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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:16 am
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lobo316



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Baltimore Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman was understandably upset Wednesday night following an early, and controversial, ejection for hitting Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

Gausman plunked Bogaerts with a 77-mph curveball to lead off the second inning and was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook, despite protests from both Gausman and Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph.

"I didn't know who he threw out at first," Gausman said, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. "Just complete bush league, to be honest."

"It's malarkey," Joseph said, according to Ryan Hannable of WEEI. "It's freaking BS."

Kevin Gausman tossed by Sam Holbrook after hitting Xander Boegarts with a 77-MPH curveball. Surpised Caleb Joseph stayed in (bumped ump). pic.twitter.com/s8AwgrIJEM

— CoronaLime (@CoronaLimeDFS) May 4, 2017
Tensions were high following an emotional game Tuesday that ended in a expletive-laden tirade from Manny Machado, who took exception to a 98-mph fastball that Chris Sale threw behind him.

Major League Baseball even held a conference call between managers John Farrell and Buck Showalter prior to Wednesday's game in an effort to quash anymore animosity between the two clubs.

"You keep trying to do the right thing and take the high ground," Showalter said, according to Britton. "It's frustrating. It's hard to keep turning the other cheek. You've got a 77-mph pitch compared to 96 last night. You figure it out. You guys are smart. You guys have been watching a lot of baseball."

Gausman went on to tell reporters that everyone knew Sale threw behind Machado on purpose but wasn't ejected, while he was kicked out of the game for a curveball he claimed slipped out of his hand.

"To throw me out in that situation after what Sale did yesterday, throwing 98 behind a guy on purpose - everybody knew it - and you're going to throw me out for hitting a guy on a curveball, 0-0, in the second inning? It's pretty bush league," Gausman said.

Sale has yet to receive any discipline from the league for his actions, though it was reported earlier Wednesday that he might receive some recourse for the throw behind Machado.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:17 am
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No game between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox seems to be played without some form of heightened drama. Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph, for one, is looking forward to boarding a plane after Thursday's series finale.

"I am the most excited person to get the hell out of Boston," he said to WEEI's Ryan Hannable.

Joseph was caught in the middle of Wednesday's controversial game when pitcher Kevin Gausman was tossed for hitting Xander Bogaerts with a curveball. The catcher was livid with the decision in the moment and after the game, according to the Providence Journal's Tim Britton.

"We don't have the Chris Sale who throws 97 and strikes out the world. We have guys who use their pitches in certain locations to get guys out. We have Gold Glove caliber defense, period. They have to go in there and make certain pitches and a curveball got away from a guy and he got ejected. It's malarkey. It's freaking BS."

For Joseph, an umpire tossing Gausman for hitting Bogaerts effectively takes away the inside part of the plate and takes the game away from those playing it. Collaboration between umpires when it comes to these kinds of issues would be the ideal solution.

"And what I would like to see is, we see it all the time with umpires, if they are unsure, they gather together," Joseph said. "When you're making a quick decision that can directly impact not only the game, but a week's worth of games after that. I think the best course of action is to call everybody together, get four minds involved and see what everybody thinks and then make a decision. There's no time limit on when you eject a player or not. Why can't we do that? If we can do it on busted up plays, why can't we do it for pitches they think are deemed on purpose?"

Fortunately for Joseph, there's only one more game in this series. And while the teams meet again in Baltimore at the beginning of June, the Orioles don't travel back to Fenway Park until a three-game series starting Aug. 25.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:17 am
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lobo316



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Kevin Gausman may have deemed the call to be bush league, but home plate umpire Sam Holbrook stood by his decision to eject the Baltimore Orioles starter from Wednesday's game after plunking Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts with a 77-mph curveball.

"Just given the situation and the tension between the two clubs and all the stuff that's gone over the past few weeks, we're all on high alert with anything," Holbrook told a pool reporter following the Red Sox's 4-2 win.

"I know that the ball was a curveball, but it hit him square in the back and just making a split decision at that point right there, there needs to be an end to this stuff, and I felt like an ejection was the right thing to do at that time, and that's what we did. Thankfully, we didn't have any more problems the rest of the game."

Bogaerts was hit by the pitch to lead off the second inning, and Gausman said he didn't even realize that he was ejected at first. When he realized that his night was over, Gausman became upset and exchanged words with Holbrook.

Tensions between the two teams have spilled over since an earlier series that saw Manny Machado spike Dustin Pedroia on a slide at second. The Red Sox retaliated later that series with reliever Matt Barnes throwing behind the head of Machado - a pitch Barnes received a four-game suspension for.

During the series opener Monday, Orioles starter Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts with a pitch in the leg, and Chris Sale responded Tuesday by throwing behind Machado which prompted a warning to both teams from the league.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:19 am
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The Boston Red Sox's zero tolerance toward racism at Fenway Park has already resulted in at least one ejection.

"During Tuesday night's Red Sox-Orioles game, it was reported to Red Sox security that a racial slur was used in a comment from one fan to another," the club said in a statement. "The offending individual was promptly ejected from the ballpark, and has since been notified they are no longer welcome at Fenway Park.

"The Red Sox organization will not tolerate the use of racial slurs at Fenway Park, and we have apologized to those affected. There is no place for racial epithets at Fenway Park, in baseball, or in our society. The Red Sox turned the matter over to the Boston Police Department, who will further investigate with their civil rights unit and determine whether it merits further action."

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy acknowledged that it's difficult to enforce a lifetime ban, but he's confident the club will do all it can in order to make sure the offender does not return to the ballpark.

"We're going to have to work really hard with our security operation," Kennedy said, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. "We know who the person is, and we will work hard to do everything we can. It's unprecedented, so it may be difficult. But I can tell you this was an individual game buyer, not a season-ticket holder."

Tensions have been high at Fenway Park this week after Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones complained Monday that he was called the N-word by fans at the ballpark.

The Red Sox quickly apologized to Jones and the Orioles and promised to implement more security and stiffer penalties for those accused of uttering racist slurs to anyone at the ballpark.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:20 am
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ATLANTA - Early on, the New York Mets made two silly base-running mistakes, both resulting in double plays.

By the end of the night, it hardly mattered.

Jose Reyes matched a career high with five RBIs and the Mets pounded out 20 hits, cruising to a 16-5 rout of the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

"You're starting to see better at-bats, better pitch selection," manager Terry Collins said. "That's the big difference right now."

Rene Rivera drove in three runs, while Michael Conforto and even pitcher Jacob deGrom had two RBIs apiece.

Reyes had a run-scoring single in the third, a sacrifice fly in the fifth and finished off the Braves with a three-run double in the eighth.

DeGrom (2-1) struggled on the mound, surrendering eight hits, walking five and giving up five runs. He threw 109 pitches before being lifted after five innings, just long enough to qualify for the win.

"The outing is frustrating for me," he said. "What did I walk? Five guys? I feel good early on and don't know what's happening later in the game. I don't know if I'm trying to do too much or something and lose control."

The Mets jumped all over former teammate Bartolo Colon (1-3), who spent the last three seasons in New York. The 43-year-old lasted just four innings, giving up five runs, seven hits and two walks.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:21 am
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Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who was the victim of racist comments at Fenway Park on Monday, has since received an outpouring of support from those in and outside of the baseball world.

One person who called Jones to see how the 31-year-old big-leaguer was doing after the incident was civil-rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, who recently told The Baltimore Sun that Jones was "going through his Jackie Robinson moment."

Robinson broke the color barrier across baseball when he made his major-league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

"He's handling it with amazing dignity and strength of character, and many people are coming to his rescue because this is such a horrible thing to happen, but it happens so often," Jackson said of Jones. "He's symbolizing the pain of this hour. There are far more people for him than against him. He represents the best in America."

After the incident, Jones called for harsher penalties for such behavior in the future.

The Boston Red Sox have since issued an apology to Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred. The outfielder was given a standing ovation by the crowd at Fenway Park the day after the incident, and he even received additional support from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts.

On Tuesday, the Red Sox banned a fan from Fenway Park for life after they used a racial slur during a game.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:24 am
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He simply cannot be stopped.

New York Yankees right fielder - and possible bat-swinging cyborg - Aaron Judge hit yet another baseball to Albany on Wednesday night when he demolished a Marcus Stroman offering to straightaway center field at Yankee Stadium in the second inning for his league-leading 13th homer of 2017. The baseball, which lived a full life until the moment it left Judge's bat at an exit velocity of 112 mph, ultimately died inside Monument Park some 435 feet from home plate.

The blast made the 25-year-old Judge - who tied the MLB record for most April home runs by a rookie - the youngest player in baseball history to hit 13 homers in his team's first 26 games of a season, according to Yankees PR.

Aaron Judge is now the youngest player in #MLB history to hit 13 HR in his team's first 26 games of a season (via @YankeesPR). pic.twitter.com/II3rPrGkWd

— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 4, 2017
The Yankees' single-season rookie record for home runs is held by a man named Joe DiMaggio, who hit 29 bombs in 1936. At this pace, Judge may break Joltin' Joe's club record by the All-Star break.

Judge's homer helped propel his team to an 8-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, moving the Yankees' record in games when Judge has homered this season to an impeccable 11-0.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:25 am
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Warning: Story contains coarse language

Former Boston Red Sox star Curt Schilling is not sold on Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones' claims that he received racial taunts at Fenway Park earlier this week.

Jones told reporters following Baltimore's game in Boston on Monday that Red Sox fans called him the N-Word and threw peanuts at him while he played his position. On Wednesday night, Schilling - who now works as a conservative pundit - spoke on his Brietbart News webcast and flat-out accused the five-time All-Star center fielder of making up the story for publicity purposes.

"I don't believe the story, given the world we live in," Schilling said during his webcast, according to Peter Botte of the New York Daily News. "I don't believe it, for this reason: Everybody is starving and hungry to sit in front of a camera and talk and be social justice warriors. And if a fan yelled loud enough in center field for Adam Jones to hear the N-word, I guarantee you we would've heard and seen fans around on CNN on MSNBC, they would've found multiple fans to talk about what a racist piece of junk Boston is.

"Since Tuesday night, we've had one person come forward who we found out was lying about the fact that they were in the area and heard it, and other than that we've had nobody."

Schilling, who began his 20-year pitching career with the Orioles in 1988 and pitched his final four seasons in Boston, cited his own experience in major-league clubhouses and watching his former teammates interact both together and with fans as reasons behind his skepticism.

"I spent most of my adult life in baseball parks. I heard the N-word out of my black teammates' mouths about 100 million times," Schilling continued. "For somebody to talk loud enough for Adam Jones to hear the N-word in center field, other people would have heard it.

"If somebody did say it, we're going to see it and hear about it, and I would apologize to Adam Jones for doubting him, but until then, I think this is bullshit. I think this is somebody creating a situation."

The Red Sox organization has acted swiftly since Jones first went public with his story. On Tuesday, one fan was banned for life from Fenway Park after uttering a racial slur during that evening's game, while Jones has received support and apologies from Red Sox ownership, players, and even Boston mayor Marty Walsh.

In his first at-bat at Fenway on Tuesday, Jones received a prolonged standing ovation from supportive Red Sox fans.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 09:01 pm
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The Boston Red Sox already thin rotation has taken another hit.

Right-hander Steven Wright will undergo knee surgery and miss the remainder of the regular season, the team announced on Thursday.

Wright is scheduled to have what the Red Sox are calling a cartilage restoration procedure on May 8. It's unclear who will take his spot in the starting rotation, though it appears Kyle Kendrick - who was called up on Thursday - will get the first opportunity.

Wright was placed on the disabled list on Monday with what was initially diagnosed as a left knee sprain. After a breakout performance last season that saw him post career numbers across the board, Wright took an immense step back early on in 2017.

He allowed only 12 home runs in 24 starts (156 innings) last season, but surrendered nine long balls in his first five starts this year, including four home runs in only 1 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles on April 12.

The knuckleballer leaves with a 8.25 ERA, 7.71 FIP, and a 1.87 WHIP this season.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 09:02 pm
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Third base has been a cursed position for the Boston Red Sox this season but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski isn't looking elsewhere for help.

Marco Hernandez joined fellow third basemen Brock Holt and Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list Thursday, leaving the Red Sox with limited options at the position. Hernandez and Sandoval could see lengthy stays on the DL, while Holt's issues with vertigo continue to leave his return date up in the air.

Despite the limited in-house options - Josh Rutledge and Chase d'Arnaud - Dombrowski told Alex Speier of the Boston Globe on Thursday that the club does not plan to go outside the organization for help at this time.

The Red Sox have received limited production from their third basemen this season, with Sandoval, Rutledge, Steve Selsky, and Hernandez combining to hit .206/.243/.340 with three home runs, 22 strikeouts, and 11 errors in 30 games.

"With the injuries and errors there, I've considered an exorcism at third base," manager John Farrell said, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

Red Sox top prospect Rafael Devers is hitting .324/.359/.595 with five home runs and five doubles in 19 games with Double-A Portland. Despite his success, however, Dombrowski said there are no plans to rush him to the majors.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 09:04 pm
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Ryan Howard was once one of baseball's most feared sluggers, an MVP and World Series champion, the toast of Philadelphia.

So what's he doing here, in the sprawling suburbs of Atlanta, a minor leaguer at age 37, playing alongside a bunch of 20-somethings, enduring bus rides and sparse crowds?

"There's more in the tank," he said bluntly. "If you walk away, don't walk away with something still left in the tank. Then you're wondering like, 'Man, what could I have done?' When I'm done playing, I want to leave it all out on the field."

Howard certainly could've retired after an inglorious, injury-plagued, pitiable end to his Phillies career, more than content with a legacy that produced enough mementos to fill an entire room in his home. Many people, in fact, just assumed he was done after a rousing, retirement-like send-off before last season's final game in Philadelphia .

But Howard wasn't ready to walk away.

"It's been interesting," Howard said on a balmy spring afternoon, relaxing in the dugout at Coolray Field, home of the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. "Once you leave the minor leagues, you want to not come back. But it's the path that I'm on, the journey that I'm on."

Signed to a minor league deal by an organization that is Philly's division rival, Howard has impressed the G-Braves with his work ethic, arriving early for games and going through every drill with his younger - in some cases, much younger - teammates.

Before Wednesday's contest against the Durham Bulls, he took part in two rounds of batting practice and hung out behind the cage with hitting coach John Moses, discussing the nuances of his swing. Howard also fielded ground balls and headed to the outfield to limber up with some strange-looking contortions and gyrations.

"He's a good human'" being, manager Damon Berryhill said. "He works hard, sets a good example for our younger players. He's been a pleasure to have around."

Howard is off to a slow start with the Triple-A team, hitting just .188 through nine games. He did launch his first homer against the Bulls, a two-run shot that showed he's still got some juice in that stroke, but hardly anyone saw it.

The announced crowd was 1,295.

Howard is unfazed by the less-than-glamorous setting. His focus is firmly on getting back to the big leagues.

"Get your work in, do what you need do, and get back up top," he said. "I'm a little behind bit the curve as far as not really having a spring training, so you're trying to get your work in, trying to work on things, and at the same time, you're also going out there trying to be competitive."

When Howard was called up to the Phillies more than a decade ago, he ushered in one of the greatest eras in team history with his prodigious power. Every time he stepped into the left-handed box, he extended his bat toward the sky with one hand, as if to indicate how far he intended to hit the next pitch. In 2006, his first full year starting in the majors, he put together one of the greatest stat lines in baseball history: 58 homers, 149 RBIs, a .313 average, an MVP award.

The Phillies would go on to win five straight NL East titles, a stretch that included two trips to the World Series and a championship in 2008. Howard averaged 41 homers and 129 RBIs during that marvelous run, finishing in the top 10 of the MVP voting every season.

But his career was forever altered on the very last play of the 2011 division series against the St. Louis Cardinals, an excruciating 1-0 loss in Game 5 that ended with Howard tearing his Achilles tendon running out a grounder for the final out.

He hasn't been the same since.

Even so, Howard was the last remaining holdover from the Phillies' era of dominance, a convenient symbol of what the team once was and what it had become. He hobbled through five seasons plagued by injuries, dwindling production and a rising chorus of boos from a fan base that once worshipped him. It finally ended with the Phillies declining to exercise a $25 million contract option for 2017 after Howard batted a career-worst .196 while still showing flashes of power with 25 homers.

"You don't just write off something like that,'' Howard said of his time in Philly. "Obviously that's something that's been a big part of my life, my career. There's always going to be that time to pay homage. But right now, as I'm currently still playing, you put that chapter behind you for the time being."

Howard spent the winter waiting for someone to call. Then spring training passed with him still at home in Florida, working out regularly but looking more and more like the decision to move on with the rest of his life wouldn't be his to make.

Finally, less than a week into the regular season, Howard agreed to a minor-league deal with Atlanta, the NL East rival he had tormented for years. No promises were made, certainly not for a starting job on a team that already has Freddie Freeman at first base.

But the Braves have a woefully thin bench, and the hope is that Howard will show enough in the minors to warrant a call-up largely for pinch-hitting duties, not to mention serving as the designated hitter for a handful of interleague road games.

It's hardly the starring role Howard once played, hardly the career path he envisioned for himself.

It's a step, however, he's willing to take if it keeps him in the game.

"All you can do is just make the most of what you've got," Howard said. "You try to make the most of where you are to get back to where it is that you want to be."

That's what he's doing here.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 09:09 pm
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"The Sanchize" is on his way back.

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who hasn't played since the season's opening week due to a biceps issue, will be activated from the 10-day disabled list in time for Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, general manager Brian Cashman told Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News on Thursday.

Sanchez later took to Twitter and confirmed the news himself.

Taking off for Chicago. See you on the filed, tomorrow. Lets go @Yankees. #iamback #iamgary

— Gary Sanchez (@ElGarySanchez) May 4, 2017
Getting a healthy Sanchez back would be a boon for the Yankees, who've stormed out of the gate with a 17-9 record that's tops in the AL East. He'd rejoin a lineup that's mashed this season, more than holding its own without the 24-year-old wunderkind thanks in part to the play of his replacement behind the plate, backup catcher Austin Romine (.805 OPS, 2 HR, 10 RBI), as well as the emergence of major-league home-run leader Aaron Judge.

Sanchez strained his right biceps muscle while taking a swing during the Yankees' game in Baltimore on April 8, and was initially expected to miss four weeks. A Friday return would mean he'd be back in the big leagues slightly ahead of that schedule.

The Dominican native, who exploded onto the major-league scene as a rookie last summer by hitting 20 homers over the final two months of 2016, was struggling to begin this season. He went just 3-for-20 (.150) with a homer, a walk, and two RBIs in five games before getting hurt.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 09:12 pm
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CINCINNATI - Now this could be a Run for the Roses, Cincinnati style.

Shortly after racking up his 200th career stolen base, Reds speedster Billy Hamilton says he'd be willing to race recently drafted Bengals blazer John Ross in a 40-yard dash for charity.

Ross, a wide receiver from Washington and the Bengals' top pick last week, set an NFL scouting combine record of 4.22 seconds in the 40. Hamilton leads all major leaguers in steals since his debut in 2013.

"I know he's really, really fast," Hamilton said after Thursday's 4-2 win over Pittsburgh. "It is something I look forward to. I'm a competitor. I'm willing to do it for a charity event. I haven't done a 40 since ninth grade, a 4.5 flat."

"I'd do a 40. There's no way I could do 100. This is the wrong season to do 100," he said. "I think a 40 would be a fun race for the city. It is something to look into. Run it by our agents and see how it goes."

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 09:14 pm
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Dave Stewart, the one-time All-Star pitcher and former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager who was fired from that post last October, has reportedly joined Tagg Romney's group that's currently bidding for ownership of the Miami Marlins, sources told Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

According to Nightengale, Stewart would run the Marlins' baseball operations department if the Romney group succeeds in buying the club from current owner Jeffrey Loria.

Stewart is also believed to have been pursuing Marlins ownership with his own group of investors, per Nightengale, before he reportedly chose to abandon that quest and join forces with Romney.

The Romney ownership bid - led by Tagg Romney, son of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and also counts Hall of Famer Tom Glavine among its investors - appears to have emerged as the front-runner to purchase the club, moving ahead of a group fronted by one-time Florida governor Jeb Bush and former New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. Both the Bush-Jeter and Romney-Glavine-Stewart groups have reportedly made bids exceeding $1.3 billion in value, which are currently being assessed by the league.


The 60-year-old Stewart was hired as Arizona's general manager in 2014 after spending several years as an assistant GM with multiple clubs. The D-Backs never made the playoffs during his time at the helm, and he was heavily criticized for several of his moves - including last December's lopsided blockbuster trade of three top young prospects for Shelby Miller - before being fired at the end of last season.

Before embarking on his front-office venture, Stewart amassed a 168-129 record over his 16-year career as a pitcher, during which he also won three World Series championships, the 1989 World Series MVP, and a pair of ALCS MVP trophies in 1990 and '93.

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 Posted: Sun May 7th, 2017 08:34 am
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The Seattle Mariners placed starting pitcher James Paxton on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm, the team announced Friday.

It's terrible news for the Mariners, who have already lost pitchers Felix Hernandez and Drew Smyly to injury this season. Paxton's exit leaves the team's rotation in shambles, and it couldn't come at a worse time. Seattle had slowly rebounded after a horrendous start to the season to go 6-4 over the last 10 games and climb out of the AL West basement.

Paxton was finally coming into his own. Through six starts, he was 3-0 with a 1.43 ERA while striking out 45 batters in 37 2/3 innings. He was far and away the Mariners' most effective starter.

MLB.com's Greg Johns reports that MRIs revealed a Grade 1 strain, adding that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto doesn't expect Paxton to miss more than his next two starts.

Dipoto also said he feels the team "dodged a bullet," according to the Associated Press.

This isn't Paxton's first trip to the DL. He made only 13 starts in consecutive seasons between 2014 and 2015.

The Mariners recalled reliever Evan Marshall from Triple-A to replace Paxton on the roster, and they're expected to call up Christian Bergman over the weekend. Bergman or Dillon Overton will start Sunday against the Texas Rangers.

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