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DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich says he supports Ian Desmond’s decision to sit out the 2020 season to focus on his young family and help rejuvenate youth baseball in his hometown in Florida.

Bridich says he had a pair of recent conversations with the 34-year-old outfielder who announced his decision in a lengthy and heartfelt Instagram post Monday night.

Desmond wrote that the “COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking.” The biracial slugger also mentioned a myriad of issues within baseball, including sexism, homophobia and socioeconomic concerns, as well as the racial reckoning that emerged after George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis sparked protests around the world.

“The conversations with Ian felt the exact same that his written words feel to me,” Bridich said, “which is from the heart and honest. … I did not know that he was going to write something as thoughtful and as comprehensive as (he did) but I’m not surprised.”

Desmond, who hit .255 with 20 homers in 140 games last season, had been due $5,555,556 for the prorated share of his $15 million salary, part of a $70 million, five-year contract. He is owed $8 million next year, and his deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout.

Opting out this summer doesn’t affect his 2021 status, nor does it affect his relationship with Bridich.

“Ian is extremely thoughtful in what he does, he’s thoughtful in how he prepares as a professional athlete, he’s thoughtful as a husband and a father … he’s thoughtful about things that are bigger than him,” Bridich said. “And to this point, the reference has been the team or the clubhouse or the locker room, or things that affect the organization, his charity work, passion projects of his outside of the game of baseball.

“He’s willing to devote a lot of time and energy and thought to all of the things that he does. And so when you have somebody like that who is a professional athlete who is in the thick of it every day and trying to do the very best that he can to hold up his end of the bargain as an athlete, a teammate, a performer and then he’s always willing to think about other people on the team, in the organization and outside the organization, it’s easy to gravitate to people like that.”

Desmond complained about a lack of diversity in baseball and criticized the clubhouse atmosphere, saying it includes racism, sexism and homophobia. Bridich said Desmond didn’t complain specifically about the Rockies’ clubhouse, but Bridich did acknowledge the organization could be more diverse.

In his Instagram post, Desmond said he has been sharing more of his thoughts and experiences as a biracial man since Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died after a white police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.

Desmond said his mind started racing during a recent visit to the Sarasota baseball fields that he played on as a kid. He wrote how they looked run down and neglected, and how important youth baseball was for him growing up.

Desmond said he wants to help Sarasota Youth Baseball get back on track.

Although Desmond’s decision is a big loss for Colorado, the Rockies on Tuesday agreed to a minor league deal with veteran Matt Kemp, who owns a .327 batting average with 21 home runs and 77 RBIs over 86 career games at Denver’s downtown ballpark.

“Yeah, we’re well aware of the damage that he’s done against us,” Bridich said.

Kemp, who is expected in Denver by Thursday, will have to earn his way onto the roster, and he’ll benefit from the National League using the designated hitter when pro baseball attempts to start the coronavirus-delayed season in late July.

“The DH is an obvious benefit in terms of his potential place on our major league roster,” Bridich said. “That was going to be the case whether Ian opted in or opted out, and so again, it’s a right-handed power bat. He’s got a sense of the strike zone, we’ve seen it for how many years? And he’s very motivated to get back on the field and continue his career and play well. Whether that’s in the outfield or only at DH, we have to let some weeks pass before we can make any decisions like that.”

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Chiefs’ Travis Kelce Makes Stunning Bid to Purchase Storied Baseball Franchise: Report


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Chiefs TE Travis Kelce

5-time Professional Bowler. Two-time All-Professional. Tremendous Bowl champion. Skilled sports activities proprietor?

If the playing cards fall his method, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs TE Travis Kelce might quickly add the latter title to his already spectacular resume.

In accordance with a narrative from ESPN employees author Vaughn McClure on Monday afternoon, the Chiefs’ tight finish is amongst a notable group of sports activities stars, each previous and current, becoming a member of forces to bid on the rights to personal one in all Main League Baseball’s hottest franchises — the New York Mets.

Comply with the Heavy on Chiefs Fb web page for the most recent breaking information, rumors and content material!

Becoming a member of the group led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, Kelce can be accompanied by NFL Corridor of Famer and ex-Chicago Bears LB Brian Urlacher, just lately retired Cleveland Browns All-Professional OT Joe Thomas and 2014 NFL Offensive Participant of the 12 months and former Dallas Cowboys RB Demarco Murray, per McClure.

The group has already submitted its preliminary bid of $1.7 billion. Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen has made a prime bid to date of $2 billion, based on a report by the New York Submit. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon would favor to promote to the Rodriguez-Lopez group if its provide is near the most effective bid on the finish of the public sale, based on the Submit.

From Childhood Hero to Enterprise Companion?

Like so many 80s and 90s youngsters, Kelce grew up across the sport of baseball and idolized Rodriguez as one of many period’s most dominant gamers. Whereas Kelce’s childhood staff, the Cleveland Indians, usually are not on the market, the 30-year-old isn’t shying away from an opportunity to hitch the elite membership that’s skilled sports activities possession, albeit a possible minority stake right now.

“It is a loopy alternative,” Kelce informed ESPN. “I had an opportunity to fulfill Alex Rodriguez a pair years in the past and simply informed him how a lot of a fan I used to be as a child of him. I’m very grateful for the success that I’ve had within the NFL, to have a possibility like this come throughout the desk. I couldn’t consider a extra distinctive set of individuals to be accountable for this.”

“Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are a star-studded couple which have gotten to the place they’re as a result of they work their tails off,” continued Kelce. “They usually’re good human beings. I thank them for letting me be part of this.”

The Mets ranked sixth total on Forbes’ most up-to-date listing of most useful MLB franchises, valued at $2.four billion — or simply lower than half of their No. 1 ranked cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees ($5 billion).

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