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NEW YORK — Major League Baseball is suspending all political contributions in the wake of last week’s invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump, joining a wave of major corporations rethinking their efforts to lobby Washington.

“In light of the unprecedented events last week at the U.S. Capitol, MLB is suspending contributions from its Political Action Committee pending a review of our political contribution policy going forward,” the league said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Following the insurrection last week by Trump supporters while Congress attempted to certify the results of the presidential election, many companies have said they will avoid making donations to members of the House and Senate who voted to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Others, like MLB, have postponed political giving to both political parties altogether.

MLB is the first of the major professional sports leagues to say it would alter its lobbying strategy in the wake of the deadly Capitol riots.

The Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball Political Action Committee has donated $669,375 to Senate and House candidates since the 2016 election cycle, with 52.4% of that money going to Republican candidates, according to The Center for Responsive Politics.

Among its lobbying successes was a bill in 2018 that exempted minor league baseball players making as little as $5,500 per season from federal minimum wage laws, preempting a lawsuit from three players filed four years earlier. The “Save America’s Pastime Act” appeared on Page 1,967 of a $1.3 trillion spending bill.

Since the 2016 election cycle, MLB has made contributions to two senators and nine representatives who were among those opposing certification of Biden’s victory.

The Senate Republicans are Ted Cruz (Texas) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi), and the House Republicans are Roger Williams (Texas), Kevin McCarthy (California), David Schweikert (Arizona), Steve Chabot (Ohio), Markwayne Mullin (Oklahoma), Adrian Smith (Nebraska), Michael Burgess (Texas), Rick Crawford (Arkansas) and Elise Stefanik (New York).

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MLB

Tommy La Stella, San Francisco Giants finalizing contract, sources say

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Second baseman Tommy La Stella and the San Francisco Giants are finalizing a contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Once completed, the deal is expected to be for three years.

The Oakland Athletics, needing an everyday second baseman who could provide consistent offensive production, acquired La Stella in a late-August trade with the Los Angeles Angels. He immediately paid dividends, finishing the season with a .289 batting average in 27 games with the A’s.

One thing that the former utility infielder rarely does, is strike out. Between the Angels and A’s, La Stella only struck out 12 times in 196 at-bats this season – a rate of one per 16.3 at-bats, which led the American League by a huge margin (DJ LeMahieu was second at 9.3).

Overall, the 32-year-old infielder finished the season with a .281 average with 5 home runs, 31 runs scored and 25 RBIs. According to ESPN Stats & Information, La Stella pulled the ball on a career-high 50.8% of the time he made contact, which ranked 12th in the majors.

La Stella has shown a little more pop over the past two seasons — his 21 home runs in that span is more than double what he had in his first five seasons combined (10).

Prior to joining the Angels in 2019, La Stella was utilized primarily as a pinch hitter with the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs in his first five seasons. His breakout season came with the Angels in 2019, when he set career highs with a .295 batting average, 16 home runs and 44 RBIs in 80 games before suffering a fractured right tibia. He earned his first All-Star selection, but he was unable to play due to the injury.

NBC Sports Bay Area first reported the sides were nearing a deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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SS Andrelton Simmons, Minnesota Twins agree to 1-year, $10.5M contract, sources say

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Shortstop Andrelton Simmons and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a one-year, $10.5 million contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

A four-time Gold Glove Award winner, Simmons has established himself among the most brilliant defensive shortstops in baseball history. Since his first full season in 2013, Simmons easily leads the majors with 172 defensive runs saved (Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is second with 120).

Simmons will be the Twins’ starting shortstop, with Jorge Polanco moving to second base and Luis Arraez still expected to get plenty of at-bats in a super-utility role.

The Los Angeles Angels acquired Simmons in November 2015 — as the first major move by former general manager Billy Eppler — by sending fellow shortstop Erick Aybar and top prospect Sean Newcomb to the Atlanta Braves.

Simmons batted .281/.328/.394 in his five seasons with the Angels, compiling 36 homers, 112 doubles and 15.4 FanGraphs wins above replacement, ninth-most among shortstops from 2016 to 2020.

Simmons, 31, was selected by Atlanta in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft and made his big league debut with the Braves in 2012. He is a .269 career hitter with 67 homers and 406 RBIs in 1060 games with the Braves and Angels.

ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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Ron Johnson, former Boston Red Sox first base coach and minor league manager, dies at 64

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BOSTON — Ron Johnson, who worked 25 seasons as a minor league manager, most recently for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides in the Baltimore Orioles system, died on Tuesday. He was 64.

Johnson appeared in 22 major league games with the Kansas City Royals and Montreal Expos from 1982-84, mostly as a first baseman, batting .261 in 53 career plate appearances. He went on to manage in the Royals, Red Sox and Orioles systems.

Johnson spent 10 seasons in the Red Sox system, working his way up from Single-A Sarasota to Double-A Trenton and Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he was in charge from 2005-09. He spent the 2010 and ’11 seasons as Boston’s first base coach.

“RJ was instrumental in helping countless Red Sox players reach and succeed in the big leagues, and was an important contributor to two World Series championships,” Red Sox general manager Brian O’Halloran said. “His kindness, sense of humor, love of family, and passion for the game of baseball stood out among many wonderful qualities.”

Johnson managed Norfolk from 2012-18 and was the 2015 International League Manager of the Year. He also coached in in the Royals system for 14 seasons.

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