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 Posted: Thu Apr 20th, 2017 10:13 pm
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lobo316



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Life is not pretty for Jose Bautista right now.

The Toronto Blue Jays star has fallen hard and fast early on in 2017, and may have hit rock bottom in Thursday's awful performance as the Blue Jays dropped a 4-1 decision to the visiting Boston Red Sox in 10 innings.

Granted, Chris Sale was virtually unhittable on this day, striking out 13 Blue Jays in eight innings of shutout work, but he made Bautista look particularly silly. The veteran finished the game 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, the seventh "golden sombrero" of his career and his second of this young season. His fourth strikeout ended a small Blue Jays rally off Sale in the eighth inning and stranded a man on base, leaving the game scoreless and drawing boos from the frustrated home crowd.

Bautista is now hitting just .109/.242/.145 on the season with a single RBI and 22 strikeouts in just 66 plate appearances. He came into Thursday's game sporting a meager .039 isolated power.

Bautista went 0-for-11 with two walks and seven strikeouts over Toronto's three-game series against Boston, and the 36-year-old - the driver of his team's dominant offensive attack for nearly a decade - is as frustrated about his performance, or lack thereof, as anyone else.

"Anytime you're looked at as a contributor, and you're not, it kinda weighs on you," Bautista told Hazel Mae of Sportsnet on Thursday. "I'm not proud of the last two days."

An inning after strikeout No. 4, the 36-year-old added to his rough afternoon by whiffing completely on a Mitch Moreland fly ball, turning a routine out into a double with a diving catch attempt that ended up a belly flop/barrel roll.

Bautista made up for that mistake one batter later, though, when he nailed Xander Bogaerts at second base after Bogaerts tried to stretch his RBI single into a double. That throw ended the eighth inning, and set up Kendrys Morales' game-tying home run off Craig Kimbrel to lead off the home half of the ninth.

The Blue Jays' loss dropped them to an MLB-worst 3-12 on the season.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 20th, 2017 10:14 pm
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lobo316



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The Toronto Blue Jays haven't generated much offense on their way to a league-worst 3-11 record. One of the primary culprits has been outfielder Jose Bautista, who remains without a home run through 14 games - the longest homerless drought to start a season in his Blue Jays career.

The slugger has remained a mainstay near the top of the order, though, batting in either the second or third spot in every game this season despite a .118/.258/.157 slash line.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Bautista hasn't - and won't - ask to be moved lower in the batting order.

"No chance," Gibbons said about a potential request, according to Sportsnet's Mike Wilner. "And I'd be disappointed if he did."

Bautista is penciled in to hit second Thursday afternoon with Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale facing him on the mound. He's 1-for-7 for his career against the southpaw, and has gone 0-for-7 in the series.

"We're going to play it out longer," Gibbons said. "If we're going to do anything, we need him to have a big year."

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 Posted: Thu Apr 20th, 2017 10:15 pm
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lobo316



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By the numbers themselves, there's no doubt that Roger Clemens is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, accusations of steroid use - which he's vehemently denied for over a decade - have clouded and stalled his quest to reach baseball immortality.

Although his vote totals are slowly beginning to rise toward the magic 75 percent mark, the 54-year-old appears to have lost some interest - and excitement - in tracking his progress toward Cooperstown over the last half-decade.

"I'm not going to say that (I don't want to be inducted), but I'm just going to tell you, the luster will - I'm not worried about it - but the luster would not be the same," Clemens told Joe Buck on the broadcaster's show, "Undeniable," according to Newsday's Neil Best. "It's like you're doing me a favor all of a sudden. Don't do me any favors, really. If you feel like it, do it, but don't do me any favors.

"I think if you're a Hall of Famer, you go in on the first ballot and it's all good. You're either a Hall of Famer or you're not. You're not going to win any more games and you're not going to hit any more home runs. But like I said, I'm to the point right now where - I mean, I say it, I probably don't mean it - but ... the joy of it's gone."


Clemens won 354 games and two World Series titles over his decorated 24-year career, and his 4,672 strikeouts rank third all time. This past January, in his fifth appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot, he received over 50 percent of the vote for the first time.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2017 09:29 pm
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lobo316



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Yoenis Cespedes has more than a cramp.

After the New York Mets outfielder exited Thursday's contest against the Philadelphia Phillies, the club quickly announced he had a left hamstring cramp.

But, after the game's conclusion, Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters, including Marc Carig of Newsday, that he was concerned about Cespedes' hamstring and mentioned the 31-year-old would go for an MRI on Friday.

Cespedes came up limping while running the bases in the sixth inning, which is a concern for the Mets, who are already dealing with injuries to a number of their regulars including Travis d'Arnaud, Lucas Duda, and David Wright.

Cespedes was later seen hobbling out of the Mets clubhouse with his leg heavily wrapped, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

The Mets outfielder told Laura Albanese of Newsday it isn't a cramp, "I felt like a shock," but doesn't believe it's anything serious because he's had this type of injury before.

A doctor told Cespedes it should be at least two-to-three days before he can play again, reports Puma, although the MRI should clear things up.

Before exiting Thursday's contest, Cespedes was hitting .255/.364/.636 with six home runs and 10 RBIs across 55 at-bats.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2017 09:30 pm
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lobo316



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James Paxton's season-opening scoreless streak came to an end Thursday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where the Seattle Mariners left-hander gave up his first run of 2017 on an RBI single from Adam Rosales in the third that snapped his stretch of 23 consecutive frames without allowing a run.

Paxton, who last week became just the fourth pitcher in American League history to start his season with three scoreless outings of at least six innings, took the mound Thursday with the longest scoreless streak to start a season in franchise history (21 IP), and worked his way into a tie for the 11th-longest ever by a Mariners pitcher before Rosales ended his run.

"The confidence - he's fearless," Mariners manager Scott Servais told the Associated Press after Paxton's previous outing. "That's the mentality you have to have."

Heading into Thursday, Paxton, 28, ranked third among qualified pitchers in WAR (1.0), having notched 22 strikeouts while holding opponents to a minuscule .113 batting average over 21 shutout frames.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2017 09:32 pm
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Josh Hamilton's road back to the majors took a devastating hit Friday, as the Texas Rangers announced they've released the former AL MVP. Hamilton injured his right knee during rehab and requires surgery, which will mark his fifth time going under the knife in the past 19 months.

The veteran was recovering from a Feb. 26 surgery on his left knee.

"I am disappointed but not discouraged that my knee problems have not allowed me to play this season," Hamilton said in a statement, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "I plan to have surgery on my right knee and then evaluate the situation. I want to thank the Rangers and all of the great fans for the support and encouragement. I really appreciate it."

The 35-year-old was signed to a minor-league deal in January. Hamilton last appeared in a major-league game in 2015, as several injuries have derailed his once promising career.

General manager Jon Daniels wished Hamilton well in a statement.

"Josh will forever hold a place in Rangers history as one of the most talented, charismatic and productive players to wear our uniform. We wish him all the best in his upcoming recovery, and with his family."

If this is the end of Hamilton's career, it included some impressive play on the diamond. He was an All-Star for five straight seasons from 2008-12, while hitting.305/.363/.549 and contributing 22.3 WAR over that span.

During his 2010 MVP season, he became the first player in Rangers history to finish with a .359 batting average. On top of leading baseball in that category, he was also first in slugging (.633) and OPS (1.044).

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 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2017 09:33 pm
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lobo316



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Madison Bumgarner was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday after the San Francisco Giants southpaw suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in a dirt bike accident Thursday.

He is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, a source told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

He will be re-evaluated sometime next week.

The rest of the Giants were informed of the incident in a closed-door meeting in the Coors Field clubhouse.

"The main thing here is to be grateful he's not hurt worse than he is," Giants backstop Buster Posey told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic.

Bumgarner suffered the injuries on the team's off day in Denver, and is out of the hospital and recovering at the team's hotel.

This marks the first time Bumgarner has landed on the disabled list in his career.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 21st, 2017 09:34 pm
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lobo316



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In case you needed some sort of reminder, Mike Trout is great at baseball. Historically great, in fact.
The Los Angeles Angels star became the third player in league history to reach 50 wins above replacement (WAR) at the age of 25, according to Baseball Reference. He joins Mickey Mantle (52.1) and Ty Cobb (55.8) as the only other players in the modern era to accomplish the feat.
Mantle reached the total from 1951-1957 with Cobb doing so from 1905-1912.
To put Trout's total in perspective, he's ninth on baseball's active all-time WAR list. Dustin Pedroia (33 years old) is the closest player comparable in age and he's been in the league five more years than Trout.

Last edited on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 10:59 pm by lobo316

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 Posted: Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
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The Detroit Tigers have placed first baseman Miguel Cabrera on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain, the team announced Saturday.

Cabrera left Friday's game against the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning. According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, Cabrera aggravated his groin on a Robbie Grossman single in the sixth inning.

The two-time American League MVP has remained healthy for the majority of his career, having played in over 150 games every season but two since his abbreviated rookie campaign in 2003. He suited up for just 119 contests in 2015 due to a calf injury, which was the last time he was placed on the DL.

The Tigers also recalled John Hicks from Triple-A. Hicks is penciled into Saturday afternoon's lineup as the starting first baseman, after hitting .424 over 10 games in the minors this season.

Cabrera, a career .320 hitter, was off to a slow start this year, posting a .268/.369/.464 slash line while striking out in 21.5 percent of his plate appearances. He hasn't struck out with a greater than 20 percent frequency since 2004.

It remains unclear how much time Cabrera will miss.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 11:02 pm
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lobo316



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ARLINGTON, Texas - Texas Rangers right-hander A.J. Griffin will miss at least one start because of gout in his left ankle.

Griffin was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with inflammation related to gout, forcing him out of his start Saturday against Kansas City. The Rangers did not immediately announce a corresponding roster move or another starter.

The 29-year-old Griffin is coming off his best start in two seasons with Texas. He allowed one hit with eight strikeouts in six innings Monday at Oakland, his former team. Griffin is 2-0 with a 4.11 ERA.

Griffin didn't pitch in the majors for two seasons in 2014-15 following Tommy John elbow surgery while with the Athletics. He missed a month and a half with the Rangers last season because of right shoulder stiffness.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 24th, 2017 09:14 pm
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lobo316



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Albert Pujols stands alone.

With his third-inning single off of Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman on Sunday, Pujols passed countryman Manny Ramirez for most RBIs by a Dominican-born player, according to MLB Stat of the Day.

Pujols has amassed 1,832 RBIs during his legendary 17-year career thus far.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 24th, 2017 09:26 pm
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lobo316



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lobo316 wrote: Madison Bumgarner was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday after the San Francisco Giants southpaw suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in a dirt bike accident Thursday.

He is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, a source told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

He will be re-evaluated sometime next week.

The rest of the Giants were informed of the incident in a closed-door meeting in the Coors Field clubhouse.

"The main thing here is to be grateful he's not hurt worse than he is," Giants backstop Buster Posey told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic.

Bumgarner suffered the injuries on the team's off day in Denver, and is out of the hospital and recovering at the team's hotel.

This marks the first time Bumgarner has landed on the disabled list in his career.





If fans of the San Francisco Giants weren't already salty about their 6-13 start and the recent loss of ace Madison Bumgarner for six-to-eight weeks thanks to a dirt bike accident, they might not want to turn on the television.
The Giants are apparently showing a Ford truck commercial during broadcasts that features Bumgarner, his day off, and some dirt bikes, according to Tom Helmer of Inside the Seams.
Not the best choice.






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 Posted: Mon Apr 24th, 2017 09:28 pm
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lobo316



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NEW YORK - The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are cutting payroll and their luxury tax bills - just as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and perhaps Clayton Kershaw near the free-agent market after the 2018 season.

The Dodgers are on track to slice their tax bill by about a quarter this year and the Yankees by two-thirds. The San Francisco Giants also are set to slice their payment in the first season of baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, but the Detroit Tigers are slated to pay more despite saying they want to reduce payroll.

If a team doesn't pay tax in 2018, its tax rate would drop to 20 percent in 2019 - allowing perennially high-spending clubs to sign stars at a lower cost.

''What the market produces is what the market's going to produce,'' baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said.

The Dodgers are forecast to pay a $25.1 million competitive balance tax this year, according to opening-day calculations by the commissioner's office obtained by The Associated Press, down from $43.6 million in 2015 and $31.8 million last year. The Yankees' bill is slated to be just under $9 million, their lowest since the tax began in 2003 and less than one-third of the $27.4 million they owed last season.

''The new CBA has had no influence on my belief that you don't need a 200-plus million dollar payroll to win championships,'' Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in an email to the AP.

The tax threshold increased from $189 million to $195 million under the new labor contract, and rates were simplified to three levels: 20 percent for first-time payers, 30 percent for those owing for a second straight season, and 50 percent for clubs paying three times in a row or more.

A pair of surtaxes were added to discourage high rollers: 12 percent on the amount from $215 million to $235 million this year and a 42.5 percent and 45 percent above that, depending on how many consecutive years a team is paying.

Another change calls for a team more than $40 million above next year's tax threshold of $197 million to have its top draft pick moved back 10 places - with an exception that if a club has a pick among the top six, that would be protected and its second pick would be moved back 10 slots.

The Yankees appear to be trying to get below the threshold in 2018 to reset their tax rate in anticipation of that fall's free-agent class.

''I think it's too early to make a judgment about the success of the new CBA,'' Manfred said. ''I also think that while there's a lot of change in the CBT area in terms of the structure and rates and whatnot, there has been a certain cyclical nature to the CBA over time, irrespective of the change, right? Clubs get to a certain point, they step to go younger, they come down.''

The Dodgers have a major league-high $238 million payroll for purposes of the tax, which uses the average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters and includes $13.96 million per team in benefit costs.

Actual tax is assessed on season-ending payrolls in December.

Los Angeles is projected to pay both new surtaxes. Under transition rules for 2017, the Dodgers' projected tax is at the midpoint of what they would pay under the new rules ($25.58 million) and old ($24.68 million).

Dodgers president Stan Kasten declined comment on the team's payroll and the tax.

With a projected payroll of $216.9 million, Detroit has a tax projected to be $6.8 million, an increase from $4 million. The Tigers pay at a 30 percent rate as an offender for the second straight season while the other teams over the threshold pay at 50 percent because they have been above for three or more consecutive years.

Tigers general manager Al Avila declined comment through club spokesman Craig Hughner.

The Yankees, at $212.9 million, are just under the surtax level. San Francisco is next at $199.6 million, leaving its tax set to decline to $2.3 million from $3.4 million. The Giants could have dropped below the tax threshold entirely, but decided to give reliever Mark Melancon a $62 million, four-year contract.

''The costs add up, as does revenue sharing,'' Giants general manager Bobby Evans.

The Tigers, Yankees, and Giants pay at the new calculation because they would have owed more under the old rules: $11.96 million for New York, $8.4 million for Detroit, and $4.2 million for San Francisco.

Washington ($188.6 million), St. Louis ($186.5 million), and Boston ($183 million) have room to increase payroll without incurring a tax. The Red Sox would pay at a 50 percent rate after owing $4.5 million last year and $1.8 million in 2015. The others would pay at 20 percent because they have not been over the threshold.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 24th, 2017 09:31 pm
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In a somewhat surprising move, outfielder Leonys Martin has been designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners, the team confirmed to reporters prior to Sunday's game against the Oakland Athletics.

Martin was off to a horrendous start to the 2017 season, slashing .111/.172/.130 over his first 15 games. While it's a small sample size, Martin has been the fourth-worst hitter with at least 50 plate appearances this season.

Traditionally known for his defensive acumen, Martin was signed to a $4.8-million deal this past offseason, avoiding arbitration with the Mariners. The speedy center fielder was out of options though, and had lost his starting role to Jarrod Dyson and partially to the hot start of Mitch Haniger.

The Martin DFA, along with the demotion of reliever Chase De Jong, made room for the Mariners to promote right-handed pitcher Chris Heston as well as first-base prospect Dan Vogelbach.

Heston was acquired via trade from the San Francisco Giants in the offseason. After an impressive breakout campaign in the first half of 2015, the 29-year-old right-hander backslid substantially and will serve out of the bullpen - though, with Triple-A Tacoma this year, Heston made three starts so he is stretched out as a swing man.

Coming into 2017, Vogelbach was ranked the 10th-best prospect in the Mariners' system according to Baseball America. Vogelbach was acquired from the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2016 trade deadline.

Looking to make a push for the World Series - which they eventually won - and boasting a deep farm system, the Cubs sent Vogelbach to the Mariners in exchange for left-hander Mike Montgomery. The slugging Vogelbach is likely being called up at the expense of the struggling Danny Valencia.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 24th, 2017 09:31 pm
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There is a chance Barry Bonds never makes it into the Hall of Fame, despite being baseball's all-time home run king, but the city of San Francisco apparently has no issue with honoring him in its own way.

Bonds is among a group of San Francisco sports legends who will have streets named after them.

The location where Candlestick Park once stood is being converted into a mixed-use development project, according to ESPN, and will name streets after Bonds, Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, and Orlando Cepeda.

San Francisco 49ers players Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, as well as longtime owner Edward J. DeBartolo and coach Bill Walsh will also have streets.

Bonds spent the 2016 season as the hitting coach of the Miami Marlins and was hired this past March as a special assistant to the CEO with the Giants.

The 52-year-old last played in the big leagues in 2007 and retired with 762 home runs and 1,996 RBIs to go along with a career slash line of .298/.444/.607. He also won seven MVP awards.

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