Mourners pay final respects to Taveras at funeral

Mourners pay final respects to Taveras at funeral

SOSUA, Dominican Republic -- Grief wore a diamond-stud earring, a fitted gray shirt with a black collar, two metal bracelets and one thick yellow rubber band that read "VIP: Lifestyles Resort."

It was 2:36 p.m. on Tuesday at Bailey's Bar and Restaurant, about 90 minutes from the start of Oscar Taveras' funeral procession, and Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez was pondering the life and the unexpected death of his best friend and former teammate.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Shocked Mozeliak, Matheny travel to visit Taveras' family

Cards' GM discusses finding out tragic news, seeing outpouring of support in Dominican

Shocked Mozeliak, Matheny travel to visit Taveras' family

A week before Oscar Taveras was to arrive in Jupiter, Fla., to begin a conditioning program that would prepare him to compete for a starting job with the Cardinals next spring, general manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny boarded a flight to the Dominican Republic, where they were to meet with a family grieving the loss of a son, a brother, a budding baseball star lost too young.

The unexpected trip to the Caribbean came a day after Taveras and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, were killed when Taveras' 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ran off a road near his home and struck a tree. According to the report issued by Brigade General Francisco Romero Lopez of the Northern Regional National Police, Taveras died of multiple injuries while receiving care at the Sosua Cabarete Medical Center.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cards rookie Taveras killed in car accident

Cards rookie Taveras killed in car accident

Baseball lost one of its future stars Sunday. The Dominican Republic lost one of its favorite sons.

Oscar Taveras, the vibrant Cardinals top outfield prospect, and his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, 18, were killed in a Sunday afternoon car accident near his home on the Caribbean island. He was 22.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Full of promise, Taveras gone way too soon

Full of promise, Taveras gone way too soon

The Cardinals loved him from the moment they laid eyes on him. Oscar Taveras was just a teenager then. Already, though, the Cardinals thought he had a chance to be special. That's the incomprehensible sadness in all of this.

Taveras and his girlfriend were killed in a car accident near his home in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 22. 

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cards bench coach Aldrete moving on to A's

Though it seems a trivial matter in light of the tragedy that struck the Cardinals on Sunday, the organization will soon be searching for a new bench coach after it was announced on Monday that Mike Aldrete will be leaving to take the same position with the A's.

Aldrete had served as manager Mike Matheny's bench coach for three seasons. He joined the organization in 2008 as an assistant hitting coach under then-manager Tony La Russa.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cards' Wilson gets clutch hit in Fall League win

St. Louis' No. 19 prospect triples in top of ninth, helps complete late rally

Cards' Wilson gets clutch hit in Fall League win

For eight innings Wednesday, Peoria's offense was silenced by Glendale's pitchers. Going into the ninth inning the Javelinas had just one run on six hits.

In their last half inning, however, the Javelinas' bats came alive against right-hander Blake Smith. Francisco Lindor led off the inning with a single and scored to tie the game when Edward Salcedo followed with a double. After Hunter Dozier drew a walk, Jacob Wilson came to the plate with runners on first and third and a chance to complete the comeback.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Mike Matheny statement on Oscar Taveras

Mike Matheny statement on Oscar Taveras

"I was asked last night to give some words regarding the tragic death of Oscar Taveras, but I just simply couldn't.  

First of all, it felt like a bad dream that could not be real, and when reality kicked in, my words didn't even seem to make sense. To say this is a horrible loss of a life ended too soon would be an understatement. To talk about the potential of his abilities seemed to be untimely. All I wanted to do was get the guys together and be with our baseball family. I know the hurt that comes along with buying into the brotherhood of a baseball team. That hurt is just as powerful as the joys that come with this life. Not to say it is even close to the depth of pain his true family is going through, but the pain itself is just as real. The ache is deep because the relationships were deep, and forged through time and trials.
 
To the many fans who have already reached out with condolences, and to the many more who are in mourning, thank you for taking these players in, like they are one of your own. This level of care is what sets our fans apart.
 
In my opinion, the word "love" is the most misused, and misunderstood word in the English language. It is not popular for men to use this word, and even less popular for athletes. But, there is not a more accurate word for how a group of men share a deep and genuine concern for each other. We loved Oscar, and he loved us. That is what a team does, that is what a family does. You will be missed, Oscar."

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Cardinals teammates remember Taveras

Cardinals teammates remember Taveras

Without prompting, they all talked about his smile.

As news of Oscar Taveras' tragic death in a Sunday car accident reached the Cardinals, those who knew him best spoke of how they'll remember Taveras for the passion with which he played the game and the youthful smile that could rarely be erased. They shared stories about an outfielder who had such high on-field promise, but also of one who was a beloved teammate, a jokester and, at heart, still a kid.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Outpouring of emotion follows death of Oscar Taveras

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Outpouring of emotion follows death of Oscar Taveras

Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras died in a car accident Sunday in the Dominican Republic while driving with his girlfriend, who also died.

The 22-year-old rookie debuted for the Cardinals in 2014, playing in 80 regular season games and 12 in the postseason.

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World Series shaken by Taveras' passing

Giants' Perez mourns loss of friend, Dominican teammate

World Series shaken by Taveras' passing

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had just won a World Series game, but there was very little celebrating going on in their clubhouse.

There was no music played. No raised voices or raucous laughter, either. Sure, there was some feeling of euphoria, which is to be expected, considering the Giants had just shut out the Royals, 5-0, to take a 3-2 lead in the World Series.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Tuivailala steps up in relief for first AFL win

St. Louis' No. 13 prospect strikes out one, navigates out of trouble in scoreless inning

Tuivailala steps up in relief for first AFL win

Peoria right-hander Sam Tuivailala entered Tuesday's game at Mesa with the score tied in the seventh inning. He didn't have his best command and walked two batters before inducing a double play to get out of the jam.

In the top half of the next inning Tuivailala watched as Cody Stanley, his catcher and teammate in the Cardinals' organization, hit an RBI single to give the Javelinas the lead. They hung on to defeat the Solar Sox, 2-1, giving Tuivailala his first victory in the Arizona Fall League.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Matthew Leach

Shocking tragedy hits Cardinals again

Death of Taveras is third loss of active player in 13 seasons

Shocking tragedy hits Cardinals again

One is far too many. Three is unfair, bordering on unfathomable.

The death of Oscar Taveras on Sunday, in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, is the third death of an active player to hit the St. Louis Cardinals in the past 13 seasons. It's a burden no club, no organization should have to bear even once, never mind three times.

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Matthew Leach is a writer for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cards' Tuivailala named to AFL Fall Stars roster

Rosters for annual AFL event include 14 prospects from Top 100 rankings

Cards' Tuivailala named to AFL Fall Stars roster

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Make way for the next generation.

Several of the best prospects in baseball will collide on Saturday in the ninth annual Fall Stars Game, the yearly All-Star Game for the Arizona Fall League. This year's rosters feature 14 players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Wainwright has cartilage trimmed from elbow

Cardinals expect ace right-hander to resume throwing in eight weeks

Wainwright has cartilage trimmed from elbow

After pitching through on-and-off right elbow discomfort this season, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright had a piece of cartilage trimmed from the elbow on Friday. The procedure is not expected to affect his readiness for Spring Training, as Wainwright should be able to resume throwing in eight weeks, after six weeks of physical therapy.

The Cardinals confirmed the surgery after the fact, this news coming just days after general manager John Mozeliak announced that doctors examined Wainwright's elbow last Friday and prescribed him rest. After that news conference, Wainwright received a second opinion on his elbow, at which point it was determined that surgery was the best way to address the issue. He had an MRI as part of both examinations.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Small tweaks all the Cardinals need this offseason

Bench, bullpen main areas St. Louis may bolster for run in 2015

Small tweaks all the Cardinals need this offseason

The Cardinals will open the 2015 season as the two-time defending National League Central champions and are likely to look fairly similar to the club that captured the most recent of those titles.

With a rotation coming back in full and lineup of returning position players, the Cardinals are expected to spend the next few months looking to complement rather than overhaul. General manager John Mozeliak recently described the organization's position as "opportunistic" -- the same word he used leading into the winter a year ago.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Molina, Wainwright finalists to be repeat Gold Glove winners

Molina, Wainwright finalists to be repeat Gold Glove winners

Catcher Yadier Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright, both Gold Glove winners in the National League last season, have again been named finalists for the annual defensive award. Rawlings announced the three league finalists at each position on Thursday, and among Cardinals players, only Molina and Wainwright made the cut.

The winners will be revealed on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. CT on Nov. 4. At that time, voting for the Platinum Glove -- given to the best overall defender in each league -- will commence. The Platinum Glove winners will be unveiled at the Gold Glove Awards dinner on Nov. 7.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Navy grad, Cards farmhand Harris finally pursuing MLB dream

After serving his country, Cardinals farmhand playing in AFL

Navy grad, Cards farmhand Harris finally pursuing MLB dream

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For five years, Mitch Harris sailed around the world and watched his dreams of playing professional baseball grow even more remote than the exotic locales he visited.

Harris, a pitcher and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, traveled to South America, the Middle East and Russia as a weapons officer, serving his country in wartime and keeping a not-so-secret ambition in his back pocket. Some day, he thought, he'd love to give baseball his best shot.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals may gain Spring Training neighbors, stay in Jupiter

Cardinals may gain Spring Training neighbors, stay in Jupiter

The Cardinals appear on the verge of gaining two new spring neighbors, as the Board of County Commissioners in Palm Beach County, Fla., approved financing for the Nationals and Astros to build a Spring Training facility in the county on Tuesday. The organizations now have 90 days to select a site for the complex, which will be a close commute for the Cardinals, who share a Spring Training facility with the Marlins in Jupiter.

The Cardinals, who have trained at Roger Dean Stadium since 1998, have a lease at their current facility that runs through 2027. However, the club also had an out clause in that lease that it could have exercised had any of the other three teams along Florida's East coast -- the Nationals, Mets or Marlins -- moved away. Though the Cardinals were not looking to leave, an exodus of additional teams may have left them little choice but to look elsewhere because of team travel concerns.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Despite NLCS loss, Cards happy to be in 'Final Four'

Wainwright led strong pitching staff with second career 20-win season

Despite NLCS loss, Cards happy to be in 'Final Four'

ST. LOUIS -- Based solely on the endpoint, the Cardinals essentially did as most expected them to in 2014, a year in which they entered as overwhelming favorites to repeat as National League Central champions. It was the route in which they got there, however, that went largely off course.

A season that Mike Matheny recently described as the most challenging of his three as manager was indeed adversity-laden, despite the fact that the Cardinals finished as one of just three NL teams with 90 wins. Injuries to key players took their toll, and the offense never clicked for extended periods. That's why it took until September for the Cardinals to sit atop the NL Central alone, bumping the Brewers after their 150-day stay.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals prioritize upgrading bench, bullpen

St. Louis to rely on returning players to fill rotation, everyday spots

Cardinals prioritize upgrading bench, bullpen

ST. LOUIS -- Describing the organization's offseason strategy as opportunistic, general manager John Mozeliak is expected to seek bullpen and bench depth this offseason, while relying on returning players to fill the rotation and starting position player spots.

"When you look at our overall club for next year, we feel pretty comfortable with where we're at," Mozeliak said. "But we certainly want to make some needed adjustments if possible."

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Jay to have wrist surgery; Yadi, Waino prescribed rest

Cards expect center fielder to resume offseason routine after 6-8 weeks

Jay to have wrist surgery; Yadi, Waino prescribed rest

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals intend to tender Jon Jay, a second-year arbitration-eligible player, a contract this winter and have him open the season as the team's starting center fielder. But before any of that happens, Jay will have his left wrist scoped in order to address an injury that occurred about three months ago.

General manager John Mozeliak, speaking at an end-of-the-season media debriefing, made that announcement on Monday while also providing updates on others recovering from injury. Jay is the only player currently scheduled to have an offseason procedure. After Wednesday's scope, he is expected to need 6-8 weeks to recover before resuming a normal offseason training program.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cards expect full coaching staff to return

ST. LOUIS -- Unless any of manager Mike Matheny's coaches choose to take a position elsewhere, the Cardinals anticipate retaining their full coaching staff for 2015. Most members of the staff are already under contract for next season, and general manager John Mozeliak indicated on Monday that any who aren't will be offered an opportunity to return.

If the Cardinals were to bring back their entire coaching staff, it would be a first since Matheny assumed the managerial seat. He had to replace hitting coaches before both the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals' season ends in heartbreak by the Bay

Wacha allows walk-off homer to Ishikawa in Game 5 loss to Giants

Cardinals' season ends in heartbreak by the Bay

SAN FRANCISCO -- It took nine postseason games for the Cardinals to carry a lead into the seventh inning, a feat finally accomplished on Thursday. But their inability to make it hold for another nine outs cost them the chance to take this National League Championship Series home and left them to again watch the Giants hoist the NL pennant.

For the second time in three Octobers, the Cardinals' quest for a World Series championship stalled at AT&T Park, a venue where the Cardinals have now lost six straight playoff games. Their 90-win season -- one in which they secured a second straight NL Central title by overcoming several key injuries and an inconsistent offense -- ended with a 6-3 walk-off loss in Game 5, as Travis Ishikawa's three-run homer into Levi's Landing off reliever Michael Wacha sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy and the Giants back to the World Series for the third time in five seasons.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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In must-win Game 5, Wainwright returns to form

St. Louis ace departs with lead after seven innings, but bullpen can't preserve it

In must-win Game 5, Wainwright returns to form

SAN FRANCISCO -- Facing elimination, the Cardinals handed the ball to their ace on Thursday without any hint of trepidation, even though he's scuffled during these playoffs.

But in Game 5 at AT&T Park, and with the Cards needing a victory to stay alive in the National League Championship Series against the Giants, Adam Wainwright looked like his old self.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Put in 'tough spot,' Wacha allows series-ending homer

Cardinals manager Matheny says he wasn't afraid to send righty to mound in ninth inning

Put in 'tough spot,' Wacha allows series-ending homer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nineteen days had come and gone without Michael Wacha throwing a meaningful pitch before he stepped into the center of the baseball universe on Thursday to throw the most important pitches of the Cardinals' season. One hundred and seventy-one more days will pass before Opening Day 2015, leaving plenty of time to dissect whether the Cardinals made the right choice.

"I can imagine a lot of people are going to second-guess how he was used and why," general manager John Mozeliak said after Wacha and the Cardinals were eliminated with a 6-3 loss to the Giants in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Travis Ishikawa's walk-off home run. "But this guy, what he's shown and what he's done in the past, he wanted this opportunity. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out for him.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cardinals proud of fourth straight NLCS appearance

Club overcame multiple injuries, lack of power to reach familiar spot in October

Cardinals proud of fourth straight NLCS appearance

SAN FRANCISCO -- By their nature, long baseball seasons always end abruptly for the good teams that play their way into October, and for more than 100 years, when the final pitch has been thrown and the clubhouse disappointment is heavy, the manager gathers his players to tell them to walk away proud. That is precisely the message Mike Matheny delivered to the final gathering of the 2014 St. Louis Cardinals late Thursday, after Travis Ishikawa's ninth-inning home run had found the seats, the Giants had danced their way into the World Series and the Cardinals' season had come to a sudden end.

Yet this brief address, Matheny said, felt a little different.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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