Monthly Archives: June 2017

Freddie Freeman injury update: Braves slugger out 10 weeks with broken wrist, team says

According to financial filings obtained by the New York Times, attendance through the first quarter of the Yankees home schedule is down from the same point last year. Just how much? The Yankees’ per-game decline of 3,793 over the same number of games last season (through Tuesday) is the third-worst in MLB, according to Baseball Reference, trailing only the Royals and the Mets.

In fact, ticket and suite revenues has fallen by over 42 percent ($166 million) over the last seven seasons, since the Yankees won the World Series in 2009.

One of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports is facing the same issues confronting other baseball teams: Building relationships with a younger fan base and building a winning team. The club has failed to secure a playoff berth in three of the last four years yet kept ticket prices among the most expensive in the game.

Braves slugger Freddie Freeman, who left Wednesday’s game after being hit by a pitch, will be out approximately 10 weeks after additional testing Thursday showed he has a broken wrist, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

However, Fox Sports baseball insider Ken Rosenthal reported that surgery won’t be necessary on the nondisplaced fracture.

I can feel my swing when I’m up there, in the first few pitches, Trout said. If I swing through a few pitches, I know I’m swinging a little bit too hard, trying to hit the ball too far. So it’s calming yourself down and keep trusting it. That’s the biggest thing for me ’ trusting it.

So, yeah, like The Beatles with Sgt. Pepper’s, the best player in baseball is getting better after changing his approach for the better, and it’s been something to watch.

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Cavaliers, GM David Griffin part ways: ‘The fit is not right for us’

The Cavaliers are parting ways with general manager David Griffin, team owner Dan Gilbert announced Monday.

Gilbert chose not to renew Griffin’s contract, which expires at the end of the month, after the two sides “just couldn’t agree on a future,” according to The Vertical.

The reporter began his question by saying, “I’m interested in your Cheap Hockey Practice Jerseys thoughts of how you’ve been able to restrain yourself emotionally and avoid getting —” before he was cut off by Durant, who chuckled and said, “Geez.”

“You act like I’m just this troubled guy who’s been in a bunch of trouble and can’t control myself and Jesus Christ,” Green replied.

You might roll your eyes and cast aside this interaction as “Dray being Dray.” Or maybe you thought the reporter was trying to stir up drama. But listen to what Green says when he actually answers.

“I just been playing basketball, brother,” Green said. “And when you got great teammates like I do, who allow me to play with my emotions and allow me to be emotional when I’m talking to them, to use my emotions to the better for us, it’s easy. So just really trying to lead this team as much as I can in the ways that I do for this team. Not worrying about the officials and all that.

A quality starter his first two years, Fuller’s 2016 ended before it began when Cheap Houston Rockets Jerseys he got knee surgery in training camp and ended up missing the entire season. Fuller should be healthy in time for the 2017 season, but the Bears are clearly hedging their bets, signing Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in free agency. Now playing for a coaching staff and GM who didn’t draft him, it’s not a sure thing that Fuller gets his fifth-year option picked up.

Twins’ Miguel Sano pranks pitching coach with rubber snake

This may shock you, but the Twins are in first place. But you probably won’t be as shocked as Neil Allen was on Sunday.

During the Twins’ throwdown with the Rays, Minnesota’s young stud Miguel Sano totally pranked pitching coach Allen with a rubber snake. (Video courtesy of 120 Sports.)

The Twins certainly aren’t snakebitten. As mentioned, they entered Sunday’s games in first place in the American League Central, 2 1/2 games ahead of the reigning AL champion Indians.

Sano has been a big part of that success. In his third year with the Twins, he’s hitting .290 with 11 home runs and boasts a gaudy .986 OPS.

If Minnesota wants to prove it’s no joke, Sano will have to keep up the production in a lineup that’s less than good. It ranks near the bottom of the American League in runs, hits and total bases.

But with Sano as the team’s snake charmer, the Twins could be in good hands for the rest of the year.

Greene, a high school senior from southern California, may have the most raw-talent in the entire draft, as the 6-3 right-handed pitcher routinely runs his fastball into the triple digits and can maintain mid-90s velocity deep into his starts. He also has the advantage of youth, as the Notre Dame High School star will not turn 18 until August.

Need to know: He’s probably the prize of this group, from the perspective of teams in the market for position upgrades. Cain has had issues staying healthy in his career — he played just 103 games last year and his career-high is 140 — but he’s played in 44 of K.C.’s 46 games this year, and he already has 12 stolen bases, after swiping only 14 all of last season. He’s still an elite defensive center fielder, and could play either corner spot if needed.

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MLB players pushed back on holiday hat-sales cash grab

The Marlins have allocated all of $700,000 MLB paid the team as a result of Jose Fernandez’s death to a trust for the late Marlins pitcher’s 3-month old daughter and to his mother, The Miami Herald reported, citing unidentified industry sources.

MLB policy calls for $1 million to be paid out to a team when an active player dies, but Fernandez, who died Sept. 25 in a boating accident, was found to have traces of cocaine in his system and a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit at the time of the wreck, so MLB’s insurance company balked at paying the full amount.

The insurance company and MLB recently negotiated a $700,000 payout, according to The Herald, which was passed through the Marlins to a trust to pay for infant Penelope Fernandez’s education and to help take care of Maritza Fernandez, the pitcher’s mother.

Later Monday, at least four Tigers players ’ second baseman Andrew Romine, third baseman Nicholas Castellanos and pitchers Justin Verlander and Alex Wilson ’ made the subtle choice to display poppies on their Memorial Day-themed uniforms during Monday’s game in Kansas City.

The poppy as a symbol of remembering war dead dates to after World War I, and since then the flower has become the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.

At least what aptly called an ugly piece of apparel whose very existence is rooted in crass marketing, cheap emotional pandering, and bad civics conjured up a solution: More than one person has suggested instead of selling apparel, MLB teams instead donate to charities every dollar from ticket sales on apparel-worthy holidays.

That would 1) get more MLB money to worthy causes such as Welcome Back Veterans and 2) usher in a New Era of honoring a holiday and not merely hawking hats.

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Enjoy David Ortiz reenacting famous Boston movie scenes

David Ortiz accomplished all he could in The Show. Now, it’s on to Hollywood.

In an ad for a promotion tied his number being retired, Ortiz announced he was coming out of retirement, but not to play baseball. He’s taking his talents to the silver screen.

The Departed scene was especially indicative of his acting chops. The intensity of his eyes ’ they tell a story. The posture, the passion.

Eh, maybe not.

Good luck with that, Papi. If the whole method acting thing isn’t for you, maybe wait out Mark Ruffalo for the Incredible Hulk gig.

Tebow isn’t like other Class A players, of course, and nobody is pretending that the Mets will treat him like an ordinary Class A player. For starters, Tebow was born in August 1987. Think about this: Five of his Fireflies teammates were born in 1997 , and shortstop Andres Gimenez was born in 1998, 11 years and 20 days after Tebow.

Yeah, the Mets view him with a different set of rules. I mean, he was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last Wednesday night, promoting his new book. He made the 10-hour bus ride with his Fireflies teammates up to Maryland for a series with the Delmarva Shorebirds and then to New Jersey for a series with the Lakewood Blue Claws. The appearance with Fallon, though, meant he missed a bus ride with his teammates for the first time all season.

I didn’t ask, but I’m assuming Tebow caught a flight back to Columbia instead of a Greyhound.

So what now? Realistically, what are the next steps for the Tim Tebow experience?

Tebow turns 30 in August. Chances are, he won’t be in Columbia by then. One way or another, Tebow will be promoted at some point. The Mets, a franchise that is floundering at the major-league level with injuries and other assorted struggles, won’t let him spend an entire summer competing with and against kids 10 years his junior. So when does he get the bump up?

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Bryce Harper has potential new workout partner: Katie Ledecky

Before the 2017 season, Donaldson had more American League MVP awards (one) in his career than trips to the disabled list. So you can imagine his frustration with missing six weeks of the season with an injury (one that originated this spring and lingered into the regular season) while watching his Blue Jays, who had made the playoffs in his first two years with the club, get off to a horrendous start to 2017.

They were just 1-8 before he landed on the DL — no fault of his; he was batting .310 with a pair of homers and a 1.015 OPS — and fell to as many as 10.5 games out of first place in the AL East at one point while he was on the shelf. He finally returned to action on May 26, joining the Jays in the middle of a hot streak that’s pulled the club within 6.5 games of first.

If Bryce Harper needs a way to maintain his cardio while he’s suspended, he can train with an Olympic champion.

U.S. multiple gold medalist Katie Ledecky has invited the Nationals slugger to hit Stanford’s pool, where Ledecky does her academic and athletic work. Ledecky jumped into action after Harper brawled with Giants reliever Hunter Strickland on Monday, an act that likely will cost Harper one or more games.

The Washington Post, which spotted the invite, noted that Maryland native Ledecky is a big Nationals fan and has met Harper on multiple occasions before games (like this time after the Rio Games in 2016). Harper, meanwhile, wore a Ledecky swim cap during the Nats’ locker-room champagne celebration after the team clinched the National League East last year.

Maybe he can get that out of storage (assuming it has been cleaned) and do a few laps on The Farm.

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Ichiro’s arm shows its age in place where legend was born

Ichiro Suzuki had a chance Wednesday to reprise the throw that made him famous 16 years ago. Same stadium, basically the same spot in the outfield.

Problem: Not the same arm. It’s 43 now. Father Time has claimed another victim.

Ichiro was playing right field for the Marlins against the A’s in Oakland when Jed Lowrie grounded a single through the hole. Ichiro came up throwing. To be fair, it looked like he wanted to go home before going to third.

Bradley’s effort and celebration was short-lived, as Mark Canha went yard in the bottom of the 10th to give the A’s a walk-off win.

I feel like it has a lot more rhythm to it, a lot less herky-jerky. Started from nothing. I think, working off the pitcher, being able to guess, Tebow told me after that May 2 game. Getting my front foot down in time, being able to adjust to righties, lefties, submarine guys, I’ve seen them all now. Today, I think I only saw lefties. So it’s really just trying to be locked in and see everything.

SS Alcides Escobar
Age: 30. Status: Free agent after 2017
Need to know: He was undeniably a huge part of Kansas City’s back-to-back World Series runs. No doubt about that. But he’s not what he once was. He’s still an elite defensive shortstop, sure, but at the plate, he’s far below average. Like, really far below average. Think about this: For the stat OPS+, 100 is league average. Escobar was at 67 in 2015, 72 in 2016 and he’s at 21 this season (it’s not an accumulative stat, btw). By more traditional numbers, in 2017 he’s hitting .180 with a .211 on-base percentage, numbers which rank 176th and 180th, respectively, of 180 qualified hitters in the majors. It’s hard to imagine they’d get anything more than a low-level, low-ceiling prospect in return.

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Orioles’ Welington Castillo went to emergency room after groin injury

Say this for Giants manager Bruce Bochy: He maintains a sense of humor about injured pitcher Madison Bumgarner.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, when Bochy was asked a generic question over the weekend about what his ace lefthander, sidelined since mid-April after a dirt-bike accident, is allowed to do at this point in his rehab, Bochy deadpanned to reporters: Ride horses, go dirt-bike riding. We’ve got him back on them, and he’s doing better.

Maybe San Fran’s skipper is upbeat because the truth is Bumgarner will start throwing this week, a first since he sprained his left shoulder and bruised ribs in the off-day accident April 20 in Colorado.

Easy, throw easy. That’s always a big step, Bochy said (via the San Jose Mercury News). I know it’s a step he’s looking forward to. I’m sure he’s getting antsy and a little tired of doing a lot of the rehab without doing what he loves to do ’ and that’s throw a baseball.

He’s got a hematoma there in his groin that we’re going to monitor and see how it progresses. But we wouldn’t use him tonight to catch, and now, we’re trying to decide whether we’re going to DL him or not. So we’ve got the possibilities in place, and we’re going to make a decision here shortly.

Castillo, who turned 30 last month, is batting .317/.339/.467 with four home runs this season.

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Red Sox fan dives head-first into Faceplant Hall of Fame after whiffing on foul ball

This could go in the Hall of Fame of epic face plants.

This Red Sox fan reached for a foul ball in the upper deck, and landed two rows from whence he came.

The good thing is, the Red Sox fan seemed to be in good spirits and waved off additional help from security. It could have ended a lot worse, especially if his momentum carried him further down.

There was probably an oh s’ moment for the fan, but this one is definitely all good. Everyone had a good laugh. Slightly scary to watch.

No harm, no foul. Except for the ball.

Tebow’s home ballpark (for now) is kind of unique.

When the Fireflies aren’t in town, it’s open to the public from sunrise to sunset, like any city park in Columbia. The wide concourse serves as a running/walking track ’ each lap is a third of a mile ’ and people bring their lunches to eat on the many tables around the field. It’s a pretty cool setup.

On game days, Fireflies employees politely clear out the stadium a little more than three hours before first pitch, which means the public can actually be out there watching Tebow and his teammates go through the first half-hour or so of their pregame routine for free. And maybe even pregame hacky sack.

He’s been a full-time starter for six seasons, and in three of those seasons, he’s been equal to or worse than any available player the Royals could have found to play first base (a call-up from the minors or a guy available as a midseason free agent).

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No sugar-coating here: Urias’ first two big-league starts were rough.

Last July, the Baseball Hall of Fame quietly did a good thing. A decade before, the Hall had permanently shut the door on Negro League inductions after a special, one-off election that put in 17 contributors. Several people subsequently cried foul, because white contributors as far back as the 19th century have remained eligible. So last July, amid a series of rule changes, the Hall of Fame made Negro Leaguers eligible again.

So who are some of the Negro League contributors who might be worthy of more frequent consideration by the Hall of Fame? Here are 10 deserving of at least another look:

No sugar-coating here: Urias’ first two big-league starts were rough. He didn’t make it out of the third inning in his debut, then gave up three dingers in his second outing. But, y’know, he was just 19 years old and he spent the rest of the season showing why he was considered baseball’s best pitching prospect. In his final 16 games (13 starts), the lefty fashioned a 2.73 ERA and struck out 77 in 69 1/3 innings while working with tight pitch limits.

The 10th overall pick of the 2012 draft, Dahl hit .315 with seven homers and five stolen bases in his 63-game debut with the Rockies in 2016. His Coors Field numbers were outstanding, but the left-handed hitter still batted .291 with four homers an .833 OPS on the road. He’s next in the long line of feared Rockies hitters.

Forget about that ugly 8.02 ERA last year. Berrios has the stuff to be an All-Star pitcher in the bigs, and with an offseason to digest 2016’s whirlwind, he should be fine in 2017 if he finds the control that often eluded him in his rookie year. The right-hander doesn’t even turn 23 until late May.

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