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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Ohtani fans Trout to seal Japan’s 3rd Classic championship

MIAMI—Team Japan hoisted the 2023 World Baseball Classic trophy to celebrate its third tournament championship with a 3-2 victory over Team USA on Tuesday at loanDepot park.
In a matchup anticipated by many, Shohei Ohtani clinched the game by striking out Angels teammate Mike Trout in the ninth.

A deeply satisfying finish to a spectacular tournament.

Hombre Brotani Posted: March 21, 2023 at 11:08 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout, shohei ohtani, world baseball classic

MLB’s Rob Manfred pushes for more star pitchers in next WBC

The World Baseball Classic, which has produced a string of exhilarating games and enthusiastic crowds, will “100 percent” return in 2026, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday, moments before Team USA and Japan squared off in the championship game from LoanDepot Park.

Before then, Manfred said, he would like to see more stars playing in the tournament, particularly on the pitching side.

“It’s great the guys that we have,” Manfred told a small scrum of reporters, “but I’d like to see pitching staffs that are of the same quality as our position players.”

A long list of star position players decorated rosters throughout the World Baseball Classic, but a lot of the sport’s best pitchers either did not participate or ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2023 at 11:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Braves option Grissom to minors, clearing Arcia to start at SS

The Atlanta Braves have apparently decided who will replace the departed Dansby Swanson as their starting shortstop. It’s not who most people expected it to be.

Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake were optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. That leaves utility infielder Orlando Arcia as the likely replacement for Swanson, who left the Braves in free agency during the offseason for a $177 million, seven-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2023 at 12:30 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, vaughn grissom

Japan plates 2 in ninth, ousts Mexico in World Baseball Classic

Munetaka Murakami, it turns out, was due.

Murakami, the star Japanese third baseman who owns the nation’s home run record and is coming off a Triple Crown, struck out in his first three plate appearances of Monday night’s World Baseball Classic semifinal. But he came through when it mattered most, delivering a two-run double in the ninth inning that sent Japan to a thrilling, 6-5 walk-off victory against Mexico at a sold-out LoanDepot Park.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2023 at 12:29 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Monday, March 20, 2023

Why MLB Feels RSN Pinch More Than Other Leagues

Local media, including radio, is 23% of MLB team revenue. It is the third biggest revenue stream after central revenue and tickets, but it is by far the biggest exposure to regional sports networks of any major U.S. sports league, and the NBA’s 13% of revenue will dip further when its next national TV deals commence in 2025. Most MLB teams are in the 18% to 25% range, but the two Los Angeles franchises lean on local media for more than 30% of their revenue after netting out their revenue sharing payments….

Baseball RSN ratings were and still are elite. Last season, it was the No. 1 programming in primetime on cable in 22 of 29 markets and 13 out of 29 when including broadcast networks, according to Nielsen (Toronto data is not available). ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2023 at 04:38 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks

Reds would reportedly consider trading Joey Votto to Blue Jays if he asked for it

Votto, born in Toronto and raised in Etobicoke, Ont., was drafted by Cincinnati in 2002 and has played for just one franchise his entire career, compiling 16 seasons with the Reds. But as he prepares for his 17th major-league campaign, management has considered what life could be like without the six-time All-Star.

In speaking with former general manager and current MLB analyst Jim Bowden, Reds GM Nick Krall said he hopes Votto will finish his career in the same place it started. If Cincinnati becomes a seller at the trade deadline, though, Krall could be open to dealing the 2010 NL MVP to his hometown franchise if that’s Votto’s wish.

The 39-year-old Votto is entering the final season of his 10-year, $225-million contract, which ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2023 at 04:34 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, joey votto, reds

Phillies Release Mark Appel

The Phillies announced today that right-hander Mark Appel has been released. He had been in camp on a minor league deal. They also reassigned left-hander Ben Bowden, right-hander Louis Head and catcher Max McDowell to minor league camp.

Appel, 31, had been having a rough showing this spring. In six appearances, he allowed six walks and ten hits, including three home runs. He did record five strikeouts, but the seven earned runs in 5 2/3 innings led to an ERA of 11.12.

The righty was looking continue a nice comeback story from last year. The first overall pick from the 2013 draft, taken by the Astros, Appel was a mainstay of top prospect lists for a few years. He was traded to the Phillies prior to the 2016 season in the deal that sent ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2023 at 02:34 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mark appel, phillies

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Reports: Jurickson Profar, Rockies reach 1-year, $7.75M deal

The Colorado Rockies have agreed to a one-year, $7.75 million contract with veteran utility man Jurickson Profar, according to multiple reports.

The deal is pending a physical, according to reports. Profar was not in the U.S. as of Sunday morning, according to the Denver Gazette, and his availability for Opening Day is uncertain.

Profar can earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses, getting the full amount for 400 plate appearances, according to The Associated Press.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 19, 2023 at 10:38 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jurickson profar, rockies

Altuve suffers broken thumb in Venezuela’s WBC loss to Team USA

Venezuela second baseman and Houston Astros All-Star Jose Altuve suffered a broken right thumb when he was hit by a pitch in a World Baseball Classic quarterfinal against Team USA, according to Venezuelan team officials.

Altuve was hit in the right hand by a Daniel Bard pitch during the fifth inning at Miami’s LoanDepot Park and replaced by pinch runner Luis Rengifo. While Rengifo scored one of Venezuela’s four runs in the go-ahead rally, Team USA came back to eliminate Venezuela 9-7 on Trea Turner’s grand slam.

Hombre Brotani Posted: March 19, 2023 at 06:04 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel bard, jose altuve, venezuela, wbc

Friday, March 17, 2023

2023 World Baseball Classic 1st round a global success

The 2023 World Baseball Classic registered an attendance record for the First-Round drawing 1,010,999, the most attended round in the history of the tournament and a +98% increase vs. the previous record of 510,056 in 2017. The average attendance of 25,275 also set a record for the First Round of the tournament eclipsing 2017’s average of 20,402 by +24%...

In Japan, the March 10th Japan vs. Korea game on TBS registered a 44.4 rating, making it the most-watched game in the history of the World Baseball Classic in any country. The game outrated all sports competition during the Tokyo Olympics. Japan’s four First Round games averaged a 42.3 rating in the country….

In the Dominican Republic, viewership for the Dominican team’s games ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2023 at 02:49 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Mets’ Edwin Diaz carried off field after Puerto Rico WBC celebration injury

Edwin Diaz injured his right leg as Puerto Rico celebrated its 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Mets closer, who struck out the side and earned the save, appeared to hurt his knee as the team began celebrating.

Diaz had to be carried off the field and was eventually placed in a wheelchair.

After securing the final out, he was has embraced by some of his teammates and they began jumping up and down together.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2023 at 11:15 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin diaz

‘Slow-motion’ crash: How Diamond Sports’ bankruptcy will affect teams, fans

Diamond said in a statement on Tuesday that it expects to work out a restructuring agreement that will allow it to become a standalone company. Diamond said its top-tier secured creditors will not lose anything in the deal, while secondary and unsecured creditors will wind up with an equity stake in the new company.

In court filings on Wednesday, the Athletic reported that Diamond said it expected the restructuring to wind up by the end of 2023.

It all means that the lights are not at risk of going out, at least not immediately, on Bally RSN channels in most affected markets this baseball season. The situation in Cleveland, Cincinnati, San Diego, and Arizona is a little more muddled, but more on that later.

Most Bally broadcasts could ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2023 at 04:52 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: sinclair

Playing for the Yankees Has Its Perks. In-Flight Internet Is Not One of Them.

Gerrit Cole had dreamed of playing for the Yankees since he was a kid, and in so many ways the experience has been exactly what children envision: the crisp pinstripes, the retired numbers, the Bleacher Creatures.

But one thing surprised him when he got to New York after signing a nine-year, $324 million deal before the 2020 season: The fourth-most valuable franchise in sports charges players for internet access on the team plane.

“It’s your fault,” longtime center fielder Brett Gardner told him. “Your contract is too big, so they can’t pay for the Wi-Fi.”

Technically, it’s Delta that does the charging, approximately $9 per flight. (Delta also offers free iMessage and WhatsApp.) But the Yankees, whom Forbes estimates are ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2023 at 09:34 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Puerto Rico’s De Leon, bullpen ‘perfect’ in WBC mercy-rule win

Officially, Puerto Rico’s 10-0 victory over Israel in the World Baseball Classic on Monday night will not enter the record books as a perfect game, even though four pitchers combined to retire all 24 hitters they faced in the mercy-rule win.

Just don’t tell that to Puerto Rico’s players.

“It’s perfect for us,” said starter Jose De Leon, whose 5.2 brilliant innings spearheaded the best performance of the Classic from the two-time runners-up and sets up an epic matchup against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday in which the winner is expected to advance and the loser likely will bow out after pool play.

The Elias Sports Bureau, which renders official scoring decisions for Major League Baseball, said WBC games are being held to the same ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 14, 2023 at 10:26 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Monday, March 13, 2023

Flamboyant Yankees great Joe Pepitone dies at 82

Yankees first baseman Joe Pepitone, known for his terrific defense and bringing the first hair dryer into a major league clubhouse, has died, the Yankees announced on Monday.

The left-handed swinging Pepitone played the bulk of his career for the Yankees. He also played several seasons with the Chicago Cubs and had short stints with the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. During his time with the Yankees, Pepitone played in three All-Star Games and won three Gold Glove awards.

“The Yankees are deeply saddened by the passing of former Yankee Joe Pepitone, whose playful and charismatic personality and on-field contributions made him a fan favorite of generations of Yankees fans even beyond his years with the team in the 1960s,” the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2023 at 05:57 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Mets planning to shut down Jose Quintana for three months

The Mets will prepare to play the first half of the season without Jose Quintana.

The left-hander is expected to be shut down from throwing for at least three months, according to sources, after he was diagnosed last week with a stress fracture on the fifth rib on his left side.

Under that timetable, Quintana would begin throwing again in mid-June at the earliest to ramp up for a return to the Mets’ rotation around the All-Star break.

Quintana, 34, arrived in the offseason on a two-year contract worth $26 million.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2023 at 01:52 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: jose quintana, mets

Trevor Bauer is Reportedly Off to Pitch in Japan

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2023 at 01:29 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: trevor bauer

Sunday, March 12, 2023

MLB to stream games for free amid looming Diamond Sports bankruptcy

Major League Baseball plans to step up to the plate to broadcast games of roughly a half-dozen teams from a bankruptcy-bound regional sports network provider so that fans don’t miss a single pitch, The Post has learned.

The teams in the red include the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, according to one of the sources. Presently, Diamond stands to lose $20 million annually on San Diego alone, the source added.

Hombre Brotani Posted: March 12, 2023 at 07:31 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcast, business, dollah dollah bills, y'all, sinclair

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Sources: Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks agree on 8 years, $111M

Outfielder Corbin Carroll and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in agreement on an eight-year, $111 million contract extension, sources familiar with the deal confirmed to ESPN, tying one of the top prospects in baseball to the team through his prime seasons.

The deal includes a ninth-year club option, sources said.

Carroll, 22, debuted last year and lived up to the hype that had built up during his ascent to the big leagues. In 32 games, he hit .260/.330/.500 with four home runs, 14 RBIs and a pair of stolen bases. Still Rookie of the Year-eligible, Carroll is regarded as the favorite by oddsmakers going into 2023.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2023 at 03:44 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: corbin carroll, diamondbacks

TV’s challenge: How to work in the tight spaces of the new pitch clock

On Feb. 25 during the White Sox spring opener against the San Diego Padres, he got his first taste of working with baseball’s new pace. It was even more jarring.

After the game he immediately met with White Sox play-by-play voice Jason Benetti.

“We are covering a different sport now,” Benetti said. Withers agreed.

“What Jason said keeps hitting me,” Withers told theScore this week. “Our jobs are completely different now. Having done three spring training games, it is tenfold more impactful than anything I thought it was going to be just from talking about it.”

Those following MLB’s spring action have seen how some players are struggling to adapt to baseball’s new pace and rules, but they’re not the only critical industry employees ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2023 at 10:56 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch clock

Friday, March 10, 2023

The legend of Shlomo Lipetz, WBC Team Israel’s 44-year-old ‘mythical figure’

In October 2001, a hairy Israeli man in skinny jeans and a skin-tight nightclub shirt strolled onto the baseball field at San Diego Mesa Junior College. Thousands of miles from home and just three weeks removed from mandatory military service, the 22-year-old freshman approached one of the coaches and introduced himself.

“Hi, I’m Shlomo,” he proclaimed in broken English. “I want to play baseball.”

Twenty-two years later, the 6-foot-4 sidearming Israeli soft-tosser is the second-oldest player in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. When Team Israel takes on the Dominican Republic in a week’s time, Lipetz will share a stadium, if not a field, with the likes of Juan Soto, Manny Machado and Rafael Devers.

Here is another seemingly ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2023 at 10:07 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: israel, wbc

Nationals, Keibert Ruiz Agree To Eight-Year Extension

The Nationals are in agreement with young backstop Keibert Ruiz on an eight-year contract extension that guarantees $50MM, as first reported by Wow Deportes (Twitter link). Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post (Twitter link) reports that the contract also contains two club options. The deal buys out three would-be free agent seasons and could extend the team’s window of control two more years if the options are triggered.

It’s a long-term commitment from the rebuilding club to a player they obviously consider their franchise catcher. Washington acquired the switch-hitting Ruiz at the 2021 trade deadline as part of the blockbuster that sent Trea Turner and Max Scherzer to the Dodgers. Ruiz and starter Josiah Gray headlined a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2023 at 09:50 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: keibert ruiz, nationals

Longtime major leaguer Jesus Alou dies at 80

Alou recently suffered two cardiovascular accidents, but he hadn’t been diagnosed with a serious illness, a family source told ESPN’s Enrique Rojas.

Alou spent 15 seasons in the majors with the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. He won both of his World Series titles as a bench player for the Athletics.

Alou is the youngest of the legendary trio of Dominican brothers who played together in the majors.

Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou made history as the only brothers to play in the same outfield Sept. 15, 1963, playing for the Giants in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. Felipe was part of the starting lineup, while Matty and Jesus entered as replacements.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2023 at 09:48 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: jesus alou, obituaries

Spring training OMNICHATTER 2023

A general thread for lesser controversies arising over the next few weeks.

sanny manguillen Posted: March 10, 2023 at 09:03 PM | 147 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

FIELD OF DREAD Six former Phillies died from the same brain cancer. We tested the Vet’s turf and found dangerous chemicals.

The rate of brain cancer among Phillies who played at the Vet between 1971 and 2003 is about three times the average rate among adult men.

After West’s death, at age 57, The Inquirer decided to test the Vet’s turf. Athletes had dreaded playing on the surface, which was notorious for causing serious knee and ankle injuries. Through eBay, the newspaper purchased four souvenir samples of the fake grass that had blanketed the stadium’s field from 1977 to 1981. The team gave away the green keepsakes to thousands of fans in 1982, in 4-by-4-inch sealed plastic bags labeled “Official Turf of Champions.”

D-backs could be 1st team impacted by Bally Sports ownership bankruptcy

The Arizona Diamondbacks could be one of the first teams impacted as Diamond Sports Group prepares to file for bankruptcy.

The operator of the 19 Bally Sports regional television networks has continued to pay its rights fees to every Major League Baseball team with the exception of the Diamondbacks, reports John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.

Diamond released this statement: “We’ve been making our rights payments to teams with the exception of the Diamondbacks, where we have exercised a contractual grace period in order to maximize flexibility, especially given that we do not have DTC rights. We are continuing to broadcast games and are operating our business as usual.”

Ourand reports that the grace period to pay the D-backs ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2023 at 02:46 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: bally sports, diamondbacks, sinclair

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Deals with Yuli Gurriel, Iglesias fortify Marlins’ infield depth

The Marlins fortified their backup infield options by agreeing to non-roster deals with veterans Yuli Gurriel and José Iglesias on Thursday night, a source told’s Mark Feinsand. The club has not confirmed the news.

Miami’s interest in Gurriel dates back to the offseason, and it picked up again during Spring Training. All-Star Garrett Cooper is the only natural first baseman on the 40-man roster, and he has not played that position more than 73 times in a season. Internal backup options included No. 10 prospect Jordan Groshans and Jerar Encarnacion, both of whom have been learning first base this spring and have limited Major League experience.

Bringing in the veteran Gurriel, who will turn 39 in June, makes sense for a club ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2023 at 09:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, yuli gurriel

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Sandy Valdespino, Member of the 1965 World Series Twins, Passes Away at 84

The baseball world lost another brother in their fraternity last Sunday. Sandy Valdespino, one of Sam Mele’s bench weapons on the 1965 World Series team, passed away in Moultrie, Georgia, at the age of 84.

Signed by the legendary scout, Joe Cambria, Valdespino made his American baseball debut in 1957, crushing a homer in the Texas League that earned him notice in The Sporting News (Cohen). Valdespino—who was originally named “Hilario,” only taking on the name “Sandy” because minor-league manager Johnny Welaj thought he looked like Dodgers player Sandy Amoros—bounced across the minors, playing around the U.S. as he fought for promotions.

Jim Kaat recalled rooming with Valdespino in Missoula, Montana in 1958: “We rented a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2023 at 12:40 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Former MLB outfielder Dave Nicholson known for towering home runs has died: reports

Former Major League Baseball outfielder Dave Nicholson has died, according to reports.

He was 83.

Nicholson began his Major League career with the Baltimore Orioles and played for them during the 1960 and 1962 seasons. He also had stints with the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros before wrapping up his career in 1967 with the Atlanta Braves.

Nicholson batted just .212 with 61 home runs and 179 RBIs in his career, but was reportedly known for hitting monstrous home runs when he did connect. That reportedly included a 573-foot blast over the left-field roof of Comiskey Park.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2023 at 12:38 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Mitch Moreland announces his retirement from baseball

former Red Sox World Series champ has called it a career. He hasn’t filed any paperwork to make it official, but Mitch Moreland has retired from baseball.

Moreland hasn’t played since August 2021 when he was a member of the Oakland A’s. He was hoping to get a phone call at some point during the 2022 season, but that never happened.

This spring, Moreland got a call from the Red Sox about joining them in the dugout for some exhibition games. He was with the Red Sox on Tuesday as a coach for their spring tilt against the Atlanta Braves. That’s where the former Sox first baseman broke the news of his retirement to WEEI’s Rob Bradford.

“I’m retired There you go. I’m done. I’m done playing,” Moreland said ahead of Tuesday night’s Red Sox ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2023 at 12:37 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mitch moreland

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