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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

MLB, MLBPA give $1M to help feed the hungry

The coronavirus pandemic has created a threat of a different sort: Hunger. With public schools closing across the country and people isolating themselves at home, those in need have increased difficulty getting food.

As announced on Monday, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have teamed up to help ease that burden with a combined $1 million donation that will be split evenly between Feeding America (FeedingAmerica.org) and Meals on Wheels America (MealsonWheelsAmerica.org).

“In these difficult times of navigating this pandemic, it is important that we come together as a society to help the most vulnerable members of our communities,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a release. “As an institution, Baseball is extending our commitment to addressing childhood hunger and food availability issues during this crisis. We are grateful for the partnership with our players on this critical issue, which has the potential to deeply affect children and seniors.”

Feeding America will distribute funds to local member food banks in high-need areas across the United States to help feed children and families impacted by school closures and other disruptions.

 

QLE Posted: March 17, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, mlb, mlbpa

Thursday, March 05, 2020

MLB wants to ban in-game video, union would allow

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Major League Baseball has proposed banning player access to video during games, according to New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton, but the union wants to allow it with protections that would prevent catchers’ signs from being visible.

Players’ association head Tony Clark met with the Yankees for three hours Wednesday and discussed negotiations for new video rules in the wake of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

“Right now, MLB’s proposal would be like a blackout. There would be no access,” Britton said. “That’s a pretty extreme stance because of one team, that everyone else is punished. So, hopefully, we can find some common ground, but definitely before opening day. Guys would like to understand what we’re going to be allowed to use and what we’re not going to be allowed to use before opening day.”

Houston violated rules by using a camera in the outfield to steal catchers’ signs during its run to the 2017 World Series title and again in 2018. The team was fined $5 million, manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for one season and the team was stripped of draft picks. Hinch and Luhnow were fired by the team, but no players were disciplined.

But why do you need to review the footage during the game? Shouldn’t you be busy actually playing the game?

 

QLE Posted: March 05, 2020 at 01:20 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, mlbpa, video

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

MLB has no plans yet to cancel or postpone games over coronavirus

Major League Baseball does not presently plan to cancel or postpone spring training or regular-season games due to the coronavirus outbreak but has established an internal task force to deal with possible complications in the coming months, according to a memo obtained by ESPN.

The memo, distributed Tuesday morning to hundreds of high-ranking baseball officials, outlined suggested preparations for teams. Among the recommendations, according to the memo:

*Players avoid taking balls and pens directly from fans to sign autographs—a suggestion that will be fleshed out in training materials the league intends to send to teams—and opt against handshakes.

*Teams open lines of communication with the local public-health authority.

 

QLE Posted: March 04, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, mlb

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Don’t expect to see players like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper play for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics

Team USA will have access to some significant talent for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but don’t expect to see major-league superstars like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper don the red, white and blue. Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and World Baseball Softball Confederation reached an agreement Friday determining which players will be eligible to represent Team USA in the Olympic games, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com.

The agreement allows players on 40-man rosters who are not in the majors to play for Team USA. That’s a confusing way of saying any current major-league player — or any player you expect to make the majors out of spring training — will not be eligible to play in the 2020 Olympics. That means no Harper, no Trout and no Gerrit Cole.

It does, however, open the door to some of the game’s future stars. Top prospects who don’t make the majors out of spring training would technically be available to play for Team USA. That means players like Jo Adell, Casey Mize, Adley Rutschman and Andrew Vaughn could be asked to play for Team USA.

Before you start dreaming about a team of super prospects, there’s another significant catch here. Those top prospects can only play for Team USA if their major-league teams allow them to participate in the Olympics. In order for Adell to roam the outfield for Team USA, the Los Angeles Angels would have to approve it. Considering how much teams like to protect their prospects, that might be a tough ask. The Angels would not be happy if Adell suffered a serious injury playing in the Olympics.

The sort of thing that makes one understand why the IOC is reluctant to have baseball in the Olympics.

 

QLE Posted: February 29, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, olympic baseball

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

MLB tells court attempts at cheating are a part of sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Attempts at cheating are a part of sports, Major League Baseball said in urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy contestants.

Five men sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws, negligence, unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices by teams that violated MLB’s rules against the use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs. The five said they participated in DraftKings fantasy baseball contests.

“Rules violations — large and small, intentional and unintentional, technical and game-changing — are a never-ending source of sports television, talk radio, web and elevator commentary by sports pundits and fans alike,” MLB said Friday in papers submitted to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “And fans’ general awareness of the potential for infractions is underscored in this case by the fact that clubs were publicly disciplined for electronic sign-stealing violations during the 2017 regular season.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled last month the Astros violated sign-stealing rules during home games en route to their World Series title in 2017 and again in 2018. He suspended manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one season each, and both were fired by the team. Manfred fined the Astros $5 million, the maximum under MLB rules and stripped the team of its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

If cheating is so inevitable, maybe going all-in with the bookies isn’t the brightest idea in the world…..

 

QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cheating, fantasy baseball, gambling, lawsuits, mlb

MLB tells court attempts at cheating are a part of sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Attempts at cheating are a part of sports, Major League Baseball said in urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy contestants.

Five men sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws, negligence, unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices by teams that violated MLB’s rules against the use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs. The five said they participated in DraftKings fantasy baseball contests.

“Rules violations — large and small, intentional and unintentional, technical and game-changing — are a never-ending source of sports television, talk radio, web and elevator commentary by sports pundits and fans alike,” MLB said Friday in papers submitted to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “And fans’ general awareness of the potential for infractions is underscored in this case by the fact that clubs were publicly disciplined for electronic sign-stealing violations during the 2017 regular season.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ruled last month the Astros violated sign-stealing rules during home games en route to their World Series title in 2017 and again in 2018. He suspended manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for one season each, and both were fired by the team. Manfred fined the Astros $5 million, the maximum under MLB rules and stripped the team of its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

If cheating is so inevitable, maybe going all-in with the bookies isn’t the brightest idea in the world…..

 

QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cheating, fantasy baseball, gambling, lawsuits, mlb

Saturday, February 22, 2020

MLB was told about the Astros’ system years ago and did nothing

Jonathan Lucroy plays for the Red Sox now. Yesterday he talked to the Boston media about his time in Oakland. Specifically, he talked about how, when he played there, he and the rest of the A’s learned about the specifics of the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme from teammate Mike Fiers, who was traded to Oakland in August of that season.

Here’s what Lucroy said about what went down when he heard about Fiers going public in November:

“When I saw it, I read it and I’m like, ‘Oh boy, here we go. And people are calling me and I’m like, ‘Look, I’ve known about that for two years.’ Guys who were playing against them . . . I would text people and say, ‘Just so you know, this is what is going on.’ It got around baseball pretty quick.”

And it wasn’t just player-to-player chatter. The Oakland Athletics as a club reported it

*Decides to polish CV, in preparation for potential application for the position of Commissioner of Major League Baseball*

 

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: coverups, dirty rotten cheaters, mlb

Saturday, February 15, 2020

MLBPA, league discussing methods to fight electronic sign-stealing

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich report that MLB and the MLB Players Association are in discussions on new rules to combat electronic sign-stealing. The talks come in the wake of a winter dominated by the revelations that the Astros cheated by using tech to steal signs on their way to winning the 2017 World Series, and widespread speculation that the cheating continued in one way or another into the 2019 season.

Nationals ace Max Scherzer, a prominent figure within the MLBPA and Washington’s union rep, is one of the players taking a leading role in the talks. He spoke with Rosenthal in an interview on MLB Network about the players’ goals for the new rules. Scherzer made it clear that while he takes no issue with players using the video room during games to things like analyze their swings, he has a problem with the implementation of algorithms like the Astros’ Codebreaker system. The three-time Cy Young Award winner also stated that he feels that there are too many cameras on the field.

The discussion of new rules about the proper use of video is a much-needed step for a sport that has seen its credibility damaged by cheating. While the complicated nature of the issue may prevent new rules from going into place before the start of the season, the mere fact that they’re being talked about at all is a plus. Having a universally respected player like Scherzer as the public face of the initiative is also a boon.

As always, my apologies for not using the referenced and paywalled article.

 

QLE Posted: February 15, 2020 at 12:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, mlbpa, sign-stealing

Friday, February 14, 2020

MLB, MLBPA make 2nd $1M donation to Negro Leagues Museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Major League Baseball celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League by joining with the Major League Baseball Players Association to announce their second joint $1 million donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,

“It commemorates baseball history, and it’s a tribute to African-American entrepreneurship in the culture that existed at the time,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

The privately financed museum was founded in 1990 and moved into its current facility in 1994. The Negro National League, the first Negro major league, was founded by eight entrepreneurs at the Paseo YMCA in the eastern part of Kansas City.

Part of the donation will be used to help renovate the YMCA building that will house the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center. The museum had spent more than $100,000 on the renovation when the building was damaged in 2018.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 14, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, mlb, mlbpa, negro league baseball museum

Friday, February 07, 2020

MLB moves Joe Torre to advisor role, elevates Chris Young to head of on-field ops

Today Major League Baseball announced a number of changes in the Commissioner’s Office. The most notable move: Joe Torre, who had been head of baseball operations since February 2011, and whose title was most recently “Chief Baseball Officer,” is being eased to the side in favor of former big league pitcher Chris Young.

Specifically, Torre has been named Special Assistant to the Commissioner. While that’s still a job, the move comes with one of those gold watch statements you often get from the head honcho. From the press release:

“Commissioner Manfred said: “I have always appreciated Joe’s great respect for Baseball and his lifetime of contributions to the National Pastime. I am pleased that Joe will remain a valuable resource to us, as he has been for the last decade.””

He’ll advise. He has Manfred’s ear, but he’s no longer the guy who will be issuing out the discipline, riding herd over the umps and meeting the press when there’s a controversial call in Game 6 of the World Series.

So, any thoughts on the merits of these changes?

 

QLE Posted: February 07, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris young, commissioner's office, joe torre, mlb

Friday, January 24, 2020

Major League Baseball to sponsor US Olympic softball team

Something for those interested in the Olympics to watch for:

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is using its financial muscle to support the U.S. women’s softball team, which already is assured a spot in the Tokyo Olympics while the American men’s baseball team struggles to qualify.

MLB announced an agreement Thursday to become presenting sponsor of the women’s “Stand Beside Her” tour, a slate of exhibition games leading up to the Olympic tournament from July 22-28.

“We’re both bat and ball sports. Even though we’re not the same sport, there are so many similarities that you just can’t ignore,” said Kim Ng, MLB’s senior vice president for baseball operations. “It was important for us to make sure that they have this acknowledgment and recognition of their ability and their talent.”

Softball began as an Olympic sport for the 1996 Atlanta Games. The U.S. won gold medals in 1996, 2000 and 2004 with players that included Dot Richardson, Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza, then lost to Japan in the 2008 gold medal game.

 

QLE Posted: January 24, 2020 at 01:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, olympics, softball

Saturday, January 18, 2020

MLB releases statement clearing Angels’ Mike Trout after HGH accusation

Major League Baseball and the union issued a joint statement on Friday afternoon saying that no player has ever received an exemption to use Human Growth Hormone, reacting to a rumor about Angels All-Star Mike Trout that seeped into social media a day earlier.

While not using Trout’s name, the statement was clearly a reaction to a Thursday Instagram post – that was deleted and then retracted – alleging that Trout had received MLB approval to use HGH because of a thyroid condition.

MLB grants about 100 Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) every year, allowing players to use otherwise banned substances for legitimate medical purposes. The vast majority of them are stimulants that are prescribed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

So, anyone have any wild and unsubstantiated rumors they wish to make up now?

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout, mlb, mlbpa, rumors

Friday, January 17, 2020

MLB, union: $3M to domestic violence, mental health programs

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball and the players’ union announced a $3 million grant program Thursday to support organizations that advocate for positive mental health, relationship skills and survivors of domestic violence.

U.S.-based nonprofit and global non-governmental organizations can apply over the next two years for grants up to $50,000. MLB team charities and big league players can apply for up to $25,000 in a gift-matching component of the program.

Something is decidedly off when this is what’s passing for positive news.

 

QLE Posted: January 17, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: domestic violence, mental health, mlb, mlbpa

Monday, January 06, 2020

Astros sign-stealing scandal: Carlos Correa, Joe Musgrove open up about allegations against 2017 title team

Per the Chronicle, Correa was asked by reporters if the allegations were true, and he said he could not answer the question since he had already been interviewed by MLB. Ha.

MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:26 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mlb

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

MLB in talks to implement opioid testing as early as 2020

In the wake of the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs from a mixture of oxycodone, fentanyl, and alcohol in June, Major League Baseball is in talks with the Major League Baseball Players Association to start testing MLB ballplayers for opioids as early as the 2020 season.

“We have been in active discussions with the Players Association about changes to our joint drug program to address opioid use, and I am cautiously optimistic that we will find common ground on this very important issue,” deputy commissioner Dan Halem told The Athletic on Monday.

According to Evan Drellich of The Athletic, both parties have come to the table and are receptive to the change, a major departure from the past when MLB and the MLBPA butted heads on expanded testing for performance-enhancing drugs. There is currently no testing for opioids under the Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA, though opioids are a banned substance.

Skaggs’ death, which devastated the Angels and all of MLB, is the impetus for this possible change. The cause of death was unknown until the end of August, when the Tarrant County (Texas) Medical Examiner announced that Skaggs had choked on his own vomit after ingesting a combination of two opioids (oxycodone and fentanyl) and alcohol. In mid-October, ESPN reported that an Angels employee, himself addicted to opioids, had sold Skaggs and several other Angels players opioids. It was also reported that several Angels employees knew about Skaggs’ addiction to opioids for months or even years, and did nothing to help him receive treatment.

As always, my apologies- the source article is behind a paywall for me.

 

QLE Posted: October 16, 2019 at 12:40 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, opioids, testing

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Rags to riches: MLB to open NYC retail store at new offices

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s new office will have a rags-to-riches component.

The commissioner’s office said Monday it will open its first permanent retail location in the U.S., the MLB Flagship Store, next summer.

MLB is moving its offices in January to the west side of midtown Manhattan, near Rockefeller Center, in the tower above the retail store. The sport has been in its current offices, near Grand Central Terminal, since 1999. The new location will also house Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which has been farther downtown in Chelsea.

Is it just me, or does this feel like a peculiar combination of operations to want to have in the same building to any of you?

 

QLE Posted: October 15, 2019 at 12:46 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, mlb, retail

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Major League Baseball has an opioid problem. Now what?

Jumping ahead to materials not being discussed in other threads:

But there’s a broader problem here: is it not starting to look like Major League Baseball has a major, major problem with opioid addiction?

One player is dead. A team employee — also an addict — was involved in the player’s drug acquisition and use. And not just some rogue outside trainer or a guy who wears a mascot costume. It was a long-standing and high-ranking front office employee. And that’s before you get to the part where, if he is to be believed, a full 20% of the Angels’ big league roster abuses opioids as well.

Which is to say that Major League Baseball, in all likelihood, does have a major, major problem with opioid addiction. It seems logical that it would extend beyond the Angels, at least. From gambling and throwing games in the early days of the game to alcohol addiction during its alleged “Golden Age” to cocaine in the 1970s and 80s and on to PEDs in the 90s and early 2000s, vice and/or addiction in Major League Baseball always — always — extends to more than one club. Players on other teams are rivals but they’re also friends, interact and socialize both during and after the season. They all face the same pressures and temptations and are thus all subject to the same addictions. And that’s before you acknowledge — which we must — that the opioid epidemic our nation has seen over the past decade respects few if any social, cultural, or economic boundaries. If five guys on a team are using, you can bet there are many more on other teams as well.

So what does Major League Baseball do about it?

Some thoughts on a broader issue in the sport, by a longtime site associate.

 

QLE Posted: October 13, 2019 at 12:18 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, opioids

 

 

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