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 Posted: Sat Sep 30th, 2017 01:35 am
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lobo316



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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Bruce Maxwell took to a knee in the Oakland bullpen during the national anthem before the Athletics' game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

The catcher was warming up starter Sean Manaea, out of view from many fans and cameras. One fan near the Oakland dugout said ''boo'' in a normal voice, and a small number of fans booed when Maxwell batted in the second inning.

Maxwell has been the only major league baseball player to take to a knee, mirroring protests by NFL players against racial injustice. This was Maxwell's first road game since he began his protest last weekend.

A's manager Bob Melvin said before the game he expected the protest to continue because of Maxwell was committed to it.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 30th, 2017 01:36 am
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NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball is set to smash through a previously untouched barrier Sunday: Some batter likely will walk back to his dugout after becoming the 40,000 strikeout of the season.

There were 30,801 strikeouts in 2005. At the current rate, this year's total will be about 40,060.

''It kills me. I can't watch the game. It's not baseball,'' Hall of Fame pitcher Goose Gossage said Thursday. ''The only thing that's the same in the game is the bases are 90 feet and the mound is 60 feet, 6 inches. That's it.''

The strikeout record has been broken for 10 consecutive seasons, and this year's total will be well above the 38,982 who whiffed in 2016. There were 39,334 through Thursday, with three full days remaining.

More batters are swinging for the fences, part of the computer revolution that transformed nearly every aspect of the game, from defensive shifts to shorter outings by starting pitchers, to more relief pitchers on each team's roster. The season home run record of 5,694, which had stood since 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era, was shattered with nearly two weeks left. Cleveland's Roberto Perez hit No. 6,000 on Thursday as the total rose to 6,022.

''If you're striking out, you're not hitting into a lot of double plays. It was like 10 years ago when I think the analytical people started saying that strikeouts aren't really that bad,'' Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''They would much rather have one out than the chance for two.''

Boston's Chris Sale has 308 strikeouts, the most by a big league pitcher since Arizona's Randy Johnson had 334 in 2002 and Diamondbacks teammate Curt Schilling fanned 316. Indians pitchers have reached double digits in strikeouts 90 times, the most since at least 1913.

In earlier eras, strikeouts were a smear on a slugger's baseball card. Babe Ruth never struck out more than 93 times in a season. Joe DiMaggio fanned 369 times in his career, to go along with 361 home runs.

The Yankees' Aaron Judge may have set a big league rookie record for home runs with 51 through Thursday, but he's also fanned 205 times. Oakland's Khris Davis was at 194 and Texas' Joey Gallo at 193.

''They have determined the importance of hitting the ball in the air, the importance of hitting home runs, and I think players have bought into it,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''I think you can be extremely productive striking out 150 times a year. If you can drive 100 and you can score 100, there's a lot of things that you can do. So I think the game has shifted gears a little bit.''

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and his staff are concerned about the decrease in action, especially in an era that had professional sports competing with screen time for the attention of youth.

Teams averaged 3 strikeouts per game when the Yankees' Murderer's Row ruled baseball in 1927. The average didn't top 4 until 1952, 5 until 1959 and 6 until 1994. It passed 7 in 2010 and 8 last year.

''Everybody digs the long ball. If you struck out that many times back in the day, your (butt) would be back in the minor leagues,'' said Gossage, who advocates small ball as a way of defeating both power pitchers and infield shifts. ''I think these computers got these kids - they're all like robots. You're telling me that a guy, a professional hitter, can't hit a ball the whole left or right side of an infield that's gone? How about laying down five or six or 10 bunts, like Boog Powell would have done?''

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 Posted: Sat Sep 30th, 2017 01:38 am
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NEW YORK (AP) The bat Pete Rose used to become baseball's career hits leader is up for auction.

The starting bid is $100,000. The ball Rose hit for a single off San Diego's Eric Show sold during an earlier auction for $403,657.

Rose was playing for the Cincinnati Reds when he got his 4,192nd hit on Sept. 11, 1985, to pass Ty Cobb.

The Lelands.com auction runs through Oct. 27. It also features a padded 1947-48 Brooklyn Dodgers cap worn by Jackie Robinson to help protect him from racially motivated beanballs, and the WBC championship belt awarded to Muhammad Ali for his 1974 ''Rumble in the Jungle'' win over George Foreman.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 30th, 2017 01:38 am
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The Philadelphia Phillies will have a new manager in 2018, as the club announced Friday that Pete Mackanin - their skipper since July 2015 - will not reprise his role next year, instead transitioning to a front-office position.

"Can't say I'm not disappointed," Mackanin said, according to Marshall Harris of CSNPhilly. "This rebuild is starting to get legs."

He continued: "I'm just happy (general manager) Matt (Klentak) offered this opportunity to stay."

The unexpected personnel move comes less than five months after the Phillies finalized a one-year extension with Mackanin, who will now take over as a special assistant to Klentak after the 2017 campaign.

When the extension was announced, Klentak suggested Mackanin would be around for the long haul, telling reporters in May - with the Phillies off to a 13-19 start - "this is not a temporary thing."

"Pete is the manager. There's no time frame on that," Klentak said at the time. "This is not a temporary thing. Pete is the manager. And I have every hope and every confidence that as we turn this around and the wins start coming, he's going to be right here."

Clearly, the club's position changed as the season progressed, even as the Phillies began to show improvement in the second half.

"We've reached a turning point in this rebuild," Klentak said Friday. "We want to identify a leader that can take us into the future."

Since taking over for Ryne Sandberg as manager shortly before the 2015 All-Star break, Mackanin has guided the Phillies to a 172-237 (.421) record, leading the rebuilding club to one fourth-place finish and a pair of fifth-place finishes in the National League East. This year, the Phillies (64-95) own the third-worst winning percentage in the majors (.403), but head into Friday's series opener against the New York Mets with a 35-37 second-half record.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 30th, 2017 01:41 am
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Major League Baseball announced Friday that the World Series MVP award has been renamed to honor Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays.

The award will now be named the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player.

Exactly 63 years ago to the day, Mays made the most memorable defensive play in World Series - and possibly MLB - history, known as "The Catch."

63 years ago, he made “The Catch.”

Now, @MLB has renamed the #WorldSeries MVP Award in honor of Willie Mays. https://t.co/6ehvMaWRyP pic.twitter.com/cFh8jPZSwf

— MLB (@MLB) September 29, 2017
"Major League Baseball is thrilled to honor Willie Mays on our game's biggest stage and in a manner that befits his many contributions to the sport," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

"Since making 'The Catch' on Sept. 29, 1954, Willie has been a part of World Series history. This annual recognition will forever celebrate the life and career of a legend of the national pastime."

The award was introduced in 1955, a year after Mays made the famous play and helped guide the New York Giants to a World Series title.

A 24-time All-Star (MLB featured two exhibition contests per summer from 1959-62), a 12-time Gold Glove winner, and a two-time MVP, Mays appeared in four World Series throughout his 22-year career.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 30th, 2017 01:41 am
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NEW YORK (AP) Masahiro Tanaka struck out 15 over seven innings, his highest total since coming to the major leagues, and the playoff-bound New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Friday to remain on the edge of contention in the AL East.

Already assured no worse than hosting a wild-card game against Minnesota, New York began the day three games behind AL East-leading Boston with three games left, The Yankees could take the division only by beating the Blue Jays both Saturday and Sunday, having Boston lose three in a row to Houston and then defeating the Red Sox in a tiebreaker game Monday at Yankee Stadium.

Tanaka (13-12) retired his first 14 batters before Ezequiel Carerra reached on an infield single up the middle just past Tanaka's glove. Second baseman Starlin Castro made a backhand stop with a dive and threw off-balance from his knees, but Carerra easily beat a one-hop throw.

Pitching on six days' rest, Tanaka had a sharp slider and splitter, dominating a team that battered him for eight runs and three homers at Toronto on Sept. 22. He allowed three hits and walked none.

His strikeout total was three shy of his professional big league high, set for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan's Pacific League on Aug. 27, 2011.

A right-hander who turns 29 on Nov. 1, Tanaka had a 4.74 ERA this season and allowed 35 homers - 10 more than his previous major league high. He is 52-28 in four seasons with the Yankees and has the right to become a free agent and give up $69 million in the three years remaining on his Yankees contract.

David Robertson pitched a hitless eighth, and Dellin Betances allowed a hit, wild pitch and walk in the ninth. Aroldis Chapman got three straight outs to complete the four-hitter for his 21st save in 25 chances.

New York loaded the bases with one out in the first against Joe Biagini (3-13). Castro singled in a run with a dribbler between the mound and third that went for an infield hit, and Greg Bird hit a sacrifice fly.

Aaron Judge singled in a run in the fifth for his 113th RBI, and Bird added a run-scoring single in the sixth. Bird has eight homers and 25 RBIs in 27 games since returning in late August following ankle surgery.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:21 am
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A group of protesters at Busch Stadium in St. Louis unfurled a banner during theCardinals-Brewers game Friday that featured the Cardinals' mascot holding a sign saying "Racism Lives Here," while also including the words "Stop Killing Us."
The protest comes at a time when there is major tension in the city following a recent non-guilty verdict for former police offer Jason Stockley, who was acquitted in the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Stockley is white, while Smith was black.
No arrests were made at the stadium, though the protesters were asked to leave, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Two weeks ago, demonstrators hung a banner off the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston reading, "Racism is as American as Baseball."










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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:22 am
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Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. @MikeTrout!! Career HR No. @Angels @MLBonFOX pic.twitter.com/tBOYgapRaz

— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) September 30, 2017
What can't Mike Trout do?

The Los Angeles Angels phenom blasted his 32nd home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning of Friday's game against the Seattle Mariners. It was the 200th of his still burgeoning career, knocking down the door to a very exclusive club.

Trout joined Alex Rodriguez, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx as the only players in MLB history to tally 1,000 hits and 200 home runs by the end of his age-25 season (he only turned 26 in August).

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:23 am
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SEATTLE (AP) Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has undergone right shoulder surgery that will keep him from throwing for about five months.

The Mariners announced Iwakuma's surgery on Friday. The shoulder debridement was done on Wednesday in Dallas by Dr. Keith Meister. He could resume throwing in late February or early March.

Iwakuma had a contract option for the 2018 season, but needed to pitch a specific amount of innings for the contract to vest. His injury ended that chance and he is expected to be a free agent after the season.

The 36-year-old Iwakuma had a frustrating injury-filled 2017 season. He made just six starts and was 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA. He landed on the disabled list on May 10 with shoulder troubles and never made it back to the roster.

Iwakuma has spent all six of his major league seasons with the Mariners.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:25 am
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David Wright isn't impressed by the recent comments from some of his nameless teammates toward New York Mets skipper Terry Collins.

A report from Newsday's Marc Carig on Wednesday noted that some anonymous young players in the Mets clubhouse had apparently grown increasingly frustrated with Collins during the season. One unnamed player even went as far as to say the team was "miserable" under Collins, according to Carig.

Wright, though, who has been with the Mets for all of Collins' managerial tenure, insists the barrage of criticism toward the skipper has been completely unjustified.

"It was cowardly, in my opinion. I have been very fortunate in my career. I haven't had too many gripes, but when I did, I went and talked to Terry or whoever the manager is," Wright said Friday, according to the Daily News' Kristie Ackert. "His door has always been open and he's always listened."

The Mets players weren't the only ones who allegedly had an issue with Collins, however. Mets owner Fred Wilpon reportedly stepped in on several occasions to save the 68-year-old skipper from being fired by Mets chief executive officer Jeff Wilpon - his son - and general manager Sandy Alderson, who had allegedly grown frustrated with Collins' in-game decisions.

Despite the supposed opinions of the front office, the oft-injured Wright, who arguably knows Collins as well as anyone in the organization, is calling on his teammates to show the manager more respect.

"I am not here to blindly defend Terry. I am not going to discuss the tactical stuff or bullpen usage, that's not my place," Wright told Ackert. "I can say that to a man in that clubhouse, Terry has dealt with us as adults. He has treated us with respect and treated us as men.

"I would hope that the players in the clubhouse would have enough respect if not for the man but the position to say something to him. Treat him like a man as he does us."

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:26 am
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Charlie Blackmon crushed his 37th home run of the season Friday night in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and carved his name into the record books in the process.

The Colorado Rockies center fielder has acted as the leadoff man for 154 of the 157 games he's played, and he's now driven in more runs than any other leadoff batter in MLB history with 101, passing Darin Erstad who drove in 100 with the Angels in 2000.

.@Chuck_Nazty’s homer gives him 101 RBIs as a leadoff hitter, passing Darin Erstad for most ever in a season. https://t.co/z5fbGGFVlL pic.twitter.com/TaaNIEbNXK

— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) September 30, 2017
While his season total is 102, he drove in a single run from the third slot in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Even though RBIs have lost their luster as a valuable counting stat, leadoff hitters seldom drive in many runs on account of kicking off the game with the bases empty, and later following the bottom of the team's lineup.

Fortunately for Blackmon, the Rockies hold the fourth-best on-base percentage as a team this season with .337, which likely plays into his success.

Also worth remembering is that he set the record in style. His two-run blast traveled 454 feet and landed in the second deck at Coors Field.

.@Chuck_Nazty can absolutely CRUSH. pic.twitter.com/nEGgGZ0Cln

— MLB (@MLB) September 30, 2017
Blackmon has been one of the toughest outs in the National League, batting .329/.398/.602 with 37 bombs, 14 stolen bases, and, of course, 102 RBIs. In addition to that, the mullet-clad masher has 35 doubles and an astounding 14 triples.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:27 am
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The Houston Astros sealed their 100th victory of the season for the second time in franchise history with a 3-2 win against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, becoming the third team in 2017 to reach the century mark in wins.

The Astros won 102 games back in 1998 but went on to lose to the San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series.

It's only the sixth time in MLB history that three different teams have won at least 100 games, as the Astros join the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers this season.

A trio of clubs reached the 100-win plateau in the 1942, 1977, 1998, 2002, and 2003 seasons. This will be the first year in which the New York Yankees are not one of the three teams to win 100 games.

With the Indians' victory Friday night, the Astros' chances to clinch top spot in the American League and home-field advantage through the ALCS ride on Houston sweeping the Red Sox and Cleveland losing its final two games to the Chicago White Sox.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:27 am
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Matt Harvey can't wait to put 2017 behind him.

Once considered the ace of the New York Mets' rotation, Harvey looked anything but this year in a disastrous campaign where he finished with a lofty 6.70 ERA in 18 starts and missed over two months due to a stress injury in his right shoulder.

Not only was his season derailed by poor health, the 28-year-old also found himself embroiled in controversy. In May, he failed to show up to a game at Citi Field one day after breaking a team curfew, earning himself a three-day suspension.

With all that has gone wrong this season, Harvey is at least taking solace in the fact that it's now over.

"It's been a continuous struggle all year," Harvey said after his last scheduled start of the season Friday, per The Record's Matt Ehalt. "I don't think the shoulder is quite back to full strength. The positive is this nightmare of a season is over for me."

In a silver lining for the "Dark Knight," Harvey knows he will likely pitch in Queens, N.Y. again in 2018. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson admitted earlier this month that the club plans to tender the starter a contract for next season. That peace of mind will allow Harvey to recover properly in the hopes of regaining his now-distant All-Star form.

"I can look forward to a normal offseason, being healthy finally and being able to strengthen the shoulder back up and get into a long-toss program and really try to get the strength back," Harvey said. "Really try to flush this all out, and really start fresh with a productive offseason."

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:28 am
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Giancarlo Stanton's sensational season has overshadowed the murky future of the Miami Marlins - the debt-riddled franchise set to be sold to a group helmed by Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman - but the 27-year-old reportedly won't sit idly by if his team's new owners opt for a full-on rebuild.

Having never made the playoffs - or even played on a winning team - in eight seasons with the Marlins, Stanton is ready to go if the Marlins' new baseball operations department decides to dismantle the current roster and plan for the future, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

"I don't want to rebuild," Stanton said Friday following his club's 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves. "I've lost for seven years."

It's unlikely, though, that the losing stops anytime soon. Saddled with $400 million in debt, the Marlins' new owners probably aren't inclined to dish out big money on marquee free agents in the near future, and the financial quagmire they inherited may necessitate a rebuild, frankly, as Sherman and his partners can alleviate their financial burden by unloading some future liabilities.

"I'm sick of the negativity," Stanton admitted. "Anything positive I've done, there's still negativity. I'm doing this … but the owner’s doing that. I'm doing this, but the team's doing that."

If the Marlins opt for that route, Stanton - who has yet to meet with Jeter and Sherman - has no immediate recourse other than requesting a trade (he can't opt out of his 13-year, $325-million contract until after the 2020 campaign). There will be plenty of suitors, no doubt, should the time come, as a host of teams reportedly expressed interest in Stanton both before and after this year's non-waiver trade deadline, including the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, and Philadelphia Phillies.

To his credit, Stanton has done wonders for his trade value this year. Heading into the penultimate game of the season, the four-time All-Star leads the majors with 59 homers - he's the first player to hit that many since 2001 - and boasts a career-best 7.0 WAR and 1.014 OPS (167 OPS+) in 157 contests.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 1st, 2017 05:29 am
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For the second time in three seasons, the American League wild-card game will be held in the Bronx.

With the Boston Red Sox 6-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday afternoon, the New York Yankees are officially locked into the No. 1 wild-card spot and will host the Minnesota Twins in the one-game playoff Tuesday night at 8:08 p.m. ET.

The Yankees have enjoyed plenty of success against the Twins this year, taking the season series 4-2 while outscoring Minnesota 27-19. The two teams faced one another two weeks ago at Yankee Stadium, with New York sweeping the three-game set.

Luis Severino is expected to start for the Yankees, while Ervin Santana is scheduled to pitch for the visitors.

New York lost the 2015 wild-card game 3-0 to the Astros.

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