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 Posted: Tue May 2nd, 2017 03:49 am
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lobo316



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New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson isn't placing any blame on Noah Syndergaard - or the team's medical staff - after receiving word that the club's staff ace will spend the foreseeable future on the disabled list with a lat injury.

"I have absolute confidence in (the medical staff)," Alderson said Monday, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Syndergaard was scratched from a start last week after complaining of biceps tightness and was scheduled to undergo an MRI before he refused, saying that it was unnecessary as he felt he was healthy enough to pitch. Syndergaard took the mound Sunday, but exited in the second inning after suffering a partial tear of his lat muscle.

The Mets have received plenty of criticism for allowing Syndergaard to pitch after he was scratched from his previous start and then declined an MRI, though Alderson was told by doctors that the two injuries aren't related.

"The doctor has said that there isn't any connection between what happened and a possible biceps injury," Alderson told reporters

The Mets have not put a timetable on Syndergaard's return, though Alderson is under the impression that his absence is going to be a lengthy one.

"We're going to put him on the 10-day disabled list today but I don't think this will be measured in days, it will be measured in weeks," Alderson said. "Rather than speculate when he'll be back, it's going to be a considerable amount of time. I think that's all we can say right now."

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 03:06 am
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lobo316



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The ugly side of sports fandom was on display Monday night at Fenway Park in Boston.

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was taunted from the stands by fans spouting hateful, racist insults during the Orioles' 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. He was understandably upset after the game, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

"A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me," Jones said, "I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome."

Jones' solution to the problem is to hit the offending parties where it hurts: their pocketbook.

"It’s pathetic,’’ he said. "It’s called a coward. What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium, they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand. Something that really hurts somebody. Make them pay in full. And if they don’t, take it out of their check.

"That’s how you hurt somebody. You suspend them from the stadium, what does that mean? It’s a slap on the wrist. That guy needs to be confronted, and he needs to pay for what he’s done."

It wasn't the first time Jones has had to deal with this brand of idiocy. As recently as last October, when the Orioles played the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL wild-card game, he claimed that himself and teammate Hyun Soo Kim were both targeted with racial slurs from members of the crowd.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 03:07 am
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lobo316



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Boston mayor Marty Walsh refused to stay silent after hearing that Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones was victimized by racist taunts in Monday's series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, denouncing Tuesday morning the use of racial epithets anywhere in his city, including the team's beloved ballpark.

"This is unacceptable and not who we are as a city," Walsh told USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale. "These words and actions have no place in Fenway, Boston, or anywhere."

"We are better than this."

On Monday, in the Orioles' first game in Boston since last weekend's tense series at Camden Yards, Jones was "called the N-word a handful of times," he said after his club's 5-2 win, adding that one fan threw a bag of peanuts at him, too.

"It's pathetic," Jones said. "It's called a coward."

The mayor's sentiment was echoed by Red Sox president Sam Kennedy, who apologized to Jones and the Orioles organization in a statement Tuesday, adding that the team's "review of last night's events is ongoing." Kennedy later noted on WEEI that the Red Sox plan to meet with Jones, along with several of their own players.

"The Red Sox want to publicly apologize to Adam Jones and the entire Orioles organization for what occurred at Fenway Park Monday night," the statement reads. "No player should have an object thrown at him on the playing field, nor be subjected to any kind of racism at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have zero tolerance for such inexcusable behavior, and our entire organization and our fans are sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few.

"Such conduct should be reported immediately to Red Sox security, and any spectator behaving in this manner forfeits his/her right to remain in the ballpark, and may be subject to further action. Our review of last night's events is ongoing."

Jones, who last year claimed he was subjected to racial epithets at Rogers Centre during the American League wild-card game against the Toronto Blue Jays, suggested Monday that in lieu of merely ejecting disrespectful fans from the stadium, anyone caught using racial slurs should be fined up to $30,000, or "something that really hurts somebody."

"Make them pay in full," Jones said. "And if they don't, take it out of their check."

He continued: "That's how you hurt somebody. You suspend them from the stadium, what does that mean? It's a slap on the wrist. That guy needs to be confronted, and he needs to pay for what he's done."

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 03:08 am
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CC Sabathia, the decorated New York Yankees left-hander who's spent the better part of the last two decades in the big leagues, wasn't surprised that Adam Jones was victimized by racial taunts at Fenway Park on Monday night.

Before joining the Yankees, who insist on having a security team in the bullpen, Sabathia himself received similar treatment in Boston - the only place he's been called the N-word in his MLB career, he said - and the 36-year-old admitted Tuesday that black ballplayers have come to expect racial abuse at Fenway Park.

"We know," Sabathia told Newsday's Erik Boland. "There's 62 of us. We all know. When you go to Boston, expect it."

On Monday, Jones, the Baltimore Orioles' longtime center fielder, said fans hurled racial epithets at him throughout his club's 5-2 win at Fenway, and noted that one even threw a bag of peanuts at him. The incident was all too familiar for Sabathia, a former Cy Young Award winner who spent the first eight years of his career with Cleveland (and, briefly, Milwaukee) before signing with New York ahead of the 2009 season.

"It's disgusting," Sabathia said, according to John Healy of the New York Daily News. "When I was in Cleveland it was bad. Really bad. It's something you know going in, I guess, when you go there. It's sad is what it is. I never had it anywhere else."


As he discussed the incident with reporters following Monday's game, Jones suggested fining - not merely ejecting - fans who use racial slurs. When asked how he would like to see these incidents addressed, though, Sabathia was simply bewildered that these attitudes and behaviors can still exist in 2017.

"I have no idea. I really don't know any solution for what they should do," Sabathia said. "It's bad, it's sad, it's 2017 and you still have to deal with racism in baseball."

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 03:10 am
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PHOENIX - Oakland Athletics 2016 draft pick Casey Thomas has died. He was 24.

The A's said Tuesday that Thomas died unexpectedly in Phoenix. Executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane says the organization was devastated by the news and called Thomas a "wonderful young man and teammate."

Thomas was the son of A's pro scout Tom Thomas.

This is the second death of an A's minor leaguer in as many years. Triple-A pitcher Sean Murphy died April 25, 2016, from a heart muscle disease.

Thomas was a 34th-round draft pick last year and was currently with the organization in extended spring training. He batted .258 with 18 RBIs in 37 games last year in rookie ball in the Arizona League.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 03:11 am
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The Miami Marlins haven't even completed their sale yet, but members of the new regime are already shuffling the deck chairs, and eyeing their prospective offices.

New York Yankees legend and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter has been tied to the bidding group led by Jeb Bush for awhile, and the former shortstop will oversee the baseball operations department, Bush told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

With reports of Bush's optimism over his group winning the right to purchase the Marlins, the team may want to begin preparing this nameplate: Derek Jeter: President of Baseball Operations.

All of Jeter's 20 years in the big leagues were spent with the Yankees, where he won AL Rookie of the Year and five World Series rings, including a World Series MVP in 2000.

What this all means for the Marlins' current president of baseball operations, Michael Hill, remains to be seen. While new regimes tend to replace certain members of the front office with their own preferred employees, especially at the top, it's still feasible that Jeter could oversee the baseball operations department in a supplementary role to Hill, at least in the interim.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 09:17 pm
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With 11 strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles over his eight innings on Tuesday, Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale became the second pitcher in franchise history to record 10-plus strikeouts in five consecutive starts.

The only other Red Sox pitcher to do so was a pretty good one, too: Pedro Martinez.

And Pedro is taking notice.

Chris Sale is already surpassing everything I've done

— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) May 3, 2017
Sale fanned Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini, and Caleb Joseph twice apiece. Only Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy managed to escape without striking out once. The Red Sox held on to win the game 5-2, somehow giving Sale only his second win of the season despite his top-shelf numbers.

As great as his run has been, Sale has some work to do to fully replicate Martinez's output with the Red Sox. Between 1999 and 2001, Martinez had four streaks of at least five games with 10 or more strikeouts. His best came in 1999, when he boasted both a seven- and eight-game streak.

Sale has not yet matched his career-best streak of this nature. In 2015, then with the Chicago White Sox, Sale struck out double-digit batters over eight consecutive starts, twice fanning 14.

His next start is expected to come against the Minnesota Twins. And though the Twins are somewhat middling in the standings, they make contact. Prior to Tuesday, only the Pittsburgh Pirates and Sale's own Red Sox had recorded fewer strikeouts as a team.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 09:19 pm
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Manny Machado has no love for the Boston Red Sox.

The Baltimore Orioles' superstar third baseman was once again targeted by a Red Sox pitcher Tuesday, this time being thrown behind by Chris Sale in the first inning, and he let reporters know he's tired of being Boston's focus for retribution with a profanity-laced postgame tirade.

"I mean, that's stuff that you don't fucking do. But I mean, I'm not on that side. I'm not in that organization," Machado told reporters. "They're still thinking about that same slide that I did. There was no intention on hurting anybody and I'm still paying, I'm still trying to get hit at.

"Get thrown at on my fucking head. They're fucking throwing everywhere. It's fucking bullshit, you know, I've lost my respect for that organization, that coaching staff and everyone over there."

Machado didn't stop there, going on to call on Major League Baseball to intervene.

"If you're going to fucking hit me, hit me. Go ahead. Fucking hit me. Don't let this fucking keep lingering fucking around. Don't keep trying to fucking hit people. It's fucking bullshit ... the MLB should do something about it," he continued. "Fucking pitchers out there with fucking balls in their hands throwing 100-mph trying to hit people.

"I've got a fucking bat, too. I could go up there and crush somebody if I wanted to. But you know what? I'll get suspended for a year and the pitcher only gets suspended for two games. That's not cool."

Machado was nearly plunked by Sale just one batter after Adam Jones received a standing ovation from the fans at Fenway Park. The pitch appeared to be revenge for Dylan Bundy hitting Mookie Betts on Monday, though the bad blood between the two teams has been brewing ever since Machado spiked Dustin Pedroia with a slide on April 22.

If the Red Sox attempt to throw at Machado again Wednesday, the infielder warned he may have to take matters into his own hands.

"We'll just have to find out tomorrow and see. They're probably going to try to hit me again ... I'm just going to have to wear it and see what happens," he told MASN's Gary Thorne. "If I have to take care of business on my own then I'm gonna have to do something."

Sale, though, didn't seem to bat an eye upon hearing of Machado's comments.

"Whatever man. ... I'm not losing sleep over it," he said, according to WEEI's Ryan Hannable.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 09:19 pm
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Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is optimistic he'll have two key pieces back from the disabled list at some point next week, but knows it's not a guarantee.

"I couldn't tell you when they're going to play," Gibbons said of Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. "Hopefully, next homestand. Hopefully, at the beginning of the homestand, but that's just guessing. Guessing and hoping."

Both Donaldson and Tulowitzki are rehabbing their respective injuries in Florida but remain without a timetable. Donaldson has been out with a calf injury since April 13, while Tulowitzki strained his right hamstring April 21.

The Blue Jays sit at the bottom of the American league East standings at 9-19, and are in desperate need of the duo's return.

Toronto plays one more game in New York on Wednesday before traveling to Tampa Bay for a three-game series with the Rays that begins Friday. The team returns home Monday for a nine-game homestand.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 09:22 pm
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - There are still too many strikeouts. His patience at the plate is a struggle. And the batting average remains below .250. But Tim Tebow believes he's making steady progress in his life as a pro baseball player.

''It feels more comfortable,'' Tebow said Tuesday night , a short time after scoring the winning run in the Columbia Fireflies' 2-1 victory over Delmarva. ''I'm definitely seeing pitches better. I feel like I'm getting better every week, too.''

The numbers bear that out, minus his flashy start for the New York Mets' Class A affiliate - Tebow homered in first pro at-bat , then added a second homer three games later. An average that hovered in the mid-.100s for the first couple of weeks has popped to .231. Tebow had three multistrikeout games in his first six starts, yet just one in his last 10.

''His at-bats, you see the consistency,'' Fireflies manager Jose Leger said. ''Once he finds the rhythm, this guy's got the right tools to play this game.''

Tebow displayed patience against the Shorebirds, reaching three times despite going 0 for 2. His one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth started Columbia's winning rally, with the former Heisman Trophy quarterback for Florida crossing the plate with the winning run after Gene Cone's bases-loaded walk.

Tebow awaited his charging teammates for congratulations, but they passed him right up to continue down the first-base line where Cone had successfully stepped on the bag.

''We haven't had many walkoffs like that,'' Tebow said with a smile. ''I'm just glad I didn't get the Gatorade.''

Tebow, 29, has put in the work to improve, Leger said. He shows up at the park early for extra batting practices or shags fly balls late to better his skills in left field. He's also dealt with the throngs of fans, home and away, clamoring to say hello, take a selfie or get an autograph.

One fan Tuesday night was decked out head to legs in Florida Gators gear. Another group arrived with one person in Tebow's No. 15 Broncos jersey and a second wearing Tebow's New York Jets jersey.

It's not always easy, Tebow acknowledged, balancing the discipline and focus on the field necessary to get better at baseball with the demands of others off it.

''I feel I'm making progress,'' he said. ''But it's a process. It's just continuing to have that work ethic whether you're oh for 4 or whether you're 3 for 4. It's something I've tried to focus on this entire time. I don't want to get too good after a good game or too bad. I'm just trying to stay level headed.''

Columbia president John Katz said there's no timetable for Tebow's stay in South Carolina. ''We don't control any of that,'' he said.

Leger would love to have Tebow around a lot longer. He's been a leader in the clubhouse, showing the younger guys that extra work is essential to succeed at this game.

''I try to bring that even keel every single day, with energy,'' Tebow said.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 09:23 pm
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A group led by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and former presidential candidate Jeb Bush may not be a shoo-in after all as the new owners of the Miami Marlins.

The group is facing stiff competition from a separate party led by businessman Tagg Romney, which has submitted a bid slightly higher than the reported $1.3 billion offered by the Bush-Jeter-led faction, according to an MLB source of Barry Jackson and Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald.

Major League Baseball and the Marlins are evaluating both offers, according to the same source, and a decision is expected shortly.

"We have two very strong groups that we believe will have sufficient financial resources to complete the sale and run the team effectively," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told the Herald in a statement.

The bid from Romney's group - which also features former Atlanta Braves pitcher and Hall of Famer Tom Glavine - is apparently less than $1.4 billion, according to the Herald.

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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 09:26 pm
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Diagnosed earlier this week with a torn right lat muscle, Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets' ailing ace, is reportedly headed to see noted orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion, while the conservative estimate has the 24-year-old right-hander out for the next three months, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

After famously refusing to have an MRI despite being scratched from last Thursday's scheduled start with a "tired arm", Syndergaard exited Sunday's outing against the Washington Nationals in the second inning due to injury, wincing and grabbing his right underarm area as he made his way off the field at Nationals Park. A subsequent MRI revealed the torn lat muscle, and Syndergaard was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday.

Speaking before Monday's game against the Atlanta Braves, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson wouldn't speculate as to how much time Syndergaard would miss, but conceded he wouldn't be back in the rotation anytime soon. Steven Matz, another injured Mets starter, missed two months with a torn lat muscle in 2015, but Alderson didn't want to compare Syndergaard's injury to the one that felled Matz.

"It's going to be a considerable amount of time," Alderson told James Wagner of the New York Times.

Rafael Montero, a 26-year-old right-hander who has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this year, is expected to start Friday in Syndergaard's stead, though that rotation spot will likely go to Matz when he gets over the elbow inflammation that has sidelined him all season.

"Somebody has got to pick up the slack," manager Terry Collins said. "I'm not asking any starting pitcher to be Noah Syndergaard. I'm asking them to be themselves, and go pitch a good game."

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 Posted: Thu May 4th, 2017 03:43 am
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One player who's likely glad to see the calendar flip over from April is Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber, who's headed to the disabled list after a disastrous start to his year, according to Terry Francona who joined "Inside Pitch" on Wednesday.

Francona said the Indians were "leaning toward" a disabled list stint for Kluber, who's been dealing with back issues early this season and appears to be off track from his typical Cy Young form. The move was made official just after Francona's radio appearance.

Kluber, the 2014 Cy Young winner, has posted a 5.06 ERA and 4.29 FIP through his first six starts this season, and is walking more than three batters per nine innings.

With Kluber headed to the DL, Francona suggested the team "think(s) letting him miss a little bit of time is the best thing for everybody."

From 2014-16, only Clayton Kershaw has been a better pitcher than Kluber by FanGraphs WAR. Meanwhile, Kluber is coming off of a game against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday in which he allowed five runs over just three innings of work - his worst start of the year, and his shortest since May 2016.

In Kluber's stead, the Indians have recalled right-handed reliever Joe Colon, while the likely candidate to take Kluber's next scheduled start on Sunday is Mike Clevinger, who started in Triple-A on Tuesday night, according to Zack Meisel of clevelanddotcom.

The Indians are currently tied for third in their division with a 14-12 record, a half-game back of the first-place Chicago White Sox. "I don't think we're thrilled with the way our record is," Francona said, before adding "but we haven't let it get in the way of our season either."

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:14 am
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Sports super-agent Scott Boras doesn't think teams alone should be required to make punitive decisions when it comes to racist behavior in their ballparks.

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Boras is calling for Congressional intervention following a fan lobbing racist epithets at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones on Monday night at Fenway Park.

"Jackie Robinson carried the torch of our game as a spokesperson to help initiate Civil Rights legislation. This awareness needs to trigger legislation," Boras said.

To Boras, the punishment should go beyond being banned from the stadium. He feels using racist language to taunt players should be punishable by law.

"I think we’d get unanimity among legislators to create a bill that would put teeth into what teams could do with the license they are given. If you run on the field, that trespass gets you jail time and a criminal act. Why shouldn’t conduct of this nature get obviously a greater penalty because it has worse damages?"

This comes on the heels of Jones and his own agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, saying there needs to be a "zero tolerance" policy adopted to deter this behavior.

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 Posted: Fri May 5th, 2017 02:15 am
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Here we go again.

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman was ejected from Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox after hitting shortstop Xander Bogaerts with a 77-mph breaking ball in the bottom of the second inning.

In the seemingly never-ending circus surrounding the two teams that has involved multiple attempts to bean Manny Machado and seen Mookie Betts actually get hit by a pitch, this seemed inevitable.

Home plate umpire Sam Holbrook immediately motioned for Gausman's ejection as Bogaerts went to first base. Gausman protested, and catcher Caleb Joseph went ballistic.

Even Red Sox commentator Dennis Eckersley thought it was a hasty call, referring to it as "clueless" during the broadcast.

So much for tension being over and done with.

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