Posts Tagged ‘Major League Baseball’

Giancarlo Stanton has left any feelings of ill-will toward the Miami Marlins and their ownership back in South Beach.

The New York Yankees slugger will welcome his former team to the Bronx on Monday when the clubs open a brief two-game series. Stanton spent the first eight seasons of his career in Miami before new ownership headed by Derek Jeter opted to trade him and the bulk of his record-setting contract to the Yankees.

Stanton’s final days in Miami were certainly rocky. He rejected two trades that would have sent him to either the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals. Both Jeter and Stanton admitted they never spoke to each other after the initial sale of the team, and Stanton said the organization was a “circus” at times in a farewell Instagram post. But despite everything that happened over the last six months, Stanton says there’s no animosity between him and Jeter.

“I mean, I don’t think there’s any crazy bad blood besides what (the media) stirred up,” Stanton told reporters, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. “I mean, we were very honest with each other in our meetings – and that’s the business side of it – but there’s no bad blood on this side.”

Despite the Marlins coming to town, Jeter has already stated that he won’t be accompanying them.

“It would be an awkward situation for me to actually go to Yankee Stadium,” Jeter said last week. “I knew it was going to be a story one way or the other, so I might as well get out in front of it and say I’m not going.”

Jeter was last at Yankee Stadium in May when the team retired his No. 2.

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The 2018 season is only 18 days old but the Tampa Bay Rays are already going to need a miracle if they hope to win their division.

With their 10-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday – the club’s fourth in a row – the Rays have fallen to 3-12 on the season and reside in the basement of the American League East. If that wasn’t bad enough, the division-leading Boston Red Sox won a fourth straight game Sunday, and now hold a 10-game lead over the Rays in the division.

TEAM W-L PCT GB
Red Sox 13-2 .867
Blue Jays 9-5 .643 3.5
Yankees 7-7 .500 5.5
Orioles 5-11 .313 8.5
Rays 3-12 .200 10

After an offseason selloff, the Rays weren’t expected to challenge for a playoff spot – let alone the division – but the club’s three wins in 15 games have left many shaking their heads. Tampa Bay has just one win in seven tries at home this season, rank in the bottom third of the league in almost every offensive category, and are the first team with a double-digit deficit in a divisional race in 2018.

It wasn’t until mid-August last season before the Rays fell at least 10 games back.

There was a concerning number of empty seats around baseball Monday, and the Miami MarlinsBaltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians were front and center amid the poor attendance.

Miami only drew 7,003 fans to Marlins Park against the New York Mets on Monday. The rebuilding Marlins, who didn’t have any problems with weather, couldn’t get butts in seats despite being greeted with the presence of MLB star Noah Syndergaard on the hill for New York.

During a frigid downpour in Baltimore, the Orioles only drew 7,915 fans against the Toronto Blue Jays, which was the lowest attendance in the history of Camden Yards, with the lone exception being April 29, 2015, when fans weren’t allowed into the park because of civil unrest due to the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

Cleveland fell short of the 10,000-fan mark despite being one of MLB’s best teams and a dominant 13-strikeout performance from ace Corey Kluber against the Detroit Tigers. It was only 33 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cleveland (25,285, 22nd overall), Baltimore (25,042, 23rd overall), and Miami (20,395, 27th overall) were among the worst-attended teams in MLB last season, according to ESPN.

The All-Star Game is coming back to Chavez Ravine.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will officially be awarded the 2020 version of the event Wednesday, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

It will be the first time in 40 years that the Dodgers have hosted the All-Star Game, last holding the event at Dodger Stadium July 8, 1980.

The Dodgers have hosted the All-Star Game three times since moving to L.A. Two took place at Dodger Stadium and one at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1959. The Brooklyn Dodgers also hosted the event in 1949 at Ebbets Field.

The 2018 All-Star Game will be played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., with 2019’s iteration taking place at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

 

In 2010, former single-season king Mark McGwire, who hit 583 career home runs, admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs, including during his incredible 70-homer season in 1998.

Some 20 years later, Big Mac thinks he could’ve done it all without the extra help.

In an interview with Jayson Stark of The Athletic, McGwire – now the San Diego Padres‘ bench coach – said he still would have broken Roger Maris’ record and hit 70 homers without using steroids.

“I just know myself. I just know,” he told Stark. “I was a born home-run hitter. I mean, unfortunately, I did (take PEDs). And I’ve regretted that. I’ve talked about that. I regretted it. I didn’t need to. That’s the thing. Didn’t need to.

“But I know. Deep down inside, I know me as a hitter. And I know what I did in that box. And I know how strong my mind is. And I know what kind of hitter I became. And yes. Yes. Definitely.”

McGwire was already one of the most feared home-run hitters in the game before 1998, when he and Sammy Sosa captivated the public with their home-run chase that many believe helped restore baseball’s place in American sports following the 1994 strike. It was McGwire who passed Maris first, blasting No. 62 on Sept. 8 of that year en route to 70. Sosa eventually lost pace but still slugged 66. McGwire would only spend three years as the home-run king before Barry Bonds hit 73 in 2001.

Nine years after his retirement, McGwire finally admitted to using PEDs during his career and expressed regret about doing so. Despite the admission, he never received more than 23.7 percent of the vote in his 10 years on the Hall of Fame ballot.

The 53-year-old not only repeated to Stark his regrets about having doped, but added that he wishes MLB’s drug-testing program had been in place during his career to act as a deterrent.

“Unfortunately, there wasn’t any testing,” McGwire said. “There wasn’t anything going on (to keep the sport clean). The game has done a terrific job of doing what they’re doing now. I commend them for doing it. I think we all wish (testing) went on when we had played. But unfortunately, it didn’t.”

A lawyer representing the estate of Jose Fernandez claims the late Miami Marlins pitcher wasn’t driving his boat during the deadly crash that killed him and two others in 2016 – which runs contrary to the official findings of the post-crash investigation.

Attorney Ralph Fernandez (no relation to Jose) filed a response to a wrongful-death lawsuit against his client that claimed investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission made it seem like the former All-Star right-hander was at the wheel when his boat crashed into a jetty in the early hours of Sept. 25, 2016.

Ralph Fernandez wrote in the response that investigators “intentionally failed to consider any evidence provided to them that Jose Fernandez and Eduardo Rivero were the victims of foul play,” per Andy Slater of SlaterScoops.com

Fernandez also wrote that “the law enforcement investigation that led to the incident report and the conclusions reached therein was fraught with false statements of fact, implicated practically unheard of destruction of evidence and included references to evidence that never existed,” according to Tim Swift of ABC 10 Miami.

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, investigators stated that Jose Fernandez was at the wheel during the incident while drunk and high on cocaine.

The families of Rivero and Emilio Macias – who were also killed in the crash – are both seeking $2 million in damages from Fernandez’s estate, per Swift.

A plaque bearing Fernandez’s No. 16 was unveiled at Marlins Park before the season began.

Mayor Valérie Plante will meet with a pair of investors later this week to discuss the potential return of a Major League Baseball franchise to Montreal, a city still very much in love with baseball, she said, nearly a decade-and-a-half after the Expos relocated to Washington.

“I can’t wait to look into the state of affairs, to get started on this issue and see how we can move forward and look at the possibility of bringing back a team to Montreal, because in Montreal, we love baseball,” Plante said Wednesday, per Marian Scott of the Montreal Gazette.

Plante, who noted she didn’t attend last week’s exhibition games between the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals at Olympic Stadium due to scheduling conflicts, will sit down with Stephen Bronfman – son of Charles Bronfman, the Expos’ original owner – and Mitch Garber, the two men heading a group of investors currently in discussions to bring a team back to Montreal.

“It’s really a meeting with the promoters of the baseball project and the mayor to see how far they’ve got, what stage the project is at, what meetings they’ve had with Major League Baseball and what the results of those meetings were – a status report, in other words,” Robert Beaudry, the executive committee member responsible for economic and commercial development, said Friday.

Though Plante vowed during her election campaign to not spend taxpayer money on a new baseball stadium without a referendum first, Bronfman has made it clear he won’t be asking the city for any financial support.

“We all have to be on the same wavelength,” Bronfman said. “This is a sports team. Everyone has to play their role. We don’t need a cent from the city of Montreal, but we need a little help.”