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Archive for April 10th, 2018

MLB suspends D-Backs minor league catcher Jose Herrera

 

 

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League catcher Jose Herrera has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine and Oxilofrine, stimulants in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Herrera, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League, is effective immediately.

Jose Herrera (courtesy Kane County Cougars)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

MLB issues discipline for recent Diamondbacks-Cardinals incident

 

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his inappropriate actions in the top of the second inning of his Club’s Sunday afternoon game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. In addition, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has received a one-game suspension for his actions during the incident, which included making contact with Umpire Tim Timmons. Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

Lovullo’s suspension will be served tonight, when the D-backs are to continue their series at San Francisco. Molina’s suspension had been scheduled to be served tonight, when the Cardinals are to continue their home series with Milwaukee. However, he has elected to file an appeal. Thus, the discipline issued to Molina will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

MLB announces activities and community events for 2018 Puerto Rico Series involving Indians and Twins

 

Hiram Bithorn Stadium panaramic view 2010 photo By Bryce Edwards, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Bernie Williams, Pedrito Guzmán, Pedro Capó and Mariledya to perform

 

Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and MB Sports have announced the musical performances, ceremonial first pitches and community events that will celebrate the island of Puerto Rico during the two-game set between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, April 17th and Wednesday, April 18th at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.

“La Borinqueña,” the National Anthem of Puerto Rico, will be performed by Pedrito Guzmán before the first game of the series. The musician and cuatro player, who began his career at age 13, is an island-native known for his contributions to Latin Jazz. “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be performed by five-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion, Bernie Williams. Following his baseball career, the classically-trained guitarist has released two jazz albums and was nominated for a Latin Grammy award.

Carlos Beltrán, a nine-time All-Star and member of the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before game one. Beltrán, a native of Manati, was named the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year and earned the Roberto Clemente Award in 2013 for his community service.

A ceremony to honor local Puerto Rico citizens who went above and beyond the call to help others during Hurricane Maria and its aftermath will be held before the start of the first game. Each honoree will be escorted by a former Major League player from Puerto Rico.

For the second game of the series, Pedro Capó, a Puerto Rican musician and grandson of the late singer Bobby Capó, will perform “La Borinqueña.” Capó joined musical artists Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and many others for Lin-Manuael Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying” benefit that raised money for the Hispanic Federation and its efforts to help those affected by the hurricane. Puerto Rican pop star Marileyda, winner of 2013 Puerto Rico Idol, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Game two’s ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by San Juan-native and four-time Grammy Award nominee, Daddy Yankee. The “Despacito” singer donated $1 million in relief funding following Hurricane Maria.

“These two regular season games will show the world that we are open for business,” said Anaymir Muñoz Grajales, Vice President of MB Sports. “We are excited to have the Twins and the Indians playing in front of a full house at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Puerto Rico is ready to receive fans from all over to enjoy our hospitality and all that the island has to offer.”

MLB, the MLBPA, the Indians and Twins have all teamed up to give back to Puerto Rico and its people during the Series. From Monday, April 16th through Wednesday, April 18th, various special events, project unveilings, school visits and ceremonies will be held. These include a charity golf event to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico and Habitat for Humanity, “Players Going Home” visits by Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario to their old schools, youth-focused PLAY BALL event and a special Puerto Rico RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico expansion ceremony, Habitat for Humanity Mobile Reponse Units unveiling, and an historic marker in memory of the Legendary Roberto Clemente.

“As a Puerto Rican, it’s an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to represent the Minnesota Twins,” said Rosario. “I’m very happy and excited to be able to play in front of my family and friends which haven’t had the opportunity to see me play in person in a Major League game. It will be emotional and bittersweet for me as my grandmother won’t be there, but I know she will be watching me from heaven, these two games will be dedicated to her and I’m looking forward to put on a good show for my people. I’m happy because we will be able to bring happiness to my island after Hurricane Maria. These two days will be unforgettable for me and the island of Puerto Rico. People are extremely excited and happy to be able to witness Major League Baseball.”

Indians All-Star shortstop Lindor added, “I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time, and I couldn’t be more excited now that these games are less than a week away. I have said many times that playing in Puerto Rico is a dream come true. I can’t wait to take the field in front of the fans in my homeland. I’m sure it is going to be a moment that I’ll never forget.”

Representatives from MLB, the MLBPA, the Twins and Indians, Puerto Rican Baseball Legends, and local elected officials are all expected to attend the various events. Additional support by the Indians and Twins is also expected to be announced in connection with the Series.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

MLB getting ready for Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 by announcing details & activities

 

 

Jackie Robinson in 1950 By United States Information Agency, available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

New batting practice attire & uniform elements added to complement special tradition of all players and all on-field personnel wearing Jackie’s ’42′

 

Major League Baseball today announced the details and activities to commemorate the annual, league-wide ‘Jackie Robinson Day’ on Sunday, April 15th. Most notably, new ’42′-logoed batting practice attire and other uniform elements were added as a complementary feature to the unique and special tradition of Major League players and all on-field personnel (managers, coaches and umpires) wearing Jackie’s Number ’42.’ Additional elements include home clubs hosting pregame ceremonies, special coverage via MLB Network and MLB.com, background and data on diversity throughout Baseball, and more.

NUMBER ’42′
As has been tradition each April 15th since 2009, MLB will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing Jackie’s iconic Number ’42.’ For 2018, there will be additional on-field uniform elements, including a commemorative patch on all team caps and jersey sleeves, socks emblazoned with ’42,’ and a brand new lightweight hooded fleece for batting practice and dugout wear, also featuring the ’42′ logo.

DIVERSITY IN MLB – OPENING DAY & MLB DRAFT NUMBERS
On 2018 Opening Day active, 25-man rosters, 8.4% of Major League players are African-American/African-Canadian/Black, which is the highest percentage on Opening Day active rosters over the last six seasons. Of this group, 70% of players are aged 30 or younger, a 5% increase since 2015. Overall, 41% of players on 2018 active, Opening Day rosters are of a diverse background (African-American/African-Canadian/Black, Latino, Asian or Pacific Islander).

Over the last six years (2012-17), the first round of the MLB Draft has featured 41 African-American players out of 204 total selections (20.1%). In 2017, eight of the top 26 selections (30.8%) were African-American or Latino. 2017 also marked just the fourth time ever in the history of the MLB Draft that the first two picks were African-American players (1-Royce Lewis, 2-Hunter Greene). Last year was also the third consecutive that an alumnus of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program was selected within the top five picks (2017, Green – #2; 2016, Corey Ray – #5; 2015, Dillon Tate – #4). In 2016, 10 of the top 41 selections (24.4%) and 17 of the first night’s 77 selections (22.1%) were African-American or Latino. The first round of the 2015 MLB Draft featured the selection of nine African-American players (25%, 9-of-36). On a percentage basis, this represented the most African-American players in the first round since 1992, eclipsing the recent previous high of 22.6% (7-of-31) in 2012. Twenty African-American players were selected in the first rounds of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Drafts.

JACKIE ROBINSON DAY CLUB & BALLPARK ACTIVITY
Clubs playing at home on Sunday, April 15th will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day with special on-field, pregame ceremonies in their ballparks, some of which will include Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars, as well as activities in their respective communities. Jeweled bases and lineup cards also will be featured.

Jackie’s wife, Rachel Robinson, who is the Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and their daughter and son, Sharon and David Robinson, will attend Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets.

SECOND ANNUAL ‘TRAILBLAZER SERIES’
In conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day weekend, MLB will host the second annual ‘Trailblazer Series’ at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. Approximately 100 girls, ages 13 and under, representing 21 states across the country as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada will participate in the three-day tournament held from Thursday, April 12th through Sunday, April 15th. Some of the nation’s top female baseball coaches and players, including those from USA Baseball’s Women’s National Team, will coach the girls who are from programs affiliated with AAU, Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken Baseball, Little League International, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, PONY and USSSA, among others.

JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
With support from donors like Major League Baseball and MLB Clubs, the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship Program provides four years of financial assistance and direct program services annually to 225 highly motivated students attending 100 colleges and universities across the country, and has developed a mentoring curriculum to reach a broad range of college students beyond its core “JRF Scholars”.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a public, non-profit organization that perpetuates the memory of Jackie Robinson by giving a four-year scholarship in his name and providing leadership development for minority college students as well as through building the Jackie Robinson Museum. The museum, will commemorate the life of Jackie Robinson as an athlete, activist and icon, illuminating his long-lasting impact across society through state-of-the-art exhibits, precious artifacts, film and other media. The National Jackie Robinson Museum Legacy Campaign has raised over $25 million and the museum is set to open in 2019.

MOST VALUABLE DIVERSE BUSINESS PARTNER AWARD
MLB will once again recognize and acknowledge diverse companies as recipients of the 12th Annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, “MVDBP”. The award recognizes those Diverse Business Partners (diverse-owned businesses) who exhibit and continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson. Diverse suppliers were nominated and awarded based on their performance above and beyond the norm to exhibit quality, class and professionalism in all aspects of their business. This year MVDBP Awards were given by the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers (awarding three suppliers), and the Office of the Commissioner.

MLB NETWORK & MLB.COM
MLB Network & MLB.com will have complete coverage of the day’s events from each Major League ballpark with video highlights, interviews, stories from its Club beat and national reporters and photographs. Leading up to April 15th, MLB Network will look back at the legacy of Jackie Robinson on “MLB Tonight,” and on its kids-focused show “Play Ball” on Saturday, April 14th at 10:00 a.m. ET. Additionally, Jackie Robinson Day events will be supported across MLB At Bat app, Cut4.com, and through official MLB and Club accounts on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Jackie Robinson Day will be supported across social media again with its official hashtag – #Jackie42.

A LOOK AHEAD
April 16th: Breaking Barriers: In Sport, In Life Essay Contest Winners - MLB and Scholastic will announce all 10 winners of the Breaking Barriers: In Sport, In Life essay contest, which honors the legacy of Jackie Robinson. The contest recognizes five students from each of the categories (Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-9) who have overcome barriers in their own lives using the example set forth by Jackie Robinson. The Grand Prize winner from each of the aforementioned categories will win a trip to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game and World Series, respectively.

Week April 23rd: Announcement of MLB Diversity Fellows - MLB will announce the Fellows selected for the inaugural class of the MLB Diversity Fellowship program, a new initiative to proactively recruit the best young and diverse talent for positions in the baseball operations, league economics and general front office areas.

Week of April 23rd: MLB Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report - MLB will release the inaugural Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Annual Report, a new approach to provide information and performance metrics of MLB’s business-focused activities through various D&I initiatives operated during the 2017 calendar year. This will be the first time the Commissioner’s Office has proactively shared D&I League and Club information publicly.

May 31st-June 3rd: Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series - MLB and USA Baseball will launch a groundbreaking new event specifically designed for the on-field development and scouting of female baseball players. The Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series (GBBS) is the newest iteration of the existing, diversity-focused amateur development camps operated by MLB, USA Baseball and USA Softball. Taking place at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., the GBBS will serve as an opportunity for on-field development as well as a scouting showcase for dozens of girls, ages 17 and under, from around the country.

Various: Additional Breakthrough Series Camps - MLB, USA Baseball, USA Softball and the Major League Baseball Players Association will host diversity-focused amateur development camps throughout the Spring and Summer of 2018. These camps are designed to provide cost-free opportunities for high school age students with diverse backgrounds to demonstrate their on-field abilities as well as learn from former Major Leaguers, Professionals and Olympians. The schedule of these camps is as follows:

  • May 24-28 – Softball Breakthrough Series at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. (MLB & USA Softball)
  • June 9-13 – Baseball Breakthrough Series at the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy in Kansas City, Mo. (MLB & USA Baseball)
  • June 18-22 – Baseball Breakthrough Series at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. (MLB & USA Baseball)
  • June 24-28 – Baseball Breakthrough Series at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla. (MLB & USA Baseball)
  • July 5-12 – Softball Elite Development Invitational (Ages 14-17) at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla. (MLB, MLBPA & USA Softball)
  • July 20-26 – Baseball Elite Development Invitational (Ages 16-18) at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla. (MLB, MLBPA & USA Baseball)
  • July 27-August 2 – Baseball Elite Development Invitational (Ages 13-15) at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla. (MLB, MLBPA & USA Baseball)

August 5th-16th: RBI World Series - The international baseball and softball championship tournament of Major League Baseball’s RBI program, which is designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork. The Minnesota Twins are hosting the RBI World Series for the fourth time since 2011.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Angels versatile Shohei Ohtani named newest American League Player of the Week

 

Shohei Ohtani (courtesy MLBpressbox.com)

 

Starting pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has been named the American League Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason for the period ending April 8th.

Shortstop Didi Gregorius (.462, 4 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI) also posted an impressive week for the New York Yankees. On Tuesday, the Netherlands native went 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs and eight RBI to propel the Yankees to a 11-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. With his third home run of the season on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles, Gregorius notched his ninth extra-base hit on the season. The 28-year-old became the eighth Yankee since 1908 to tally at least nine extra-base hits through the Club’s first nine games of a season. Other noteworthy performances last week included starting pitcher Charlie Morton (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 13 SO) and outfielder Josh Reddick (.474, 6 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI) of the Houston Astros, as well as third baseman Matt Chapman (.423, 8 R, 11 H, 2 HR) of the Athletics.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Shohei Ohtani will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

In three games as designated hitter for the Angels, Ohtani slashed .462/.500/1.154 with four runs scored, six hits, three home runs and seven RBI. In his lone start of the week yesterday afternoon, the rookie sensation collected his second career win, tossing 7.0 shutout innings of one-hit ball with 12 strikeouts and just one walk. Shohei is the first two-way player to earn Player of the Week honors since the Award was introduced in the AL in 1975 and the NL in 1973. Among his AL counterparts, Ohtani finished his historic week first in slugging percentage and tied for first in home runs, while also finishing tied for first in ERA and tied for fourth in strikeouts. This is the Angels’ first weekly award since Shohei’s teammate Matt Shoemaker claimed weekly honors for the period ending July 17, 2016.

In his first career start at Angel Stadium, Ohtani turned in one of the best pitching performances of the season thus far, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics. Registering 12 punchouts in yesterday’s 6-1 victory, the 23-year-old generated 24 swings and misses, the highest total by a Major League hurler this season. In addition, the Japan native became just the third pitcher in AL history to record at least 12 strikeouts in one of the first two starts of his career, joining Hall of Famer Juan Marichal (1960) and Steve Woodard (1997). Ohtani also became the second pitcher in Club history to record 12 strikeouts, one walk and yield just one hit in a single outing, joining Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan (1972). Earlier this week, the left-handed-hitting slugger connected for a home run in three consecutive contests, while also logging a pair of multi-hit games. htani is just the third player in MLB history to log a pair of wins as a pitcher and record three round-trippers in his team’s first 10 games of a season, and the first since Jim Shaw in 1919. Moreover, Shohei became the third player in history to homer in three straight games and post more than 10 strikeouts in a single outing during the same season, a feat he accomplished in just one week. Hall of Famer Babe Ruth (1916) and Ken Brett (1973) previously accomplished the feat.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

 

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