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MLB looking into playing games in Europe as soon as 2019

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The first occurred in the top of the seventh inning when Braves reliever Jason Motte quick-pitched Kevin Pillar into an inning-ending strikeout. Pillar, none too pleased, muttered something toward Motte that caught the attention of catcher Kurt Suzuki.

The three exchanged words as their teammates filtered onto the field, but umpires were able to corral the sides without incident. All clear.

That was until the top of the eight inning, when Bautista blasted an Eric O’Flaherty pitch 407 feet over the left-field fence, trimming the Braves’ lead to four. The Blue Jays slugger showboated with his trademark bat flip as he set off for first base, the Braves took exception, and players reconvened for another on-field gathering.

It’s turning to look at me stuff, it’s not even about winning anymore. Once they hit a home run in a five-run game, pimp it, throw the bat around, it’s frustrating as a pitcher, O’Flaherty said after the game. I didn’t see it at the time but I saw the video. He looked at me, tried to make eye contact. It’s just tired. We’ve seen it from him enough.

Major League Baseball has been trying to expand the brand just like the NFL, with the most notable efforts coming by way of the World Baseball Classic. And with teams from countries like Israel, Italy and the Netherlands all having success there, the appeal of playing games in other countries has become more and more logical.

Manfred has mentioned this possibility before, raising the possibility of games in London as early as the 2017 season. That obviously didn’t happen, but the topic is still on his mind.

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Miguel Cabrera suffers Grade 1 oblique strain, Tigers optimistic about recovery time

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The Mariners announced they’ll honor Seattle’s native son throughout Thursday night’s game against the White Sox at Safeco Field by playing the music of Soundgarden as well as Cornell’s later groups, including Audioslave and Temple of the Dog.

Tonight we’ll remember Chris Cornell throughout the game @SafecoField w/ music from Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and more #RIPChrisCornell, read a tweet from Kevin Martinez, the Mariners’ VP of marketing.

The Mariners had announced in an earlier tweet that Cornell would be honored with a moment of silence before the game. Seattle lost a legend. Rest in peace, Chris Cornell. We will honor him tonight at Safeco Field with a pregame moment of silence.

As 1460 ESPN in the Seattle area asked, How cool would it be if every Mariners hitter’s walk-up song was a Soundgarden tune?

Cabrera’s strikeout propensity has been even more alarming. Normally a patient hitter, Cabrera has 29 strikeouts in 28 games this season. He has 13 Ks in his last nine games, which is unlike the star hitter.

Tigers fans would love to see Cabrera back sooner than later. But right now, the slugger may need a period of rest to regain his hitting prowess.

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Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar apologizes for using homophobic slur; MLB plans investigation

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The Blue Jays and Braves got into a benches-clearing brawl Wednesday after Kevin Pillar took exception to a pitch from Jason Motte. Following the incident, Twitter users did some lip-reading and came away with the impression Pillar used a homophobic slur toward Motte.

While it’s difficult to tell for sure from the video, Major League Baseball saw enough to open an investigation, according to Sportsnet. The report says MLB’s look into the issue isn’t just for the fight, but specifically whether Pillar used a slur in his exchange with Motte.

After the game, Pillar issued an apology for his actions, although he didn’t say specifically what he said.

Yeah, I mean, obviously that was the initial thing I was upset about but I think it just stems from a little frustration in myself and just the way this series has been going. It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for. It’s part of the game, it’s just, I’m a competitive guy and a heat of the moment. Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologize and let him know the didn’t do anything wrong, it was all me.

In an era when strikeouts are trending up ’ in the AL, the league strikeout percentage has increased every year for the past dozen seasons, from 15.4 percent in 2005 to 21.4 percent so far in 2017 ’ Trout is bucking the trend. He’s decided that putting the ball in play, by any means possible, is more important than trying to blast the ball out of the ballpark every single time he takes the bat off his shoulder. That means, of course, a renewed two-strike focus.

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MLB hacking scandal: Yes, great players are available with picks Cardinals gave Astros

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred finally handed down his punishment in the Cardinals’ hacking case Monday afternoon.

The Hall of Fame treats all 246 elected players the same. That’s good enough for me. I’ll use my ballot to vote for the players I feel meet the standards of those 246, not just the 51 first-ballot guys or the 119 elected by the BBWAA. That’s why I voted for the maximum 10 players on my ballot this year, and I’ll continue to vote for as many as I feel meet the standard of the 246 (or whatever that number is from year to year).

The results in Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame ballot tracker show most of my colleagues are taking this approach, too. Of the 206 voters who have publicly released their ballots as of Monday morning, 118 voted for the maximum 10, and another 45 voted for either eight or nine players. Another 37 voted for five, six or seven players, and a quick scan through the Tracker shows a lot of those folks are in the keep the PED guys out’ club, so that makes sense. We’ll tackle that debate in a different column.

So, in the wake of the Chargers’ exit, what’s likely to happen in 2017 is that die-hard Padres fans will continue to be die-hards, casual fans will continue to be casual fans, and previously uninterested people might take a slight interest given the lack of other options. As for a potential Padres relocation, that seems highly unlikely. At least not anytime soon. Las Vegas Padres doesn’t sound good anyway.

Spring training is about a month away, but there’s not much reason for optimism. On-field expectations are low, as they always seem to be.

Given the city’s likely-to-linger grumblings over the Chargers’ exit, that doesn’t bode well for an exciting sports summer in San Diego.

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At last, Homer Simpson takes his place in Baseball Hall of Fame

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In 2014, the Mets tabbed a polished college hitter with their first-round pick, and Michael Conforto has done a bang-up job. The hesitancy with Hiura is his lack of a defined position and an elbow injury that’s kept him from throwing this season. Still, he’s hit .411 as UC Irvine’s DH this season, which is hard to ignore.

Carlson could be the first prep pitcher from Minnesota to go in the first round of the MLB Draft, which is cool. He’s a big kid who throws hard, and that velocity has jumped up a bit this spring. Teams like that kind of thing.

The Blue Jays pick twice in the first 30 selections, here and at No. 28 (compensation for losing Edwin Encarnacion), which gives them options. They’ve leaned college lately, and Peterson is a big (6-6) lefty from Oregon who checks a lot of boxes.

Homer Simpson’s career on the diamond didn’t last long, but his impact was profound.

So it was that the former Springfield Nuclear Plant right fielder was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame Saturday as the museum celebrated the 25-year anniversary of the classic Homer at the Bat episode.

Simpson’s induction plaque catalogues the attributes that made him a legend: Girthy right-handed hitter powered many a mighty wallop during celebrated 1992 season with Wonderbat ’ his secret weapon. Lack of mobility in the field was no match for moves atop the dugout.

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Prevention, not punishment, should drive longer suspensions for MLB head-hunters

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Watching this situation between the Orioles and Red Sox escalate over the past couple of days, I can’t help but be annoyed at how MLB helped this dust-up approach debacle status.

With just a tiny bit of foresight, this fiasco could have been nipped in the bud, if not avoided altogether.

The whole thing started when Manny Machado broke one of baseball’s unwritten rules when he slid over the second base bag and into Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia, who left the game with an injury that kept him out a couple of Cheap Authentic Jerseys From China games. Machado was absolutely in the wrong, though it wasn’t an abhorrent action. The typical punishment for that type of infraction, according to those unwritten rules, would be Machado getting plunked in the butt/thigh with a pitch during an at-bat within the next game or two, when he wasn’t up in an important situation.

Like any draft choice especially one that produces so many offensive line prospects like Wisconsin there will be NFL teams concerned that Ramczyk will turn out more like Gabe Carimi than Joe Thomas. First, Ramczyk enters the NFL with far less playing experience than others from major college programs after turning pro following his junior Cheap Baseball Jerseys season. The fact that Ramcyzk will be 23 this upcoming season contributed to his decision to leave early.

It’s easy to push the panic button, it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, s—,’ but we are too good for that,” Jay Bruce told the New York Post. We are a legitimate World Series contender, I believe, and I wouldn’t just say that. This is a team that is stacked. We just have to be healthy and play well.”

Easier said than done through 19 games. Let’s take a stroll through the disaster.

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it does not account for variables such as NL pitchers hitting eighth

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‘Dellin Betances is not a closer’: Yankees president Randy Levine rips pitcher after arbitration hearing

This column is about Randy Levine and Dellin Betances and the Yankees and, well, money. We’ll get there in a moment. First, a little background:

Arbitration hearings are almost never fun for players. Sometimes, of course, the players win and that means they get more money than if they’d lose. And that part’s nice, sure, but the process is painful. Essentially, the players have to sit there and listen to folks in their team’s front office present a case for why they don’t deserve the salary they’re asking for. It’s a cold and brutal process, and that’s why most teams avoid it at all costs.

Teams want happy players who are willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team, and having the players sit there and get torn down by people they thought were in their corner in front of an arbitrator isn’t exactly a motivation to sign an extension or stick around when free agency arrives.

The methodology for the AL was slightly different; here, we replaced the 10,737 plate appearances by AL DHs and pitchers with PAs by position players (.122 average RC/PA). The position players would have created 29 fewer runs for the entire season, or just under 2.0 runs per club.

This model has limitations; it does not account for variables such as NL pitchers Cheap Baseball Jerseys Kids hitting eighth, NL players hitting ninth in AL parks, or AL pinch hitters in NL parks.

Even if scoring were to go down under a real-life 1-8 setup, that wouldn’t be all bad. Runs should be more difficult to come by than they are now. It’s not Steroid Era bad, but hitters are beginning to skew the balance Cheap Authentic Jerseys again as home runs increase. Last season, clubs in both leagues averaged their most runs per game (4.52 per club in the AL, 4.44 per club in the NL) since 2009.

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It will be interesting to see what happens when he’s eligible again in fall 2020.

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Baseball had no fadder. It jest growed, one of the game’s pioneers, Henry Chadwick, said in 1904. Baseball would soon beg to differ with Chadwick, creating a commission in 1905 to investigate the game’s origins. With scant evidence, baseball wrongly proclaimed Civil War veteran Abner Doubleday the game’s founder in 1908. Credit began to shift to Alexander Cartwright in the 1930s, culminating with his induction to Cooperstown in 1938.

Adams fell one vote shy of Hall of Fame induction in December 2015. It will be interesting to see what happens when he’s eligible again in fall 2020.

The Tigers are a confusing team. When you think they should be really good, they’re not. Their offense is certainly good enough, or should be at least. On paper, they’ve been one of the best teams in baseball for years, but it just hasn’t panned out that way. With minimal moves made this offseason, aside from trading outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Angels, the Tigers are saying they can compete with this group. However, we’ve already seen that isn’t the case. Even so, the Cheap Authentic Hockey Jerseys Tigers should be looking optimistic in 2017, even after a quiet offseason.

Columnist Bryan Curtis of Bill Simmons’ The Ringer just wrote a fascinating piece about how he believes the sports media has moved to the left of its readership. Wrote Curtis:

In the age of liberal sports writing, the writers are now far more liberal than the readers. Absolutely I think we’re to the left of most sports fans,” said Craig Calcaterra, who writes for HardballTalk. It’s Cheap Barcelona Jerseys folly for any of us to think we’re speaking for the common fan.”
But to say ESPN has a double-standard with conservatives is questionable also.

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Broncos football poobah John Elway shouldn’t mess around.

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And then there’s this one: In 2000, Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez struck out 17 in nine innings, but was saddled with the L” because the Rays strung together two hits and a stolen base with two outs in the eighth inning. Tampa Bay won that one, 1-0.

But enough of the historical extremes. Let’s just look at the most recent season, using B-R’s invaluable Play Index to show the everyday lunacy of using pitcher wins and losses. In 2016, there were 195 starts in which a pitcher threw at least seven full innings, struck out at least seven and allowed zero or one earned runs and zero or one walks. We can all agree that’s a pretty exceptional start, right?

Of those 195 starts, 40 times that starting pitcher either received a no-decision (31 times) or a loss (nine times). On the other hand, on 29 occasions last year, a starting pitcher threw six or fewer innings and allowed at least five earned runs and still wound up with a win in the stat column.

So, if we’re only using pitcher wins/losses as the guide, on 69 occasions last year, a stat line of 6 IP, 5 ER (or worse) was a more valuable pitching line than 7 IP, 1 ER (or better).

Broncos football poobah John Elway shouldn’t mess around. Don’t wait to see if Romo gets released by Dallas. Send the Cowboys a draft pick – provided it’s within reason — to insure Romo is in the fold before Denver gets outmaneuvered by Houston for his services.

Such a move would be different for Elway, who has gone on the cheap lately at the quarterback position despite having adroitly played the position himself at a high price. Romo’s $14 million base salary for 2017 is just $1 million less than what Elway convinced Peyton Manning to play for in 2015 with a contract restructure. It’s far more Cheap Authentic Hockey Jerseys than what Denver is set to pay Paxton Lynch ($2.2 million) and Trevor Siemian ($628,000) this Cheap Authentic NHL Jerseys season.

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Sports Illustrated writer Jay Jaffe isn’t optimistic about Whitaker’s chances.

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The Hall of Fame, though, isn’t always great about rewarding consistent players who are good in a number of areas but seemingly not elite at any. Just ask Trammell, Dwight Evans or Bobby Grich.

Baseball researcher and Cooperstown enthusiast Adam Darowski made note of this in an email and also offered a theory for Trammell and Whitaker’s differing popularity.

It probably comes down to shortstop being a bit more glamorous and Trammell having a couple seasons that put him in the MVP mix,” Darowski wrote. Whitaker was also remarkably consistent. If he had a few 8 WAR years and fewer 3 WAR years, he’d be in.”

Sports Illustrated writer Jay Jaffe isn’t optimistic about Whitaker’s chances. In his upcoming Cooperstown Casebook, which will be out in June, Jaffe writes, Like Grich, Whitaker faces an uphill battle, because as Cheap Barcelona Jerseys longtime Cheap Authentic NBA Jerseys Tigers beat writer Tom Gage reminded his supporters in 2015, ‘reconsiderations don’t start at the bottom.’”

You go into that level, and you’re calling out every single receiver, running back, offensive line protection. You’re calling it all out in a play, Fedora said. If you’ve ever heard an NFL play, it might be 7 to 10 words long. Getting that from the sideline or the helmet to his teammates will be the biggest learning curve, I think, for him.

With so much pressure on coaches and GMs to hit on the right guy right away, the patience to develop a QB in the NFL is a dying art. (Even when a QB class like this one doesn’t offer that guy.) Beyond a team helping Trubisky grow, waiting on him as a starter also would let it further get to know what kind of leader and winner he can be in time.

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