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Chicago Cubs’ Willson Contreras on bat flip — ‘No regrets’

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CHICAGO — Tempers flared Friday night after catcher Willson Contreras was plunked by White Sox hurler Jimmy Cordero in the seventh inning of the Cubs’ 10-0 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The hit by pitch came several innings after Contreras threw his bat high into the air to celebrate a three-run homer as he began to circle the bases.

“I knew it was coming,” Contreras said afterward. “I have no regrets, zero regrets. Once they hit me, I don’t think that’s the smartest thing to do. He got thrown out. And who knows if he’s going to get suspended?”

The Cubs immediately began yelling from their dugout after Contreras was hit, prompting the umpires to gather before deciding to eject Cordero. Soon after, both White Sox manager Rick Renteria and pitching coach Don Cooper were kicked out.

Renteria said he disagreed with the ejections.

“The ball got away from him,” Renteria said of Cordero’s pitch. “We couldn’t convince him [the umpire] of that. … There was no warning. They just gathered and ejected him.”

Though Cubs manager David Ross admitted it might not have been his style to flip his bat after a home run, he backed his catcher, who led a five-home run barrage for the Cubs. The team has struggled offensively all month, so Ross said he viewed what happened as cathartic.

“It wasn’t to disrespect the other group,” he said. “It was because we’ve been struggling offensively and he brought some swagger. He brought some edge. I loved every second of it.

“I don’t think he deserved to get hit, at all.”

Ross recalled a time when White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson bat-flipped himself into some controversy in 2019. Anderson has been outspoken about letting players show their emotions.

“All the hype is on the guy on the other side when he bat-flipped, right?” Ross said. “I thought Tim Anderson’s bat flip last year where he flipped it and looked in his dugout, that’s what you want. That’s what Willson did.”

Contreras is known as an emotional, and at times hot-headed, player, but he said he felt he was right in line with the way the game is in 2020 — bat flips are in and retaliation is out.

“I’m not going to change anything,” Contreras said. “I play hard for my team. I always want to do the best for my team. But if they don’t like me, that’s fine. I don’t play for other teams to like me, anyways. And if I have to do it again, I will do it again.”

He added one caveat.

“I didn’t mean to throw it that high,” he said with a smile.

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Padres lefty Matt Strahm to undergo knee surgery to repair tendon

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San Diego Padres left-hander Matt Strahm is scheduled to undergo patellar tendon repair in his right knee.

Strahm underwent a similar surgery on his left knee in 2017 while he was with the Kansas City Royals.

Strahm was 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 19 appearances in his third season in San Diego and fifth big league season overall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Nelson Cruz, Freddie Freeman winners at Players Choice Awards

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NEW YORK — Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been voted Marvin Miller Man of the Year and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has been picked as Player of the Year in annual Players Choice award voting by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Freeman was voted the National League’s outstanding player, Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer outstanding pitcher, San Diego infielder Jake Cronenworth outstanding rookie and Colorado pitcher Daniel Bard comeback player.

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was voted the American League’s outstanding player, Cleveland’s Shane Bieber outstanding pitcher, Seattle outfielder Kyle Lewis outstanding rookie and Cleveland pitcher Carlos Carrasco comeback player.



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Washington Nationals re-sign Josh Harrison to one-year contract

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The Washington Nationals have re-signed utility player Josh Harrison to a one-year contract, the team announced Thursday.

Harrison spent the 2020 season with the Nationals after signing with them in July, less than a week after he was released by the Philadelphia Phillies. The 33-year-old hit .278 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 33 games for Washington.

He is a two-time All-Star and right-handed hitter who has started games at second base, third base, shortstop and both corner outfield spots during his 10 years in the majors.

Harrison played eight seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates before joining the Detroit Tigers in 2019 and has compiled a career .273 batting average with 56 homers and 291 RBIs. He was a National League All-Star in 2014 and 2017 for Pittsburgh. But Harrison hit .175 with one homer in 36 games for the Tigers last year before getting released in August 2019.

He had signed a minor league contract with the Phillies in November before they let him go in July and he wound up in Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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