Fan’s death hits close to Cardinals’ futures star

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TWEETING WITH THE STARS: Want to let Jose Bautista or David Ortiz know how you felt about that blast they hit into the Chase Field seats in the Home Run Derby? Just tweet him.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox sluggers are among a handful of players who have agreed to communicate with fans via Twitter from the field at Monday night’s festivities.

Others taking part include Heath Bell, Gio Gonzalez, Joel Hanrahan, Matt Kemp, Howie Kendrick, Hunter Pence, Brandon Phillips, Gaby Sanchez, Justin Upton, Shane Victorino and C.J. Wilson.

Bautista, Ortiz and Kemp are Home Run Derby participants. The others are schedule to play in Tuesday’s All-Star game, with the exception of Victorino, who has withdrawn due to injury.

The MLB says other players on hand Monday night will have the opportunity to provide live commentary, photos and video through the Twitter and Facebook accounts of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The players’ Twitter accounts are as follows: Bautista (at)JoeyBats19, Ortiz (at)davidortiz, Bell (at)HeathBell21, Gonzalez (at)GioGonzalez47, Joel Hanrahan (at)hanrahan4457, Kemp (at)TheRealMattKemp, Kendrick (at)HKendrick47, Pence (at)HunterPence9, Phillips (at)DatDudeBP, Sanchez (at)GabySanchez15, Upton (at)RealJustinUpton, Victorino (at)ShaneVictorino and Wilson (at)str8edgeracer.

On Twitter, the league’s account is (at)MLB and the players association (at)MLB_PLAYERS. Their Facebook accounts are Facebook.com/MLB and Facebook.com/MLBPlayers Assoc.

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CHAIN GANG: Maricopa County’s Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” in America, plans to deploy a chain gang to pick up litter outside Chase Field at the All-Star game.

The inmates, who are clad in cartoon-like striped jail outfits, include some from the holding tank for illegal immigrants, all of whom have been convicted of driving under the influence. The group also will include other DUI offenders.

Arpaio said the idea is to show the perils of drunken driving in Arizona, which has among the nation’s toughest DUI laws. Asked why illegal immigrants are included in the chain gang, he said, “I would be discriminating against the people here illegally in this country who have been convicted of the same crimes U.S. citizens have been convicted of. Should I say, ‘Oh, no, you can’t be on a chain gang because you’re from a different country?’”

The sheriff’s office, known for its anti-illegal immigrant sweeps of neighborhoods and businesses, said all chain gang participants volunteered for the duty rather than remain in “Tent City,” jail homes, which have no air conditioning.

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GOLDEN HOMERS: A few of the balls used in Monday’s home run derby will have a little something extra for the fans who catch them: gold.

The special balls will be made with one panel that’s infused with 24-carat gold leather and will be used once a batter is down to his final out in each round of the derby.

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