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Baseball notes: Bregman among athletes appealing to Congress

Albuquerque native and Houston Astros All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman is one of more than 1,400 professional athletes, coaches and executives who signed a letter asking Congress to pass legislation to eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement and other public officials.

The Players Coalition, a nonprofit founded in 2017 by New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin to advocate for social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels, delivered the letter Wednesday.

Alex Bregman (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Athletes from the NFL, NBA and MLB signed the letter. They include quarterbacks Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Dak Prescott; Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith; Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees and San Antonio Spurs head coach and general manager Gregg Popovich.

“We are tired of conversations around police accountability that go nowhere, and we have engaged in too many ‘listening sessions’ where we discuss whether there is a problem of police violence in this country,” the letter said.

“… The world witnessed it when Officer (Derek) Chauvin murdered George Floyd, and the world is watching it now, as officers deploy enormous force on peaceful protesters like those who were standing outside of the White House last week. The time for debate about the unchecked authority of the police is over; it is now the time for change.”

The five paragraphs support the passage of a bill introduced by Reps. Justin Amash, L-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., to end qualified immunity.

“LONG GONE SUMMER”: The ESPN documentary debuting Sunday night on the tainted Sammy Sosa-Mark McGuire home run chase of 1998 fails to deliver, Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune reports. He writes that director AJ Schnack took “way too much time before addressing the murky ethics. … ‘Long Gone Summer’ is the equivalent of showing only slam dunks to finally reveal in a long shot that there’s been a trampoline involved, then more or less shrugging as if that’s OK.”

YANKEES TOO? The New York Yankees were all too happy to talk about the Houston Astros sign stealing this spring. So, it’s more than a little ironic, now, the team wants to keep secret the letter from Commissioner Rob Manfred detailing its own indiscretions in a sign-stealing investigation sent back in 2017. Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff ruled that the letter, used as evidence in a larger class-action suit against MLB, should be unsealed, according to a report in The Athletic.

The Yankees and MLB are arguing it could cause embarrassment to those named in the letter. Rakoff said the letter should not be unsealed until Friday, so the team has enough time to make an emergency appeal. The Yankees are expected to make that appeal.