MLB Notes: Yankees Slugger Aaron Judge Completes Climb From .179 Average to All-Star

MIAMI -- Aaron Judge keeps the only piece of motivation he needs on his phone.

It's right there on his notes app, always atop the list for quick access. He looks at it every day and said he's done so for months, letting it serve as the perfect provider of perspective.

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The message: .179 -- a nod to what he hit last season in his debut with the New York Yankees.

That seems unfathomable now. The Yankees star leads the majors with 30 home runs, is a serious Triple Crown contender in the AL with a .329 average and 66 RBIs so far, and the massive guy who wasn't even a lock to make the big-league club out of spring training is set for his All-Star debut on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

"It's motivation to tell you don't take anything for granted," Judge said, as he sat on the warning track on Monday and explained why he keeps the reminder of 2016's struggles with him at all times. "This game will humble you in a heartbeat. So I just try to keep going out there and play my best game every day, because I could hit .179 in a couple weeks" (see full story).

Cubs: Manager Maddon only representative for champions
MIAMI -- World Series champions usually get to keep on celebrating at the following year's All-Star Game.

Not this year.

Manager Joe Maddon is the only member of the Cubs' first championship team since 1908 attending the All-Star Game. With the Cubs languishing at 43-45, tied for second in the NL Central and 5 1/2 games back of Milwaukee, their only All-Star is Wade Davis. The reliever was acquired in December in a trade with Kansas City.

"Yesterday was an awkward moment for me accepting my jersey in front of our entire team in Wrigley Field," Maddon said Monday. "To be presented a jersey on our field in front of all of our fans and have none of our players out there was different. It was difficult."

The previous World Series champion with just one All-Star was the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 with Albert Pujols.

Davis predicted a rebound after the All-Star Game.

"There's a lot of talent on that team and they'll be fine. They're going to be good," he said. "I guarantee it."

MLB: September sentencing in Cuban player smuggling case
MIAMI -- A September sentencing date has been set for a sports agent and a baseball trainer convicted in Miami of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S.

Court records show a federal judge has set Sept. 29 for the sentencing of agent Bartolo Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, convicted by a jury in March after a six-week trial.

Prosecutors said Hernandez faces up to 15 years in prison and Estrada -- convicted of more smuggling counts -- faces a maximum of 35 years behind bars.

Trial evidence showed the pair ran an international operation to smuggle Cuban players in return for a cut of their lucrative baseball contracts, including Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Adeiny Hechavarria of the Tampa Bay Rays and Leonys Martin of the Seattle Mariners.

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