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Tue May 1211:35Like it or not, National League designated hitters limber up
Before all the self-proclaimed purists forecasting the destruction of baseball strategy and the very sanctity of the sport as we know it go berserk bemoaning the inclusion of a designated hitter in the National League this season, remember this:In a most remarkable October full of huge momentum swings, the pivotal blow that decided last year’s World Series was delivered by, yep, the NL DH.OK, that clang resonating off the right field foul screen at Minute Maid Park — courtesy of Howie Kendrick’s home run in Game 7 for the visiting Washington Nationals — probably won’t drown out the wailing of longtime National League fans over the plan to play this virus-delayed season with a (gasp!) DH in both circuits.And it certainly won’t quell the debate that’s raged since April 6, 1973, when Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees stepped to the plate at Fenway Park as Major League Baseball’s first DH (and drew a bases-loaded walk from Luis Tiant).To many NL fans, the simple scribble... [More]
Tue May 1209:45Like it or not, National League designated hitters limber up
Before all the self-proclaimed purists forecasting the destruction of baseball strategy and the very sanctity of the sport as we know it go berserk bemoaning the inclusion of a designated hitter in the National League this season, remember this:In a most remarkable October full of huge momentum swings, the pivotal blow that decided last year’s World Series was delivered by, yep, the NL DH.OK, that clang resonating off the right field foul screen at Minute Maid Park — courtesy of Howie Kendrick’s home run in Game 7 for the visiting Washington Nationals — probably won’t drown out the wailing of longtime National League fans over the plan to play this virus-delayed season with a (gasp!) DH in both circuits.And it certainly won’t quell the debate that’s raged since April 6, 1973, when Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees stepped to the plate at Fenway Park as Major League Baseball’s first DH (and drew a bases-loaded walk from Luis Tiant).To many NL fans, the scribble of “... [More]
Tue May 1203:35Like it or not, National League designated hitters limber up
Before all the self-proclaimed purists forecasting the destruction of baseball strategy and the very sanctity of the sport as we know it go berserk bemoaning the inclusion of a designated hitter in the National League this season, remember this:In a most remarkable October full of huge momentum swings, the pivotal blow that decided last year’s World Series was delivered by, yep, the NL DH.OK, that clang resonating off the right field foul screen at Minute Maid Park — courtesy of Howie Kendrick’s home run in Game 7 for the visiting Washington Nationals — probably won’t drown out the wailing of longtime National League fans over the plan to play this virus-delayed season with a (gasp!) DH in both circuits.And it certainly won’t quell the debate that’s raged since April 6, 1973, when Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees stepped to the plate at Fenway Park as Major League Baseball’s first DH (and drew a bases-loaded walk from Luis Tiant).To many NL fans, the scribble of “... [More]
Tue May 1202:25Like it or not, National League designated hitters limber up
Before all the self-proclaimed purists forecasting the destruction of baseball strategy and the very sanctity of the sport as we know it go berserk bemoaning the inclusion of a designated hitter in the National League this season, remember this:In a most remarkable October full of huge momentum swings, the pivotal blow that decided last year’s World Series was delivered by, yep, the NL DH.OK, that clang resonating off the right field foul screen at Minute Maid Park — courtesy of Howie Kendrick’s home run in Game 7 for the visiting Washington Nationals — probably won’t drown out the wailing of longtime National League fans over the plan to play this virus-delayed season (gasp!) with a DH in both circuits.And it certainly won’t quell the debate that’s raged since April 6, 1973, when Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees stepped to the plate at Fenway Park as Major League Baseball’s first DH (and drew a bases-loaded walk from Luis Tiant).To many NL fans, the scribble of “... [More]
Tue Mar 3118:12This Date in Baseball
April 11931 — Pitcher Virne Mitchell, 17, signed with the Chattanooga club of Tennessee, becoming the first woman to play for an otherwise all-male baseball team.1972 — The first collective players strike in major league history began. The strike lasted 12 days and canceled 86 games.1996 — Umpire John McSherry, 51, who planned to see doctors the next day about an irregular heart beat, collapsed seven pitches into Cincinnati's opener and died at a hospital about an hour later.1970 — An investment group headed by Bud Selig bought the Seattle pilots for $10.8 million.1989 — A. Bartlett Giamatti took over as baseball commissioner.2001 — The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 8-1 when the major league baseball season opened in San Juan, Puerto Rico.2013 — Bryce Harper homered in his first two at-bats, Stephen Strasburg retired 19 batters in a row and the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals opened the season with a 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins. Harper, t... [More]
Thu Mar 2615:01BC-BBO--This Date in Baseball
March 311961 — The Pacific Coast League's proposal to use a designated hitter for the pitcher was rejected by the Professional Baseball Rules Committee by a vote of 8-1.1968 — Seattle, the American League's second new team, announced its nickname — the Pilots.1995 — Major league baseball players end their strike when Federal judge Sonia Sotomayor of U.S. District Court in Manhattan rules against the owners in the labor dispute.1996 — The Seattle Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in 12 innings in major league baseball's season opener, the first major league game played in March.1998 — The Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks looked like expansion teams in their first games. The Devil Rays fell behind 11-0 in an 11-6 loss to Detroit at Tropicana Field, and the Diamondbacks dropped a 9-2 decision to the Colorado Rockies at Bank One Ballpark. Milwaukee dropped a 2-1 decision at Atlanta in the Brewers' first game since becoming the only team to switch leagues this... [More]
Tue Mar 2415:20BC-BBO--This Date in Baseball
March 271973 — Minnesota pitcher Jim Perry became the first player to use the "10 and 5 rule" when he OK'd his own trade to the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitcher Dan Fife and cash.1986 — Major League Baseball's Rules Committee voted to change the designated hitter rule for the World Series allowing a DH to be used in all games played in the American League home park. Since 1976 the DH had been used in all games in alternating years.March 281970 — Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announced the return of the All-Star selection to the fans.1977 — Lenny Randle of the Texas Rangers, angry about having been benched during spring training, attacked 50-year-old manager Frank Lucchesi and sent him to the hospital with a shattered cheekbone.1999 — Harold Baines singled in the tiebreaking run in the top of the 11th inning as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Cuban all-star team 3-2 in Havana. It was the first time in 40 years a major league team had played in Cuba.1991 — Methodist College b... [More]
Tue Mar 2413:40BC-BBO--This Date in Baseball
March 291973 — Orange baseballs are used in an exhibition game by Oakland owner Charlie Finley. The A's suffered 11-5 exhibition loss to Cleveland. George Hendrick of the Indians hit three home runs in the game.2000 — The Chicago Cubs open the major league season at the Tokyo Dome in Japan by defeating the New York Mets 5-3 in the first big league game ever played outside of North America.2015 — Belmont broke three NCAA Division I records and tied a fourth during a 20-run sixth inning in a 34-10 victory over UT Martin. The Bruins set the marks for most plate appearances (26), total bases (43) and RBIs (20) in an inning. Belmont homered seven times in the sixth to tie the record for most homers in an inning.2017 — New York Mets reliever Jeurys Familia was given a 15-game suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.March 301966 — The Koufax-Drysdale holdout ended. The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signings. Sandy Koufax got $120,000 and Don Drysdale $1... [More]
Wed Mar 1123:41Dodgers' Buehler still finding his way through spring
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Walker Buehler is looking at the bright side of his spring training situation."As opposed to other years at least I have one," the Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander said after pitching four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on a rainy Wednesday night at Camelback Ranch. Buehler, who was brought along slowly last year in the Cactus League, made his third start and threw 62 pitches in four innings. He gave up three hits and one run, walked three and struck out four.Manager Dave Roberts said before the game that he hasn't been as sharp as usual and after he came out, Buehler agreed."I'm not as sharp as I want to be," Buehler said. "It's a step forward. Still trying to figure some stuff out. Getting closer to that."I was a little sporadic today. But I'm pleased I did get some punchouts."Buehler will line up as the Dodgers' No. 2 starter, following longtime ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound when the regular season begins in two weeks.(asterisk) Dodgers third basem... [More]
Wed Mar 1103:21Cabrera, Kershaw, Ramirez all have a lot to prove
Few players have been as consistently excellent at the plate as Miguel Cabrera in his prime.That seems like a long time ago now.Cabrera hit only 12 home runs last season and has just 31 over the past three years. He'll turn 37 in April, and there are plenty of indications that the Detroit star is in the middle of a protracted decline. From 2005-13, Cabrera batted at least .320 eight times in nine seasons — and hit at least 30 home runs in all but one year.At this point, the Tigers would probably settle for a 20-homer season and an average around .300. That would be a step up from last year, but it remains to be seen if Cabrera — whose big contract lasts until at least 2023 — is capable of halting this slide in production.Cabrera is one of a handful of players around baseball with a lot to prove this year. Here are a few more:CLAYTON KERSHAW, DODGERSKershaw's 2019 season ended in agonizing fashion, when his failed relief appearance cost Los Angeles dearly in the Division Series fi... [More]
Mon Mar 917:01Dodgers' Kershaw to start opening day for 9th time
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Clayton Kershaw will start the Los Angeles Dodgers' opener against the visiting San Francisco Giants on March 26.Manager Dave Roberts announced the decision on Monday.Kershaw will extend his franchise record for opening day starts to nine. His streak of consecutive opening day starts was stopped last year when he began the season on the injured list with left shoulder inflammation and was replaced by Hyun-Jin Ryu.Kershaw is 5-1 with a 1.05 ERA on opening day. A left-hander who turns 32 next week, Kershaw has not allowed a run in two exhibition starts, striking out eight and walking two in 4 2/3 innings.After Kershaw, the rest of the rotation will be Walker Buehler, David Price, Julio Urías and Alex Wood.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Thu Mar 510:50Rendon, Betts, Cole among baseball's big offseason movers
Anthony Rendon won a World Series in Washington and then left the Nationals to join Mike Trout and Albert Pujols with the Los Angeles Angels. Gerrit Cole went to the New York Yankees to try to put them over the top.Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber were shipped out by cash-cutting teams.It's been an active offseason for some of baseball's biggest names. There were a few, like World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez, who decided to stick with the same teams. But for those who didn't, here's a scorecard to help you keep track of the offseason comings and goings:—Cole, from Astros to Yankees: The 29-year-old right-hander took a record $36 million per year over nine years to move from Houston to the Bronx. At his introductory news conference, he pulled out a pinstriped poster he waved when he attended the 2001 World Series as an 11-year-old reading: “Yankee Fan Today Tomorrow Forever." Cole was 20-5 with an AL-le... [More]
Mon Mar 219:24Price makes 1st spring training appearance for Dodgers
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — David Price felt a rush of nervous energy leading up to Monday. Acquired by the Dodgers last month from from Boston, he made his first spring training appearance for Los Angeles.Price allowed two runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings during a 6-2 loss to Cincinnati with three strikeouts and two walks. “It’s been a while since I faced hitters wearing a different jersey,” the 34-year-old left-hander said. “It’s the first time I’ve been in a game in six, almost seven months. My legs were shaking out there. It’s just, if you love what you do you’re definitely going to have nerves. It was fun. I definitely enjoyed it, getting back out there.”A left wrist problem that required surgery to remove a cyst limited Price to 4 2/3 innings last August and September. He finished 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 22 starts, then was traded by the retooling Red Sox with outfielder Mookie Betts for prospects.Price gave up a two-run single in the first to Jesse Winker. He r... [More]
Fri Feb 2819:03Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw Ks four in spring debut
PHOENIX (AP) — Clayton Kershaw struck out four batters without allowing a hit in his spring training debut Friday, the first step toward a possible opening day start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.Kershaw, the Dodgers’ longtime ace, faced a Milwaukee Brewers lineup with five expected regulars, including Brock Holt and Keston Hiura at the top of the order. He struck out both on three pitches each to open the bottom of the first.After two walks and a strikeout of the final batter he faced, Kershaw was done after 1 2/3 innings and left with a 1-0 lead. The Brewers came back for a win.“It was awesome. Maybe I didn’t hit one spot, but physically I felt like the ball was coming out, felt like it was breaking the right say,” Kershaw said. “Now just got to figure out how to throw strikes, but other than that, it was a good first step for sure.”Kershaw said his fastballs, which hit up to 93 mph, had life on them as they reached home plate. He left to a standing ovation from the Dodge... [More]
Fri Feb 2818:33Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw Ks four in spring debut
PHOENIX (AP) — Clayton Kershaw struck out four batters without allowing a hit in his spring training debut Friday, the first step toward a possible opening day start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.Kershaw, the Dodgers’ longtime ace, faced a Milwaukee Brewers lineup with five expected regulars, including Brock Holt and Keston Hiura at the top of the order. He struck out both on three pitches each to open the bottom of the first.After two walks and a strikeout of the final batter he faced, Kershaw was done after 1 2/3 innings and left with a 1-0 lead. The Brewers came back for a win.“It was awesome. Maybe I didn’t hit one spot, but physically I felt like the ball was coming out, felt like it was breaking the right say,” Kershaw said. “Now just got to figure out how to throw strikes, but other than that, it was a good first step for sure.”Kershaw said his fastballs, which hit up to 93 mph, had life on them as they reached home plate. He left to a standing ovation from the Dodge... [More]
Sat Feb 2220:54Dodgers' Bellinger glad to put offseason drama behind him
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — This wasn't what Cody Bellinger had in mind for getting his feet wet to start 2020.The Los Angeles Dodgers MVP was in the lineup for his team's spring training opener Saturday, facing the San Francisco Giants in a game delayed 2 1/2 hours due to rain in the Phoenix area. Manager Dave Roberts admitted he was nervous to start Bellinger in conditions that caused all but one other Cactus League game to get canceled, but Bellinger came out just fine. He singled and scored on Enrique Hernandez's homer, batted three times and played center field in the Dodgers' 10-4 win.Bellinger said there were minor issues only in left field, where the water from the tarp was emptied."The warning track was really wet (before the game), but they did a good job of fixing it up," Bellinger said of the Giants' grounds crew. "It turned out fine."Bellinger was certainly relieved to get back on the field after a bizarre offseason. The Dodgers first dealt with a stunning, season-ending, e... [More]
Tue Feb 1816:49Kershaw to Dodgers: Use anger over cheating Astros as fuel
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Clayton Kershaw is pleased practically everybody in the sport seized the opportunity to tee off on the cheating Houston Astros and Commissioner Rob Manfred's handling of the scandal over the past several days.The Los Angeles Dodgers' veteran ace also believes it's time for baseball to go back to work.“This type of thing has never happened before, and people are upset by it,” Kershaw said Tuesday after the Dodgers' first full squad workout of the spring. “People feel cheated, and rightfully so. The only thing I will say now is we’ve got a great season coming up. Everybody is really excited about baseball. Baseball is in a great spot. We’ve got a lot of incredible players.”Kershaw echoed the vibe around the clubhouse with the team that was among the most damaged by — and the angriest about — the Astros' use of illegal methods during their 2017 World Series championship run. The Dodgers haven't cooled down about the revelations, but Kershaw thinks ... [More]
Mon Feb 1715:49The champs are here: Cabbage race, Soto arrive at Nats camp
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — On the day position players reported to camp, the Washington Nationals finally got around to putting up a sign on the ivy-covered wall near the entrance to their spring training facility with a curly "W," a rendering of the Capitol dome and, most significantly, the proclamation "2019 WORLD CHAMPIONS.""Now we are happy to come back," slugger Juan Soto said, "and show the people we can do it again."And two of the reasons the Nationals did what they did last season -- and, more significantly, figure repeating is a realistic goal to pursue this season -- also showed up Monday: Soto and an enthusiastic cabbage race.Say what?Yes, the daily schedule posted in the clubhouse proclaimed this "National Cabbage Day," alongside a separate piece of paper listing the rosters for two teams of 20 pitchers and catchers each, one captained by Max Scherzer, the other by Stephen Strasburg. At precisely 9:30 a.m., clubhouse and equipment manager Mike Wallace strode outside car... [More]
Fri Feb 1417:08Bellinger: Altuve stole MVP from Yankees' Judge
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Cody Bellinger thinks Houston's José Altuve stole the 2017 AL MVP award from the Yankees' Aaron Judge and the Astros swiped that year's World Series title from the Los Angeles Dodgers.“These guys were cheating for three years,’’ Bellinger said Friday at the Dodgers spring training camp. “I think what people don't realize is Altuve stole an MVP from Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us."The reigning NL MVP, Bellinger criticized Astros owner Jim Crane’s attempt at an apology Thursday and called MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's punishment “weak." Manager AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one season each, and the team was fined $5 million and stripped of its first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and '21. The Astros then fired Hinch and Luhnow.MLB found the Astros guilty of using video to steal catchers' signs in 2017 and 2018. Bellinger thinks the conduct continued throughout last season.“One-hundred percent,’’ B... [More]
Thu Feb 1317:18Column: Cheating Astros just don't seem to get it
Ah, the Houston Astros.Good at stealing signs. Not so good at pretending they’re sorry about it.The team’s official mea culpa Thursday in Florida turned out to be as predictable as it gets. From owner to star players the message was the same, almost as if it had been rehearsed the night before.A few words of remorse for the worst scandal to hit baseball since the steroid era. Then it’s on to 2020 and, just maybe, a World Series title without having to cheat to get it. Why even try?If the Astros were as bad at stealing signs as they are at apologizing for it, there might be championship flags flying in Los Angeles and New York now. If they were getting paid for being honest and forthright, they would be driving Toyota Corollas to spring training instead of Range Rovers.Instead, they put on a dog and pony show, minus the pony. Well maybe not, because Astros owner Jim Crane was there to make the absurd claim that his team would have won the 2017 World Series even without cheating.... [More]
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