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MLB Regular Season Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri May 20th, 2016 09:34 pm
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lobo316



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Mark Shapiro, the Toronto Blue Jays' first-year president and CEO, admitted Friday morning that his club's 20-23 start has been "disappointing," but the veteran executive isn't putting the blame on manager John Gibbons.

"To spend time around Gibby is to be incredibly confident in his leadership and to recognize that he's part of the solution," Shapiro told Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. "We feel that he's a guy who's consistent. He is strong. He is tough. He is committed, and I feel like he's the right guy to help guide us through the challenges that we're facing right now," Shapiro said.

Nor does the blame lie with Gibbons' staff, added Shapiro, who noted that shuffling up coaches is "not (a) conversation we're focused on."

Seemingly, the 2016 campaign has been rough for Gibbons, who has dealt with issues beyond a scuffling offense and dreadfully ineffective bullpen. In April, Gibbons made a sexist remark after a controversial loss in Tampa Bay that generated plenty of uproar, and the Texas native landed a three-game suspension for joining his troops on the field in Arlington during Sunday's melee with the Rangers after being ejected from the game.

Gibbons, who remains under contract through 2017, is aware of the whispers.

"You guys might never see me again," Gibbons joked with reporters ahead of his team's 12-2 loss to the Rays at Rogers Centre.

Still, beleaguered as he looks, the folksy 53-year-old tried to downplay the issues that have marred the first six weeks of the 2016 campaign.

“Really, it's a typical season since I've been here," Gibbons told Israel Fehr of Yahoo Sports. "We're so-so early on; it wasn’t different than it was last year until we hit the end of July. I've been through this before. It's a frustrating business, even when things are going good. One thing you learn over time, truthfully, is that you don't get caught up in that. You come out everyday and do the best job you can."

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 Posted: Sat May 21st, 2016 12:11 am
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katook



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Why doesn't Dayton, Ohio have a professional baseball team?

Because then Cincinnati would want one, too.
I have never, ever seen the Reds this terrible.



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since there doesn't seem to be a way to be vocal about being an Atheist without coming across as a condescending cock opening about it, you might as well go all the way with it.--Sek69
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 Posted: Sat May 21st, 2016 07:03 am
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lobo316



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Some potentially groundbreaking changes could be coming to Major League Baseball very soon.

The league's competition committee has reportedly agreed to alter the strike zone and eliminate the four-pitch intentional walk by next season, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

Both changes, however, still have to be approved by MLB's playing rules committee before they can take effect. Approval from the Players' Association is not needed to make the changes, though Stark notes the union will be consulted as part of ongoing collective bargaining negotiations.

The most dramatic of the two changes would be to the strike zone, which would be raised from its current position at "the hollow beneath the kneecap," as the current rules states, to the top of the hitter's knees. This change is being made in response to umpires calling more strikes on pitches below the knees, according to Stark.

As for the intentional walk, the tweaked rule would see teams simply signal for an intentional walk, at which point the batter would automatically take first base rather than stand in the box and take four wide pitches. This would fall in line with MLB's recent "pace of play" initiatives, including between-inning clocks, that have attempted to speed up games.

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 Posted: Sat May 21st, 2016 07:12 am
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lobo316



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Colby Lewis has an iron dome.
The Texas Rangers right-hander took a Carlos Correa liner off the back of his noggin, and didn't even flinch. He just shook it off and walked around the mound like nothing happened, appearing completely unfazed by the whole thing.
Lewis was helped out by second baseman Rougned Odor, who drifted back into short center field and made a great diving catch to record the bizarre 1-4 pop-out. After throwing a few warmup pitches, Lewis remained in the game, to the shock of just about everybody watching.
The crazy thing about all this? It wasn't even close to his best defensive playof the night.








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 Posted: Sat May 21st, 2016 07:18 am
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lobo316



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The gift that keeps on giving, Bartolo Colon, is causing more fans to take out their wallets yet again.
On Thursday night, Clark Toys posted an offering from Forever Collectibles: a commemorative Bartolo Colon home run bobblehead that also has a bobble stomach.
In less than 24 hours, Clark Toys has sold more than 500 of them.
"Most of the bobbleheads we sell are limited to 360 pieces and they take months to sell," said Travis Pyan, managing partner of Clark Toys. "When the buzz on this item started this morning, we sold 100 in 30 minutes."
Pyan said he can't remember any athlete bobblehead that was ordered faster than Colon's.
"In 2008, we sold 600 Barack Obama bobbleheads on the night he was elected," Pyan recalled.
The Colon bobbleheads are limited to 942 pieces and cost $39.99.
A mock-up of the bobblehead featured a headline that said Colon was the oldest pitcher in MLB history to hit a home run, when he was actually the oldest player to hit his first career home run. Pyan said fans who buy the bobblehead will get an accurate headline.
Colon's home run on May 7 has led to several merchandising opportunities. Topps sold thousands of cards to commemorate the event, and Colon recently forged a deal with limited T-shirt site Represent to sell "Bartbino" shirts, a reference to Babe Ruth's "Bambino" nickname.
Last month, Colon filed to trademark the phrase "Big Sexy."








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 Posted: Sun May 22nd, 2016 06:45 am
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lobo316



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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Chicago Cubs escaped some bad news with outfielder Jason Heyward on Saturday, when they learned that he has a contusion near his right rib and hip, an injury that will keep him out of action for just three-to-five days.

"I think that's a reasonable thing," Heyward said after learning his MRI didn't reveal serious damage. "I'm feeling a lot better today than last night. Take it one day at a time."

Heyward was injured while making a diving catch in deep right centerfield at AT&T Park in the first inning of Friday's 8-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Most observers think Denard Span's blast would have gone for an inside-the-park home run, if not for Heyward's heroics. After lying on the ground for several minutes, Heyward was able to limp off the field with the help of trainers.

"God looked out for me on that one," Heyward said. "Still sore, achy, tight in the area that it happened."

Manager Joe Maddon was obviously pleased the damage wasn't worse.

"All I know [is] it was a great play," he said.

As a result of Heyward's injury, the Cubs activated outfielder Matt Szczur from the disabled list, and pitcher Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment. The Cubs will essentially play a man short for the next several days, until Heyward is healed, which forced the need for an extra position player. Ben Zobrist started in right field Saturday against the Giants, while Javier Baez played second base.

Heyward said he won't risk an early return to the field.

"I'll listen to my body," he said. "Regardless of the doctors, you have to listen to your body. ... I have to be smart. It's May. We're not in September right now. It's not the time to push it."

As for the catch, which made highlight reels all over the country, Heyward said he ranked it near the top.

"It's up there," Heyward said. "One of my favorites in my life, for sure."








Last edited on Sun May 22nd, 2016 06:51 am by lobo316

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 Posted: Sun May 22nd, 2016 10:33 am
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lobo316



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Jon Lester's rough day at the office spelled the end of a dominant stretch of starting pitching for the Chicago Cubs.

The left-hander departed Saturday's 5-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants after just 2 2/3 innings pitched, which ended the Cubs' streak of 40 consecutive starts with at least five innings to open a season. They're the seventh team since 1900 to open a season with at least 40 straight five-inning outings from their starting pitchers.

The streak actually dated back to last September, giving them 48 consecutive five-inning starts from their pitchers for the longest streak in franchise history since 1910.

Lester, who gave up all five Giants runs on six hits and three walks and departed after surrendering a two-run double to pitcher Matt Cain, saw his outing as a blip on the radar for what's been the majors' best rotation to date.

"Our rotation's been pretty solid," Lester told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "We've been doing what we're supposed to do, keeping our team in the ballgame and putting up innings, with the exception of today. It's been fun to be a part of."

The Cubs are still baseball's best team, but they're scuffling at the moment, as Saturday's loss dropped them to 4-6 over their last 10 contests.

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 Posted: Sun May 22nd, 2016 10:36 am
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lobo316



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Saturday wasn't advertised as turn-back-the-clock night at Marlins Park, but Ichiro Suzuki sure did his part to make it seem like 2001.

The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer put on a vintage four-hit performance to move 46 hits away from reaching 3,000 in MLB, and helped lead his Miami Marlins to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. He's the first player age 42 or older to go 4-for-4 or better in a game since Pete Rose went 5-for-5 on Aug. 11, 1986, according to ESPN Stats.

Suzuki started his show by singling to lead off the first inning, then added another two base hits off Nationals starter Joe Ross - who's 19 years his junior. After walking in his fourth trip to the plate, he doubled in the eighth inning off Yusmeiro Petit to complete his evening in style. He left everybody at the ballpark in awe, even the opposing manager.

''I've seen that for years, and you know it's still in there,'' Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters. ''Ichiro is one of the best players that has ever played this game. He has that magic wand, and he has had it for a long time.''

His remarkable evening continues what's been a renaissance year for Suzuki. After seeing his numbers dip to career lows last season, the Japanese legend is now slashing .373/.448/.431 through 32 games, has 19 hits, two stolen bases, and eight runs scored, while playing in all but 10 of Miami's 42 games this year.

Suzuki's night also moved him up a unique baseball leaderboard. His trio of singles were the 2,404th, 2,405th, and 2,406th of his career, moving him past Rod Carew for eighth place on baseball's all-time singles list.

He also upped his career hit total - counting his years in Japan - to 4,230, leaving him just 26 hits shy of Rose for the most hits in professional baseball history.

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 Posted: Sun May 22nd, 2016 10:38 am
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lobo316



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Maintenance workers spent nearly an hour before Saturday's game in Oakland fixing plumbing issues in the visitor's dugout being occupied by the New York Yankees.

Officials at the Oakland Coliseum told The Associated Press that a backed up toilet caused the spillage into the Yankees' dugout, prompting manager Joe Girardi and some of his players to walk around the mess as they prepared for their matinee against the Athletics.

There's a little issue with the restroom in the visiting dugout... pic.twitter.com/bmjEaFfqe3

— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 21, 2016
The scene was reminiscent of previous plumbing problems that caused flooding at the aging Coliseum, including one instance in 2013 where raw sewage spilled into the Athletics' dugout. One year later, the Athletics' coaching room became flooded because of a clogged toilet.

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 Posted: Mon May 23rd, 2016 04:38 am
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lobo316



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Thor dropped his mighty hammer on Milwaukee in historic fashion.

Noah Syndergaard continued his ascent to the position of New York Mets ace with a dominating performance against the Brewers on Sunday, and also joined a very exclusive list of pitchers in both Mets and baseball history.

Syndergaard allowed just one unearned run over seven innings while striking out 11 and walking none. In doing so, the 23-year-old became the first pitcher in Mets history - and just the fourth in baseball history since 1913 - to record back-to-back starts with 10-plus strikeouts, zero walks, and zero earned runs.

Nolan Ryan, Jose Fernandez, and Clayton Kershaw are the only other pitchers to record back-to-back starts with similar lines.

After witnessing the latest gem in his incredible run during the month of May - Sunday's outing dropped Syndergaard's ERA over his last three starts to a measly 0.82, to go along with 27 strikeouts and just one walk - his Mets teammates are simply being left in awe watching him.

"I personally think that there's only a few aces around baseball," second baseman Neil Walker told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "You could probably pick them all off the top of your head. And we've got a couple guys in here who are potential aces."

Even opponents are at a loss for words. Before an at-bat on Sunday, Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy told his Mets counterpart Rene Rivera that "You got lucky you're catching him because he's not easy to hit," according to DiComo.

As if all of that wasn't enough, Syndergaard further etched his name into Mets royalty by joining Dwight Gooden, who did it in 1984, as the only Mets pitchers to have consecutive 10-strikeout, zero-walk starts.

Syndergaard will look to close out his outrageous May with a bang when he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers next Saturday at Citi Field.

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 Posted: Mon May 23rd, 2016 04:39 am
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lobo316



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Still got it.

During the fifth inning of Sunday's series finale against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a single to right field off right-hander Danny Salazar.

Bradley, now one game shy of the halfway mark to Joe DiMaggio's all-time record of 56 straight games with a base hit, walked in his first plate appearance of the afternoon and struck out swinging in the third before stroking a 1-1- curveball into right with one out in the fifth.

One of just nine players in Red Sox history with a hitting streak of at least 27 games, Bradley explained ahead of Sunday's contest that the streak isn't affecting his plan at the plate.

"I'm just going up there and sticking to my approach," Bradley told MLB.com's Deesha Thosar. "If it's meant to end, it's meant to end. I'm just going to do what I have to do and grind and put together some great at-bats."

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 Posted: Mon May 23rd, 2016 04:41 am
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lobo316



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The Oakland Athletics' injury-ravaged rotation suffered another big blow Sunday when the club placed scuffling right-hander Sonny Gray on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right trapezius.

"We just made a decision to try to knock this thing out as quick as possible and not look back from it," Gray told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

After getting off to an impressive start this year, posting a 2.73 ERA over his first four starts, Gray fizzled hard over the past four weeks, stumbling to a 10.38 ERA since April 27 while failing to pitch past the fourth inning in three of his last five starts before landing on the DL. Almost two months into the 2016 campaign, Gray owns the fourth-worst ERA (6.19) among qualified starters.

Gray, an All-Star for the first time last year, said the trapezius discomfort he first experienced May 15 in Tampa Bay resurfaced during Friday's start against the New York Yankees, in which he allowed four runs on six hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings.

"Warming up against the Yankees in the fourth inning, it locked back up the way it did in the bullpen in Tampa," Gray said. "I definitely noticed a difference warming up the inning, it was just a matter of getting extension and getting out in front."

In a corresponding move, the Athletics recalled left-hander Daniel Coulombe from Triple-A Nashville to replace Gray, who joins fellow starters Henderson Alvarez (shoulder surgery) and Chris Bassitt (Tommy John surgery) on the disabled list.

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 Posted: Mon May 23rd, 2016 04:42 am
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lobo316



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The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus aren't too happy with the Padres after an embarrassing error prevented the group from singing the national anthem ahead of the team's Saturday tilt against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As described in a Facebook post posted Sunday by the chorus, the ensemble had taken the field to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" when a pre-recorded version of the anthem sung by a female voice began to play over the Petco Park speakers instead. After uncomfortably standing on the diamond for the song's entire duration, hecklers then began to hurl insults at the group as they were escorted off the field.

"No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over. No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands," the post reads.

The chorus is asking the city of San Diego to investigate the incident.

Though no formal corrections were made at the ballpark, the group did publicly commend Padres president and CEO Mike Dee for later apologizing for the error and offering to discuss the incident with LGBT leaders.

The team later released an official statement on the incident, citing it as a mistake by the control room during the pregame ceremony, adding they had extended an offer to the chorus to sing the anthem at another opportunity.

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 Posted: Mon May 23rd, 2016 04:44 am
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lobo316



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Heading into Friday's series opener against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen hadn't blown a save since Aug. 23, 2015, converting his last 12 chances down the stretch last year while nailing all 13 of his tries in 2016.

Apparently, Melvin Upton Jr. didn't care much for that streak.

Down by one with a runner on first in the bottom of the ninth, Upton smacked an 0-2 cutter from the 28-year-old right-hander over the fence in right-center, lifting the Padres to a 7-6 victory with his second walk-off homer of 2016 while saddling Jansen with his first blown save in 25 chances.

Since 1913, only 62 relievers have converted more than 25 consecutive save opportunities without fail, two of whom - Brad Ziegler (36) and Jeurys Familia (30) - are presently gunning for Eric Gagne's all-time record of 84 straight successful save opportunities. Jansen, who ranks third among relievers in WAR since the start of 2012, made 36 appearances between blown saves, crafting a 1.29 ERA with a 30 percent strikeout rate over that span.

Seeing as Jansen hadn't allowed a walk-off home run in 355 career relief appearances before Friday's contest, though, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was a bit nonplussed after his club dropped their third straight game.

"Tonight was one of those for sure head-scratchers," Roberts told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "Kenley has been lights out. You can't expect him to be perfect. I expect to have a lead tomorrow and use him again and I expect him to rebound. It's not an easy game. Got to be a man about it and turn the page."

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 Posted: Mon May 23rd, 2016 04:45 am
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Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is making a habit of watching his team close out games from the clubhouse instead of the dugout.

After coming out to defend Josh Donaldson in the top of the fifth inning - the reigning AL MVP was thrown at twice by Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes - Gibbons was ejected for the third time in the last seven days following an exchange with home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger and crew chief Joe West.

Gibbons, who returned to the dugout Friday after serving the three-game suspension he received for his role in last Sunday's melee with the Texas Rangers, has now been ejected four times in 2016.

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