Category: MLB

MLB News

Salvador Pérez tests positive for coronavirus - Royals Review Royals’ Salvador Perez Tests Positive – Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez has tested positive for the coronavirus, he told reporters Saturday. Perez, 30, said he is asymptomatic and could play baseball today if needed. “I can’t wait to be back,” Perez said. “I know it’s going to take me at least 12 days, but I’m good. I don’t feel anything. That’s a good thing for me.” Under Major League Baseball’s operations manual for the 2020 season, a player testing positive for the coronavirus is ordered self-isolate immediately. Perez, a six-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner, missed the entire 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow. He told reporters that no one else in his family has tested positive for the coronavirus. In eight seasons with the Royals, Perez, the 2015 World Series MVP, has 141 home runs with 503 RBIs while batting .266. The Venezuela native became a U.S. citizen in January. MLB and the players’ association announced Friday that 31 players and seven staff members had tested positive for COVID-19, a rate of 1.2%. (ESPN)

MLB News

Freddie Freeman among Braves to test positive for COVID-19  Freddie Freeman Among Four Braves To Test Positive – Atlanta Braves four-time All-Star Freddie Freeman, premier reliever Will Smith and two teammates have tested positive for the coronavirus, a jarring hit to the NL East champions less than three weeks before the start of the pandemic-delayed season. “It will be a while before we can get him back,” manager Brian Snitker said Saturday about Freeman. Snitker said the four players, including right-hander Touki Toussaint and infielder Pete Kozma, agreed to have the team disclose their positive tests. Snitker said Freeman had a negative intake test early in the week before having a positive test Friday. Snitker said the first baseman has a fever and “is not feeling great.” Major League Baseball has scheduled the 60-game season to start on July 23. Freeman is the biggest star in the sport so far to have his positive virus test publicly announced by his team. It is too early to know if Freeman’s status for the start of the season could be jeopardized. “It’s a serious matter,” Braves outfielder Nick Markakis said. “I hope Freddie heals up quickly. I know he’s young, healthy. I hope he heals up and gets back as quickly as possible because as you know with 60 games, one week can change things quickly.” The 30-year-old Freeman set career highs with 38 home runs and 121 RBIs last season to help Atlanta win its second straight NL East title. He placed fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2018 after hitting .309 with 23 homers and winning a Gold Glove. Atlanta signed Smith, an All-Star with the San Francisco Giants last season, to a three-year, $39 million deal in November. He had 34 saves in 38 opportunities while going 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA. Snitker said Smith and Toussaint have no symptoms. He said Kozma, who is working with top minor leaguers at the team’s Triple-A Gwinnett facility, has a fever. Read more at:  https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29409316/freddie-freeman-four-braves-players-test-positive-coronavirus  (Associated Press)

 

MLB News – Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians ready to discuss changing team name – The Athletic  Cleveland Indians Say They’re Open To Possible Name ChangeCleveland’s MLB team hasn’t always been called the Indians and the team indicated Friday it might soon be willing to change its name again. The Indians, previously known as the Forest Citys, Spiders, Bluebirds, Bronchos and Naps before adopting their current name in 1915, said they’ve been paying attention to changing times and may change along with them. “We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues,” the Indians said. “The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice.” The statement came about two years after the Indians removed their cartoonish “Chief Wahoo” logo from their uniforms and as the Black Lives Matter movement has recently helped put pressure on the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their name. Redskins owner Dan Snyder has long resisted calls to change the name the football team has used since the 1930s, but recent criticism from corporate sponsors such as FedEx – which paid the Redskins $205 million for naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Md. — had Snyder promising this week to conduct a “thorough review” on the matter. The Redskins also face the likelihood that Washington, D.C., officials will demand a name change if the team attempts to get a new stadium within the city limits, after playing in the suburbs since 1997. The Indians, meanwhile, said they’re committed to “engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.” Previously, Indians owner Paul Dolan said he and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred preferred to keep the Indians name,  Cleveland.com reported. “While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning, and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team,” the club said. (Dom Calicchio/Fox News)

MLB News

MLB Cancels 2020 All-Star Game, Dodgers Awarded 2022 Game ...  MLB Cancel Its’ 2020 All-Star Game – As the MLB season gears up for a late start this month, one thing will be missing: its annual All-Star Game. Major League Baseball made the announcement Friday, writing that, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the annual game between the American League and the National League wouldn’t be possible this year. The Los Angeles Dodgers were supposed to host the game this year, but will now host in 2022 instead. “I want to thank the Dodgers organization and the City of Los Angeles for being collaborative partners in the early stages of All-Star preparation and for being patient and understanding in navigating the uncertainty created by the pandemic,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. in a statement. “The 2022 All-Star celebration promises to be a memorable one with events throughout the city and at picturesque Dodger Stadium.” This is not the first time the All-Star game, also known as the Midsummer Classic, has been canceled. In 1945, the game was canceled amidst strict travel restrictions during the war. The MLB season is scheduled to resume later this month, on either the 23rd or the 24th and players reported to training camp this week. Typically, the season would have started in late March or early April, but the coronavirus made that impossible. There will be some changes to the season, though, most notably the lack of roaring fans and the ban on spitting.  (Leah Asmelash & Jacob Lev/CNN)

MLB News – Jose Quintana

Dishwashing injury sidelines Cubs lefty pitcher Quintana  Cubs’ Jose Quintana Hurt Washing Dishes, Has Surgery – Chicago Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana needed surgery to repair a laceration he suffered washing dishes. The team said the 31-year-old was injured at his home in Miami, suffering a laceration on his left thumb that required five stitches. “This morning in Chicago, Quintana underwent microscopic surgery on his left thumb to further determine the extent of his injury,” the team said Thursday in a statement. “The procedure identified a lacerated digital sensory nerve in his left thumb, which was surgically repaired.” Quintana is expected to start throwing again in two weeks, and then the team will determine how long he will be out. Teams are starting to ramp up for a 60-game season that will start in late July after the coronavirus pandemic halted baseball early in spring training. Quintana is scheduled to be part of a rotation that includes Jon Lester, Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks but that already had question marks on the back end. Quintana was 13-9 with a 4.68 ERA last season, his third with the Cubs. After he had an All-Star season in 2016, the Cubs acquired him from the White Sox in a deal that saw young slugger Eloy Jimenez  head to the South Side. (ESPN)

MLB News – Detroit Tigers

Tigers give $8.4M deal to Torkelson, who joins player pool ...  Tigers Give $8.4M Deal To No. 1 Pick Spencer Torkelson – No. 1 overall draft pick Spencer Torkelson and the Detroit Tigers agreed to a minor league contract on Tuesday, and the team said the infielder will join its player pool for this abbreviated season. Torkelson’s deal includes an $8,416,300 is a signing bonus, which is $1,000 above slot value, and a $2,500 contingent bonus. He is to receive $100,000 within 30 days of the deal’s approval by Major League Baseball, and 50% of the rest on each July 1 in 2021 and 2022. Detroit had the top pick for the second time in three years. The Tigers drafted right-hander Casey Mize in 2018. Undrafted out of high school, Torkelson hit 54 home runs at Arizona State. The Tigers took the slugging first baseman with the top pick, then said they intended to try him at third. He’ll get a chance to show what he can do sooner rather than later. Detroit announced 58 selections for its player pool Sunday, leaving two spots open. On Tuesday, the Tigers said Torkelson will be added to that group. The Tigers also included Mize and several other top pitching prospects in that player pool, meaning it’s possible that some of Detroit’s biggest young names could reach the majors at some point this season. Torkelson hit .340 with six home runs and 11 RBIs in 17 games this year during a college season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic. (Associated Press)

MLB News – Ian Desmond

All-Star SS Ian Desmond to skip MLB season, cites social injustice ... Rockies’ OF Ian Desmond Opting Out, Citing High Risk – Ian Desmond will opt out of playing this season, the  Colorado Rockies outfielder announced Monday. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking,” he wrote at the end of a lengthy post on Instagram that touched on race and opportunities for youth baseball players. “With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now,” Desmond wrote. “Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus and Civil Rights and life. Home to be their Dad.” Desmond, who grew up in Sarasota, Florida, made his major league debut with Washington in 2009. The two-time All-Star played for Texas for one season before signing with the Rockies. Desmond has played 11 seasons, the past three with the Rockies. He batted .255 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs in 140 games in 2019.  Desmond had been due $5,555,556 for the prorated share of his $15 million salary, part of a $70 million, five-year contract, according to The Associated Press. He is owed $8 million next year, and his deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout. Earlier Monday, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake and Washington Nationals  first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross announced that they are opting out of the 2020 season amid the  coronavirus pandemic. (ESPN)

MLB News – Jason Heyward

Cubs’ Jason Heyward Donates $100K To COVID-19 Efforts At University of ChicagoCubs outfielder Jason Heyward is donating $100,000 to the University of Chicago to help begin a COVID-19 contact tracing program on the South Side and to aid financially strapped health care workers who treat victims of the coronavirus. Half the money Heyward is donating will go toward helping the University of Chicago set up a team that will begin contact tracing on the South Side, a program aimed at containing the virus. The practice involves tracing, notifying and monitoring those who have come in contact with people infected with COVID-19 to encourage self-quarantines and potentially limit the spread of the virus. There have been a higher number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the South Side, particularly in African American communities that have been disproportionately affected. The other half of Heyward’s donation will go toward the University of Chicago’s Healthcare Heroes Fund, which raises money for child care, transportation and related costs incurred by nurses, doctors and other health care providers who have been working overtime during the pandemic. “I want to help ease the personal burdens on our health care heroes and support efforts aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially in vulnerable communities hit hard by the virus,” Heyward said in a statement. The contact tracing program will be initiated with the South Side Healthcare Collaborative, which is made up of 30 health care centers and community hospitals on the South Side, officials with the teaching hospital said. “This support is critical to our efforts to prevent further spread in the community,” said Brenda Battle, vice president of the University of Chicago’s Urban Health Initiative. (Brett Chase)

MLB News – Ryan Zimmerman

  Nats’ Zimmerman Won’t Play In’20 Citing Family – Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross are opting out of the 2020 season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic “for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones,” the team announced Monday. Zimmerman, 35, was the Nationals’ first draft pick when the franchise moved out of Montreal and has played for the team since making his debut on Sept. 1, 2005.  “After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances, three young children including a newborn, and a mother at high risk, I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season,” Zimmerman said in a statement. Zimmerman has been writing a diary for The Associated Press since the coronavirus shut down sports this spring. In the 10th installment last week, he expressed concerns about playing in 2020. “I have a 3-week-old baby,” Zimmerman wrote. “My mother has multiple sclerosis and is super high-risk; if I end up playing, I can pretty much throw out the idea of seeing her until weeks after the season is over. There’s a lot of factors that I and others have to consider. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer; it’s everybody’s individual choice.” Zimmerman batted .257 with six home runs and 27 RBIs in 171 at-bats last season and had a dramatic home run in Game 1 of the World Series. He had been scheduled to play on a one-year, $2 million contract this season after the Nationals declined to exercise an $18 million club option. Ross, 27, has five seasons of major league experience and underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2017. He appeared in 27 games last season, going 4-4 with a 5.48 ERA, and was in line to compete to be the Nationals’ fifth starter. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo issued a statement of support Monday. “Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have decided not to participate in the 2020 season for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. We are 100 percent supportive of their decision to not play this year. We will miss their presence in the clubhouse and their contributions on the field.”  Zimmerman and Ross became the second and third players known to opt out of the 2020 season on Monday, following Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake. (ESPN) 

 

Sports News

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum commemorates centennial | Chris ...  Baseball’s Black Pioneers Given ‘Tip of the Cap’ – Barack Obama tipped his cap. So did three other former presidents and a host of prominent civil rights leaders, entertainers and sports greats in a virtual salute to the 100-year anniversary of the founding of baseball’s Negro Leagues. The campaign launched Monday with photos and videos from, among others, Hank Aaron, Rachel Robinson, Derek Jeter, Colin Powell, Michael Jordan, Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at tippingyourcap.com. On the receiving end of those tributes are many of the Negro Leagues’ greatest alumni: Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, “Cool Papa” Bell and Jackie Robinson, who began with the Kansas City Monarchs and went on to break the color barrier in the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Not long after, with many of its best players gradually following Robinson’s path, the Negro Leagues ceased operations. As part of the tribute, singer Tony Bennett showed his heart by tipping a San Francisco Giants cap. Californian Billie Jean King opted for the Los Angeles Dodgers. President Clinton said he chose a Chicago Cubs cap in honor of Ernie Banks, the late Hall of Famer who got his start in the Negro Leagues. The celebration was moved online after a major-league-wide tribute to baseball’s Black pioneers scheduled for June 27 was shelved, along with MLB games, because of the coronavirus pandemic. At first, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick worried that his long-standing plan to honor the men and women who battled long odds for a game of their own would have to be postponed, at best. “In our game, there’s nothing more honorable than tipping your cap,” Kendrick said. “And once I realized that national day of recognition was going to fall by the wayside, I thought, ‘OK, maybe we can do it next year.’ But that didn’t really do it. “So then I thought, ‘How about a virtual tip of the cap?” Kendrick paused, then chuckled. “And let me say here and now, there is no way I could have done this myself. I could not be more proud of the response.” Read more at:  https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29382314/baseball-black-pioneers-given-tip-cap-salute-100-year-anniversary-negro-leagues