at second base, and Yimi Garcia shut down the Braves' Big Three in the bottom half to preserve the win.
Snitker compared the "MVP of spring training for the third year in a row" to Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis in terms of stability, consistency and professionalism.
"This guy's a baseball rat. I mean, it's just every year when I had even AAA, there'd be about two or three days in July I'd have to sit him down because I was wearing him out. It was one of those, 'Kaz you didn't sign up here to play all this,' but he ends up being one of the most reliable, consistent, better players on your team every year.
Kazmar Jr. only saw MLB action in 2008 with the Padres. In 19 games, he hit .205 (8-for-39) with two RBIs, five walks and 14 strikeouts.
In 16 minor league seasons, he .259 with a .313 OBP, 98 home runs and 682 RBIs. In the past seven seasons with Gwinnett, he hit .268 with a .311 on-base percentage, 37 home runs and 270 RBIs in 667 games. In 2019, he pitched in 3 games, went 1-0 with one strikeout and retired all nine batters faced.
Rays beat Yankees 6-3, drop New York to AL-worst 5-9
NEW YORK — Manuel Margot hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Tyler Glasnow overcame cramps and poor control to pitch five innings of one-run ball and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Yankees 6-3 Saturday and dropped New York to an AL-worst 5-9. New York lost its seventh straight series to the Rays is last this late in the season for the first time since 1991, per Elias Sports. Fans in the Bronx again booed the Bombers, but they were more restrained a day after some hurled baseballs and other items on the field late in an 8-2 loss to the Rays.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
COVID protocol-related absences: 04/27/21 .
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is today’s list: Anaheim – Adam Henrique Calgary – Josh Leivo Montreal – TBA New Jersey – P.K.Anaheim – Adam Henrique