Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

One of the most decorated pitchers in Los Angeles Dodgers history is back.

The Dodgers and left-hander Clayton Kershaw are in agreement on a one-year deal, sources told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal is pending a physical.

The contract will pay Kershaw $17 million plus incentives in 2022, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

The eight-time All-Star struggled through injuries in 2021, posting a 10-8 record with a 3.55 ERA in 121 2/3 innings pitched. Kershaw missed over two months of action with a forearm injury before returning in mid-September. However, he experienced more pain in his arm on Oct. 1 and was shut down for the remainder of the campaign, missing the Dodgers’ run to the NLCS.

Kershaw’s return would be a tremendous boost to a Dodgers rotation that lost Max Scherzer to free agency and is still dealing with uncertainty around the status of Trevor Bauer. Los Angeles is projected to start Walker BuehlerJulio UriasTony GonsolinDavid Price, and Andrew Heaney.

The Texas Rangers also showed interest in the three-time Cy Young winner earlier in the offseason; manager Chris Woodward admitted the team contacted Kershaw.

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Magic Johnson will be the focus of a new feature film documentary premiering in 2021.

The filmmakers at H.wood Media, XTR, New Slate Ventures, and Delirio Films announced Thursday they have been granted “unprecedented access” to the Los Angeles Lakers great, according to Variety. The documentary will feature archival footage of Johnson alongside interviews with him, his family, NBA players, and business leaders.

“Growing up, we viewed Magic Johnson not only as an NBA legend, but as a man who transcended the sport and became one of the most celebrated and accomplished businessmen of our lifetime,” New Slate Ventures partners Jordan Fudge and Jeremy Allen said in a statement. “We are honored that we are able to assist in bringing to life the story of a man who has opened so many doors and inspired millions.”

Johnson first revealed in April that a documentary will be made about his life on and off the court.

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Alex Rodriguez wants baseball back, and he used his social media presence on Friday to offer his take on the situation brewing between Major League Baseball and the players’ union.

In March, players reportedly agreed to accept prorated salaries based on games played, but it now appears owners are opposed to paying them that way because the potential losses due to games without fans would be too steep.

“This is like beyond anything we’ve ever seen before,” A-Rod said in a Twitter video. “I just urge the players and the owners to think collectively. If there’s $100 in the pie, like the NBA, players take $50, owners take $50 and we give it to the fans.”

A recent league proposal, which has reportedly been approved by the owners but still needs approval from the players’ union, would have players compensated using 50% of the league’s revenue in 2020.

The proposal did not sit well with MLBPA executive director Tony Clark, who labeled the idea a “salary cap.”

Other players around the league, like Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell, also voiced their displeasure about the idea of cutting their salaries while putting themselves at risk by suiting up during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred spoke publicly about the health and safety plan the league is creating to submit to the players’ union for the first time during an appearance on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday.

The league is expected to present an 80-page proposal over the next few days, and Manfred is hopeful the plan will be acceptable to the players.

“We hope that we will be able to convince the vast, vast majority of our players that it’s safe to return to work,” Manfred said.

Before sending the proposal to players, Manfred shared some details on CNN, which included:

  • Testing players multiple times a week
  • Less frequent testing for antibodies
  • Detailed protocols on team travel
  • Strict limits on amount of people allowed to enter the ballpark
  • Immediate testing for players showing symptoms of coronavirus
  • Testing done by league-funded lab in Utah with 24-hour turnaround
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Players who test positive will be quarantined until they show no symptoms for 24 consecutive hours
  • Immediate testing for players who had contact with another player who tested positive

In addition to the guidelines, Manfred said the league “would never force (players with health conditions or other doubts) to try to come back to work.”

While Manfred shared that he “has great confidence” an agreement will be reached between the league and union, the commissioner also explained that the loss of a season would hurt owners.

“The economic effects are devastating,” Manfred said, adding “if we don’t play a season, the losses for the owners could approach $4 billion.”

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The Major League Baseball Players Association has an issue with the league’s proposal to start the 2020 season.

Union officials told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich that players won’t sign off on MLB’s proposal if salaries in 2020 come from 50% of revenues during the abbreviated season.

“A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark told Rosenthal and Drellich. “This is not the first salary cap proposal our union has received. It probably won’t be the last.

“That the league is trying to take advantage of a global health crisis to get what they’ve failed to achieve in the past – and to anonymously negotiate through the media for the last several days – suggests they know exactly how this will be received.

“None of this is beneficial to the process of finding a way for us to safely get back on the field and resume the 2020 season – which continues to be our sole focus.”

Clark received support from noted super-agent Scott Boras, who told Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein that he will urge the MLBPA to reject the union’s proposal.

“The players I represent are unified in that they reached an agreement and they sacrificed anywhere from 30 to 40% of their salaries so that the games could amicably continue,” Boras said. “The owners represented during that negotiation that they could operate without fans in the ballpark. Based on that, we reached an agreement and there will not be a renegotiation of that agreement.”

However, MLB disputes the union’s view that the proposal is a salary cap.

“We lose money on every single game (without fans),” a league official told Rosenthal and Drellich. “We have to propose that they take something less than they already negotiated. We thought the most persuasive way to make that proposal was to explain: ‘Here’s what we’re going to make in revenue and we’ll split it with you, and here’s how it turns into player salaries.'”

Owners ratified their proposal for a shortened 2020 season on Monday. That proposal reportedly includes a regular season of about 82 games and 30-man rosters with taxi squads for depth. It would also see television revenue split 50-50 between owners and players.

The league will officially present its proposal to the MLBPA on Tuesday.

MLB is the lone major North American sports league without some kind of salary cap.

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Major League Baseball’s 2020 season may be uncertain, but the Philadelphia Phillies are ensuring their employees won’t be worried about the future.

Phillies ownership informed full-time staff on Friday that their jobs will be safe and they will continue to be paid through the end of October, according to an internal letter obtained by Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“The Buck and Middleton families have decided that there will be no furloughs or layoffs due to the coronavirus crisis through the end of our fiscal year (Oct. 31, 2020) for regular full-time employees,” Phillies managing partner John Middleton wrote.

He added: “While we will likely need to implement other cost-cutting alternatives in the interim to deal with our extraordinary loss of revenue, including possible salary reductions, you can be assured of your job and health insurance for the next five-plus months.”

Ownership’s decision means approximately 460 full-time Phillies employees will have their jobs secured, according to Salisbury. The Phillies have staff in Philadelphia, their spring-training home of Clearwater, Florida, and the Dominican Republic.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly suspended Uniform Employee Contracts as of May 1, a move that allowed teams to furlough non-player staff if they chose to do so.

The Phillies were one of the first teams to commit to paying employees through the end of May, doing so shortly after Manfred’s announcement; a majority of the other 29 teams reportedly soon followed.

Philadelphia is not the only team that’s guaranteed employees their pay beyond May. The Cleveland Indians reportedly committed to paying their full-time staff through the end of June, though they also furloughed some part-time employees. The Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, both committed to paying all of their employees indefinitely during the pandemic.

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Even during the coronavirus pandemic, Miami Marlins attendance can be the butt of a joke.

“As much as I hate to say it, (the Marlins) are not selling out … It’s kind of social distancing anyways because the stadium is usually only about a quarter full,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday on Sean Hannity’s radio show while was discussing how Americans “need baseball back.”

Florida has implemented some of the most relaxed social distancing guidelines of any state since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. DeSantis has also deemed WWE and NASCAR as essential businesses, paving the way for both organizations to host events in the state.

MLB officials discussed Florida as a potential hub for the 2020 season early in their work to formulate a plan for the campaign, thanks in part to the state’s myriad spring facilities. Since then, Arizona and Texas have also been considered.

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Former American League MVP Jason Giambi knows a thing or two about baseball scandals.

Giambi, who starred with the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees, also became one of the poster children for the sport’s so-called “steroid era” during his career. In 2007, he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs following several years of rumors.

When looking at the Houston Astros‘ cheating scandal – the team was punished this past offseason for illegally stealing signs during the 2017 campaign – Giambi sees a similar situation.

“Everybody’s always looking for an advantage. There’s no doubt about it, (it’s) no different than … the PED age,” the 49-year-old said in an interview with SNY’s “Baseball Night in New York.” “Things are always gonna come to light, you know, just how they came to light. … And there’s always gonna be things going on in this game when you’re talking about people making a lot of money and wanting to win.”

Although Giambi’s personal image took a hit during the now-infamous BALCO scandal of the early 2000s, his mid-career apology for using steroids helped revitalize his image. He ended up playing 20 seasons in the majors and retired with 440 career home runs.

These days, Giambi knows he wouldn’t have gotten that far without owning up to his PED use.

“I sleep at night great,” Giambi said of his apology. “I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t know how many parents I run into who say, ‘Hey, thank you so much for coming forward where I could tell my children if they make a mistake, tell the truth.’ And I think that’s the biggest thing that came out of that, and I think that’s what helped me be embraced for that second time around.”

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Fifteen years after the Washington Nationals moved from Montreal to D.C., the franchise finally won its first World Series championship last fall.

Former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig played an instrumental role in orchestrating the change of scenery and looks back at the move as a triumphant one.

“Moving to Washington has worked out as well as I thought it would, and maybe even better,” Selig said, according to Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic. “I can tell you it’s one of the things I look back on and baseball is stronger because of it.”

The league purchased the Expos in 2002 from Jeffrey Loria. With no new ballpark on the horizon to replace Olympic Stadium, a move seemed likely, especially when the team started playing some of its home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the 2003 and 2004 campaigns.

Selig said then-Expos manager Frank Robinson pushed for the floundering franchise’s relocation.

“Frank was Frank. He kept saying to me, ‘Why are we still here?'” Selig said. “He’d go, ‘We aren’t drawing (fans), there’s no ballpark (plans).’ He was Frank – he always had an opinion and he was right.”

Selig acknowledged that baseball leaving Montreal remains a sore spot for Expos fans, but added that it was a necessary choice to make given the circumstances.

“We had to move the Expos. There are people in Montreal still mad (about it). If there’s no one who wants to own a team, they are sending a message, aren’t they? We talked about northern Virginia, but Washington kept coming up really big.”

In addition to claiming the World Series in 2019, the Nationals have made five trips to the postseason and closed out the most successful decade in franchise history, going 879-740 in the 2010s.

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As ESPN’s “The Last Dance” continues to captivate sports fans, it seems almost everyone has a story about Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.

Former Chicago White Sox infielder and manager Ozzie Guillen recently revealed that he lost some money to the six-time NBA champion at the pool table.

“We went to play pool, and my dad made a living out of playing pool in Venezuela. Hustling, we called it,” Guillen told Chuck Garfien on the “White Sox Talk Podcast.” “And Michael kept betting me, and my dad is saying, ‘He’s hustling you, he’s hustling you, he’s going to get you.’

“He put the money down, and he beat us for like $700. And my dad got upset at me, ‘I told you … I know what he’s doing.’ The next day, we wanted the money back, and he started laughing.

“I’ve never seen anybody play pool like he did. I’m telling you because my dad grew up doing that. And when he saw that guy play pool, he said, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen anybody play (like that).’ He was a great pool player.”

In addition to hustling him in pool, Guillen said Jordan also beat him and Joey Cora in a two-on-one game of pick-up basketball.

Jordan played 127 games with Chicago’s Double-A affiliate in Birmingham in 1994 when Guillen was the everyday shortstop for the White Sox.