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Olney: The players ought to own MLB’s pace-of-play problem – Buster Olney Blog

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — What should happen next in Major League Baseball’s pace-of-play discussion is a delegation of power, a simple gesture that underscores MLB’s willingness to defer to the players’ unique understanding of how the game operates. Commissioner Rob Manfred should propose that the players select and build their own committee to shape initiatives that reduce the average time of games. The composition of that committee could be determined entirely by the union. Maybe three pitchers and three hitters, or maybe five and five, or 15 and 15,…

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Jack Hamilton, former MLB pitcher who hit Tony Conigliaro with pitch, dies at 79

BRANSON, Mo. — Jack Hamilton, whose errant inside pitch damaged the eyesight of Boston’s Tony Conigliaro in 1967 and caused a premature end to the career of the Red Sox star, has died. He was 79. Hamilton died Thursday at the Shepherd of the Hills Living Center in Branson, the Greenlawn Funeral Home said. Signed by St. Louis ahead of the 1957 season, he was selected by Philadelphia in a minor league draft after the 1960 season. Hamilton pitched in the major leagues from 1962 to 1969 and was 32-40…

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Philadelphia Phillies infielder Will Middlebrooks leaves game with apparent left ankle or leg injury

Veteran infielder Will Middlebrooks, who signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies last month, left Saturday’s spring training game with what appeared to be an injury to his left ankle or leg. Playing third base, Middlebrooks was injured in the eight inning when he drifted back while attempting to catch a pop fly. Left fielder Andrew Pullin was coming in on the ball and Middlebrook’s ankle appeared to get caught underneath Pullin. Middlebrooks was attended to by trainers before leaving the field on a cart. The team said he…

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Joe Maddon goes deep on impact of limiting mound visits – Chicago Cubs Blog

MESA, Ariz. — Unlike many who have spoken out about baseball’s new rules, Joe Maddon isn’t as worried about a limit to mound visits making it easier to steal signs as much as he’s concerned about what it does to the Cubs’ game plan. He wants his catchers to be able to communicate a strategy to his pitchers — but now they’ll be limited to six trips per game. “I get upset in the dugout for two reasons: missed signs, and when the catcher doesn’t go out and talk to…

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Colorado Rockies prospect and Parkland native Colton Welker dons alma mater’s ‘SD’ cap in spring training game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Players throughout Major League Baseball wore caps with an “SD” logo Friday to honor the 17 victims of the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. For Colorado Rockies minor leaguer Colton Welker, the gesture hit especially close to home. Welker, a top infield prospect in the Rockies’ system, played for Stoneman Douglas’ state title team in 2016 and was a fourth-round draft pick by Colorado in June of that year. Along with Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Oakland Athletics…

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MLB teams honor Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims by wearing ‘SD’ hats

Spring training got off to a solemn start as MLB teams wore hats to honor Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were fatally shot nine days ago. Stoneman Douglas baseball coach Todd Fitz-Gerald and his two sons were guests of the Houston Astros for their spring opener against the Washington Nationals. Members of the school’s baseball and softball teams were guests of the Miami Marlins and mingled on the field with players, coaches and CEO Derek Jeter. Teams had the option of wearing the caps,…

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Shohei Ohtani to make debut for Los Angeles Angels on Saturday

Multitalented Japanese pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani will make his spring training debut for the Los Angeles Angels on the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. “I feel that this is a big step forward,” Ohtani told reporters Thursday, via an interpreter. “I’m really happy at this point. “This will be my first start in the States; I’m pretty sure a lot of things aren’t going to go my way. That’s OK. I just need to find what I need to adjust and feel where I’m at, and it’s going to…

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Tampa Bay Rays prospect Brent Honeywell sidelined by right forearm

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays prospect Brent Honeywell left the mound during a live batting practice session with what the team diagnosed as a right forearm strain. The 22-year-old right-hander got hurt Thursday while facing major league batters for the first time this spring. Manager Kevin Cash would not speculate on the severity of the injury, adding Honeywell would undergo further evaluation. Cash says “It’s frustrating whether he’s going to miss a week or a month or whatever it is.” Honeywell is regarded as one of the top…

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Boston Red Sox continuing with J.D. Martinez physical

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Considering it took four months for the Boston Red Sox and J.D. Martinez to get together, what’s another day before they make things official? Martinez arrived at the Red Sox’s spring training facility Wednesday and underwent a physical, the last step in finalizing his five-year, $110 million contract. But for a second day in a row, the team announced there would not be a news conference to introduce the free-agent slugger because the physical had not been completed. The delay prompted speculation that the Red Sox…

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Remember 2016? These Chicago Cubs could be just as good – Chicago Cubs Blog

MESA, Ariz. — Steve Cishek took the mound for his first live batting practice session with his new team earlier this week. As the reliever stood on the mound against the Chicago Cubs‘ A-list of hitters — a former MVP (Kris Bryant), a perennial candidate for the award (Anthony Rizzo), a former All-Star starter (Addison Russell) and an emerging star (Willson Contreras) — he realized exactly what he got himself into when he signed as a free agent during the winter. “It’s ridiculous,” the righty said later that day. “Our…

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