Carlos Santana Among Artists Taking Part in ‘Artists United for Amazonia’ Global Livestream to Benefit Amazon Emergency Fund

Carlos Santana will be strummin’ for a cause…

The 72-year-old Mexican Grammy-winning guitarist and entrepreneur will be taking part in a global livestream event to benefit the Amazon Emergency Fund, an indigenous-led effort providing rapid response grants in the region to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carlos Santana

Santana, considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, will be joined by Jane FondaMorgan FreemanPeter Gabriel and numerous other artists for the Thursday, May 28 event. 

They’ll join indigenous leaders, scientists and a coalition of NGOs in presentng Artists United for Amazonia: Protecting the Protectors, a livestream event produced by Artists for Amazonia

The two-hour event will run from 8:00 pm to 10 pm ETE and will be hosted by part-Spanish actress and Game of Thrones co-star Oona Chaplin, who played Talisa Maegyr on the series. The livestream will be available via Facebook and through the event website. 

The program will promote the Amazon Emergency Fund, launched last month by a coalition of indigenous organizations, NGOs, and allies to respond to the urgent needs of indigenous peoples of the Amazon threatened by COVID-19.

Funds raised will be used for: immediate prevention and care; food and medical supplies; emergency communications and evacuation; protection and security for indigenous territories; and food sovereignty and community resilience. The Amazon Emergency Fund aims to raise $5 million over the next 60 days for Forest Guardians to protect themselves against the pandemic in all nine Amazonian countries. 

The Artists United for Amazonialivestream will feature living-room musical performances, interviews, and calls to action.

Performers include Herbie HancockRocky Dawuni, Butterscotch ClintonXiuhtezcatl MartinezCary ElwesAlfre WoodardWade Davis,Wagner Moura, and Brazilian Grammy winners Ivan Lins and Luciana Souza.

Others participating include Jane GoodallTom Bergeron, Ed Begley Jr.Frances FisherMatti Caspi, Suyan CaspiWendie MalickScottie ThompsonKali UchisRocky DawuniCeline CousteauMatthew ModineQ’orianka KilcherChloe Smith from Rising AppalachiaSonia GuajajaraAngela KaxuyanaNina GualingaBenki PiyakoMapu Huni Kuin, Lizardo CauperThomas LovejoyCarlos Nobre, Atossa SoltaniLeila Salazar-LópezChristina Miller, and Wade Davis

“This event is part of an extraordinary alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving the most biodiverse region on Earth,” said Sarah duPont, founder of Amazon Aid Foundation and co-director, River of Gold. “Illicit and unregulated gold mining is one of the most dangerous forms of deforestation in the Amazon Basin and releases toxic mercury into the ecosystem. Since the pandemic, gold mining has exploded across the Amazon and into indigenous territories bringing with it violence and COVID-19. Now, the Amazon is at the tipping point and the protectors of the Amazon are under dire threat. What happens in the Amazon affects us all.” 

Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch, added: “The Amazon and its peoples are in a state of emergency due to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a crime against nature and a crime against humanity. It is a time for all to unite and act in defense of the forest and in solidarity with the indigenous and traditional peoples across the Amazon who are protecting this great rainforest and our climate for all of humanity and life on Earth.” 

Herrera Agrees to One Year Contract with the Kansas City Royals

Kelvin Herrera has agreed to a Royal deal…

The 27-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher and the Kansas City Royals have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration with the hard-throwing right-hander.

Kelvin Herrera

The Royals announced the deal on Friday but didn’t disclose financial terms.

According to multiple reports, the sides settled at $5.325 million to avoid arbitration.

Herrera, who is slated to be Kansas City’s closer this season, tweeted that he and the Royals decided to “put our differences aside.”

Herrera is assuming the closer job after the Royals traded Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs this offseason. He went 2-6 with a 2.75 ERA and 12 saves last season, his sixth with the Royals.

Herrera has a 2.63 ERA in 351 career relief appearances for Kansas City, which has signed all of its arbitration-eligible players.

Quintana Named to American League All-Star Team

It’s a special first for Jose Quintana

The 27-year-old Colombian professional baseball player, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, has replaced the Cleveland IndiansDanny Salazar on the American League All-Star roster.

Jose Quintana

A first-time All-Star, Quintana is 7-8 with a 3.21 ERA, sixth in the AL at the start of Sunday. He joins teammate Chris Sale on the AL roster.

Kansas City‘s Wade Davis, Boston‘s Craig Kimbrel and Toronto‘s Marco Estrada also were dropped from the AL pitching staff because of injuries, and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez were added.

In the National League, Los AngelesClayton Kershaw and New York‘s Noah Syndergaard got hurt and won’t pitch, along with Stephen Strasburg, who just came off the disabled list, and San Francisco‘s Madison Bumgarner, who starts Sunday. New York’s Bartolo Colon, San Diego‘s Drew Pomeranz and Washington‘s Max Scherzer were added.

In the infield, Aledmys Diaz replaced St. Louis teammate Matt Carpente. In the outfield, Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce and Pittsburgh‘s Starling Marte replaced the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes and Chicago‘s Dexter Fowler.

Miami‘s Marcell Ozuna and Colorado‘s Carlos Gonzalez entered the starting lineup in place of Cespedes and Fowler.

Perez Named Most Valuable Player of the 2015 World Series

It’s turned out to be a Royals year for Salvador Perez

Following the Kansas City Royals 7-2 victory in Game 5 of the World Series over the New York Mets, the 25-year-old Venezuelan catcher for the Royals was unanimously named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 World Series.

Salvador Perez

Perez hit .364/.391/.455 in the series, going 8-for-22 at the plate with two doubles while scoring three runs with two RBIs.

In the Series-clinching win, Perez plated the tying run in the Royals’ ninth-inning comeback, then sparked their victory in the 12th inning with a leadoff single down the right-field line before being lifted for pinch runner Jarrod Dyson.

“He just had a phenomenal series,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “I think if I had one regret during the whole playoffs, [it] was I had to pinch run for Sal there in that inning. But it opened up the door for us to score five. I really wish that Sal could have been out there to jump in [closer Wade Davis‘] arms when we got the final out.”

Up to that point, Perez had caught every inning for the Royals in the series, but at times was nearly forced out of games by injuries that are the routine hazards of catchers at every level.

“What I always say, I think it’s part of my job,” Perez said. “Take a foul ball, a wild pitch.”

Perez took a foul tip off the mask in Game 4 of the AL

Division Series and AL Championship Series, and in Game 4 of the World Series he was staggered by a tip off his collarbone.

“He’s never going to say nothing,” said Yost, a former catcher. “He’s as tough as they come. You just know that even if you ask him, he’s going to tell you he’s fine, so no sense of asking him.”

“Now I don’t feel pain.”

Perez achieved a unique feat by driving in the tying run in the ninth inning of Game 5 one year after being the last batter in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series against the San Francisco Giants, ending that game with a popup to Pablo Sandoval at third base.

Asked about that coincidence, Perez said, “I already forgot about last year. So I just enjoyed the moment now. In 2015, Kansas City is No. 1. Who cares about what happened last year?”

In Game 5, batting against Mets closer Jeurys Familia with Eric Hosmer on third base and one out, it was Perez’s grounder to third base that allowed Hosmer to score. The Royals’ first baseman scampered home, forcing an errant throw by Mets first baseman Lucas Duda after Perez was retired on third baseman David Wright‘s assist.

“You guys know what we’ve done all season,” Perez said. “We never quit. We never put our heads down. … We always compete to the last out. And that’s what we did tonight.”

Perez became the first catcher to win the MVP award since Pat Borders won it while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1992 World Series, and the seventh catcher to win it in the history of the Fall Classic, joining Borders, Gene Tenace (1972, Oakland A‘s), Johnny Bench (1973, Cincinnati Reds), Steve Yeager (1981, Los Angeles Dodgers), Darrell Porter (1982, St. Louis Cardinals) and Rick Dempsey (1983, Baltimore Orioles). He also became just the second Royals player to win the award, joining starting pitcher Bret Saberhagen of the 1985 world champions.

Perez is also the second player born in Venezuela to win the award, joining Sandoval, who won it in 2012 with the Giants. He signed with the Royals organization when he was 16 years old.

“It’s unbelievable. I always say we feel like a family here,” Perez said. “We’ve got the same group, almost the same group [from] when I played my first year in 2007 in Arizona, in the Rookie league. It’s amazing to now win a World Series and see the same guys with you. It’s exciting.”