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Commissioner Rob Manfred, MLBPA head Tony Clark meet over pitch clocks, mound visit limits

NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and players’ association head Tony Clark met Tuesday, five days after the union rejected Major League Baseball’s proposal to institute pitch clocks and limits on mound visits. Management has the right to implement the rule changes it proposed last year. Under baseball’s labor contract, management can change on-field rules on its own with one season of advance notice. MLB does not intend to make any decision before its next owners’ meetings, scheduled for next week in Beverly Hills, California. Big league spring training…

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Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout says Philadelphia Eagles will beat New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII

Mike Trout, the best player in baseball and a devout Philadelphia sports fan, revealed the depth of his love for the Eagles on Sunday when he wore a dog mask to the team’s 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field. Now the mask has come off — and the gloves with it. Trout has yet to decide if he will attend Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis or watch it on television. But when the game is over, he expects…

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Center fielder Austin Jackson agrees to two-year, $6 million deal with San Francisco Giants

Center fielder Austin Jackson has agreed to a deal to join the San Francisco Giants, the team announced Monday. The two-year, $6 million deal includes bonuses based on playing time, and other escalators could increase the overall value of the deal to $8.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “We are excited to have Austin join the Giants”, said Giants senior vice president and general manager Bobby Evans. “He is a talented and versatile player who will strengthen our roster and provide additional depth at all three outfield positions.”…

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George Mitchell on the legacy of the Mitchell Report, PEDs and the Hall of Fame.

In November, baseball writers across America received an advisory from a prominent Hall of Famer with suggestions for how to handle the nettlesome issue of immortality and steroid use. A day after the Hall released its 33-man ballot for 2018, Hall of Fame vice chairman and former Cincinnati Reds great Joe Morgan emailed voters with a list of three criteria he thinks should disqualify future candidates from admission to the shrine. “Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into…

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Milwaukee Brewers reportedly make formal offer to Yu Darvish

The Milwaukee Brewers have made a contract offer to Yu Darvish, joining the list of teams pursuing the free-agent ace pitcher, according to multiple reports. Milwaukee’s offer was first reported Sunday by Yahoo! Japan. Darvish, arguably the best pitcher in this year’s free-agent market, retweeted Yahoo! Japan’s report later Sunday. Darvish, who helped the Dodgers reach the World Series last season, is one of several high-profile free agents who remain unsigned with spring training about a month away. The Japanese ace also has been linked to the Rangers, Cubs, Yankees,…

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Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner exemplify Hall’s reliever conundrum – SweetSpot

We’re just a few days out from the annual announcement of the results from the Hall of Fame balloting. These are going to be a tense few days for Trevor Hoffman. After Hoffman fell just 1 percentage point below the 75 percent threshold for enshrinement last year, he seemed like a shoe-in to go over the top this time around. However, Hoffman’s gains have thus far been marginal. According to Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame tracker, Hoffman has 77.8 percent affirmative votes on the ballots that have been revealed. That…

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Efficiency is the goal for Cashman, Epstein and Friedman – Buster Olney Blog

When Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has an idea for a trade, one of his staffers related the other day, he will wait days before raising the concept with the other team. In the interim, he and his staff will deliberate over all sides of the would-be proposal, assessing and reassessing, like geologists turning and studying each millimeter of a rock. Only after he is wholly educated on value involved will he make the call, fully armed to discuss what he wants out of the deal, and prepared to anticipate…

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Minnesota Twins fans meet Michael Pineda, but have to wait to see him pitch

MINNEAPOLIS — Michael Pineda is hard to miss, even when he’s not throwing 95 mph fastballs. The Minnesota Twins won’t witness any of those heaters for a while, but they’re still pleased to have the 6-foot-7 right-hander in-house until he’s ready. Pineda was introduced to his new fans at Twins Fest on Saturday after agreeing to a $10 million, two-year deal last month, though he’s still recovering from Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to pitch again until at least late this season. Indeed, Minnesota’s first major move this winter…

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Todd Frazier, ‘Thumbs Down Guy’ meet at autograph signing

All New York Mets fan Gary Dunaier did was show his disapproval for his crosstown rivals. Four months later, the “Thumbs-Down Guy” got to meet the New York Yankees‘ player who adopted his inverted digit as the team’s rallying cry. Dunaier surprised Todd Frazier on Saturday as they met each other for the first time at an autograph signing on Long Island. The free-agent third baseman greeted the 55-year-old fan with a hug. “It was good,” Frazier told the New York Daily News. “He’s a nice guy, to finally meet…

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Roy Halladay had amphetamine, morphine in system

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — An autopsy report says retired star pitcher Roy Halladay had evidence of amphetamine, morphine and an insomnia drug in his system when he died in a small plane crash in Florida last year. The Tampa Bay Times reported that an autopsy released Friday shows the former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies All-Star died from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor when he crashed his personal plane into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey on Nov. 7. The National Transportation…

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