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Archive for May 9th, 2018

Dayton Dragons announce roster changes/transcations

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN  BY Tom Nichols; COURTESY DAYTON DRAGONS MEDIA RELATIONS

 

May 9, 2018

 

The Dayton Dragons announced the following roster changes today:

 

Right-handed pitcher Connor Ryan has been transferred from Dayton to the Billings roster.

 

Right-handed pitcher Adrian Chacon has been promoted to Dayton from extended spring training.

 

The Dragons roster remains at the Midwest League limit of 25 players.

 

The new roster.

Dayton Dragons Roster May 9

 

 

MLB announces historic Yankees-Red Sox Series going to London in 2019

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

 

London Stadium at night 2015 photo By EtienneSoumoy - Own work, Copyrighted free use, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

MLB London Series will feature American League East rivals on June 29-30, 2019 at London Stadium; two-game set will mark MLB’s first games ever played in Europe, with agreement to return in 2020

 

The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees will play an historic two-game series in London in 2019, marking the sport’s first games ever played in Europe, in the MLB London Series, Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the Mayor of London jointly announced today.

The 2019 series will be played on June 29-30 at London Stadium, the site of the 2012 Olympic Games, which will take on a baseball configuration for the event. The estimated capacity of London Stadium for the series will be 55,000. The United Kingdom will follow other international venues that have hosted regular season Major League games, joining Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico and Australia. The parties have agreed to a two-year deal that will include another series in London in 2020, with participating teams to be announced, and other initiatives that will aim to establish a footprint in the city.

The announcement of a two-year commitment to play games in London was made today in the capital by Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.; Tim Slavin, Chief of Business Affairs and Senior Counsel, Business for the MLBPA; the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; Boston Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry; and New York Yankees Managing General Partner/Co-Chairperson Hal Steinbrenner and General Partner/Vice Chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal.

Commissioner Manfred said: “Major League Baseball is excited to be bringing one of the most storied rivalries in sports to the passionate fans of London. In our ongoing efforts to grow baseball, there is nothing as impactful as bringing live games and our talented players to fans. This is our most significant endeavor ever in Europe and we look forward to showcasing Major League Baseball in one of the world’s great cities.”

Tony Clark, Executive Director of the MLBPA, said: “Some of the most talented and dynamic players in the world will be playing in these games. They are excited about the chance to meet new fans, and showcase the game they love. They are aware they’ll be a part of history, but they also know these games count. So fans can expect intense competition during what will surely be a great few days in London.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have secured this historic agreement for Major League Baseball to come to London in 2019 and 2020. All the hard work has paid off. There is no better way to start the London Series and the first Major League Baseball fixture in Europe than a clash between two heavyweights of international sport — the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. This is a major coup demonstrating, once again, that London is the sporting capital of the world and I am excited about a new partnership with MLB and the long term future of this sport in our great city.”

Boston Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry said: “For several years the Red Sox and Yankees have discussed playing in London as the first-ever Major League Baseball regular season game in Europe. It’s also the first time the Red Sox and Yankees have played one another outside of New York or Boston. There were significant challenges that had to be overcome. We could not be happier that Commissioner Manfred has been able to make this a reality. This series will surely be the most significant international event to date for Major League ball. I can’t wait to hear someone shout ‘play ball’ at London Stadium.”

New York Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said: “To have the opportunity to participate in this historic baseball endeavor and showcase our game in London is something our entire organization is thrilled to be a part of. Bringing these storied teams together for British fans — who have such a profound appreciation for sports at the highest level — only adds to the unique allure of one of the world’s greatest sporting rivalries. We expect an exciting and intense pair of games and appreciate the significance of representing our sport in such a meaningful way.”

Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium 185, said: “As a venue, we are immensely proud to be hosting MLB’s London Series at London Stadium in 2019. London Stadium has a track record of successfully delivering major global events, moving from Premier League Football and both international and domestic showpiece rugby fixtures to hosting some of the biggest names in music. We look forward to welcoming MLB, teams and fans to London Stadium for the first year of what we hope to be a fruitful, long term partnership.”

Fans can stay up to date on all news regarding the 2019 MLB London Series by following @MLBLondonSeries on Instagram and Facebook and can pre-register for MLB London Series tickets at:
mlb.com/london-series
https://atmlb.com/2rylJUz

 

 

 

 

MLB Commissioner suspends two minor leaguers for drug violations

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

 

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced this week that two Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Oakland Athletics Minor League shortstop Eric Marinez, who is currently on the roster of Single-A Stockton of the California League, has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for clomiphene, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Program.

New York Mets Minor League catcher Walter Rasquin, who is currently on the roster of Single-A Columbia of the South Atlantic League, has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for methamphetamine, a stimulant in violation of the Program.

The suspensions of both players are effective immediately.

 

MLB returning to Japan in 2018, 2019

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

 

Tokyo Dome in Japan 2015 photo By 賀正 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium in Japan 2014 photo By HKT3012 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Nagoya Dome in Japan 2013 photo By kanesue, CC BY 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics to Open 2019 Season at the Tokyo Dome; Team of MLB Stars to Visit Japan for 2018 All-Star Tour in November

 

The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners will open the 2019 Championship Season with a two-game set on March 20th-21st at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced today. In addition, MLB will renew its All-Star Tour with Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) with six games across Japan from November 8th-15th.

“Major League Baseball is thrilled to return to Japan for the 2018 All-Star Tour this fall and for the 2019 Japan Opening Series next March,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “The renewal of the All-Star Tour gives MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball an outstanding opportunity to continue a longstanding tradition that showcases the best of our game for our many fans across Japan, as well as build up excitement for the 2019 Opening Series between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics. The city of Tokyo offers a terrific backdrop for the Opening Series, and we look forward to once again bringing Major League games to the Japanese fans as we celebrate our shared love of Baseball.”

“Players who participate in the Japan All-Star Series often talk about how it’s among the highlights of their careers,” said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark. “The games are a great way for them to personally experience not only exciting games against new competition, but also the culture of a great country with knowledgeable fans. An Opening Day Series is another great opportunity to build on the much anticipated success of the off-season tour.”

Below is a tentative schedule of events for both the 2018 Japan All-Star Tour and for the 2019 Japan Opening Series:

2018 Japan All-Star Tour
Thursday, Nov. 8: MLB Team vs Yomiuri Giants, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Friday, Nov. 9: Game 1, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Saturday, Nov. 10: Game 2, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Sunday, Nov. 11: Game 3, Tokyo Dome (Tokyo)
Monday, Nov. 12: Travel Day
Tuesday, Nov. 13: Game 4, Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium (Hiroshima)
Wednesday, Nov. 14: Game 5, Nagoya Dome (Nagoya)
Thursday, Nov. 15: Game 6, Nagoya Dome (Nagoya)

2019 Japan Opening Series
Sunday, Mar. 17: MLB Team vs NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Sunday, Mar. 17: MLB Team vs. NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Monday, Mar. 18: MLB Team vs NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Monday, Mar. 18: MLB Team vs. NPB Team*, Tokyo Dome
Wednesday, Mar. 20: Mariners vs. A’s**, Tokyo Dome
Thursday, Mar. 21: Mariners vs. A’s**, Tokyo Dome
*Teams, Home/Road designation, and start times for NPB games will be determined at a later date
**The A’s will be the home team for both MLB Opening Series games. Start times will be determined at a later date.

The 2019 Japan Opening Series, which will serve as A’s home games, will represent the fifth time that MLB has opened its season in Tokyo. The last Opening Series in Tokyo took place in 2012, when the A’s and Mariners split the two games. This will mark the eighth season-opener to be played internationally. MLB has previously opened seasons in Monterrey, Mexico (1999); Tokyo (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012); San Juan, Puerto Rico (2001); and Sydney, Australia (2014). Overall, more than one million fans have attended 19 MLB Opening Series games.

“The Oakland Athletics are proud to once again take part in the Japan Opening Series,” said A’s President Dave Kaval. “We are honored to represent Major League Baseball during this special event. Japan has incredible baseball fans and we look forward to returning to Tokyo to help promote our sport.”

“The Mariners have been closely tied to Japan since Nintendo purchased a majority of the team in 1992 and have had Japanese players on our roster every season since 1996,” said Mariners Chairman and Managing Partner John Stanton. “It is an honor for our team to return for the Opening Series in 2019, and we look forward to this opportunity.”

The All-Star Tour games in November will mark the 37th time overall that Major Leaguers have toured Japan for exhibition games, dating back to 1908. The All-Star Tour will be hosted in Tokyo (Tokyo Dome), Hiroshima (Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium) and Nagoya (Nagoya Dome). The events will begin with an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants in Tokyo on November 8th, followed by three games in Tokyo from November 9th-11th, one game in Hiroshima on November 13th and two games in Nagoya on November 14th-15th.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and all those making a great effort in preparation for the Japan-U.S. All-Star Series,” said Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Atsushi Saito. “It has been four years since Samurai Japan and MLB last met. With our goal of winning a gold medal in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, this gives our players experience in high-level games against MLB players. Many Japanese players have made their way to the U.S., and that has certainly brought MLB close to baseball fans throughout Japan. I am also looking forward to the 2019 MLB Opening Series in Japan, which enables us to feel a very different excitement from that of NPB. This long-awaited Japan-U.S. All-Star Series will be a great opportunity to further deepen our bilateral relationship.”

As part of the 2019 Japan Opening Series, both MLB Clubs will also compete against Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) teams in day/night doubleheaders scheduled for March 17th-18th.


 

 

MLB announces five former MLB stars headline Fifth class of Negro Leagues Baseball Museum “Hall of Game”

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

 

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri 2007 photo By SakuraAvalon86 at the English Wikipedia project, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Kenny Lofton at the plate 1996 photo By Jerry Reuss, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Eddie Murray at Camden Yards 2007 photo by Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA - 0G1G3463 CC BY-SA 2.0 File, via wikipedia commons

 

J.R. Richard in Houston, TX at an Academy Sports + Outdoors Show 2013 photo By user Jermster91 at en.wiki, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Dick Allen (courtesy MLB)

Jim Mudcat Grant (courtesy Minnesota Twins)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In honor of its fifth induction class, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) has selected five baseball legends to be inducted into its “Hall of Game.” The announcement was made during a press conference held at the NLBM on May 1.

This year’s class includes 1972 AL MVP Dick Allen, multi-year All-Star and Gold Glove honorees Kenny Lofton and Eddie Murray, and electrifying pitchers James Timothy “Mudcat” Grant and James Rodney “J.R.” Richard. The five Major League Baseball (MLB) greats will be inducted into the NLBM Hall of Game during ceremonies at the Gem Theater on Saturday, June 9, at 8 p.m. Hy-Vee, Inc. will be the presenting sponsor for the fifth consecutive year.

The June 9 induction event will include a full day of activities including a press conference, VIP meet-and-greet, reception and dinner at the NLBM followed by the Hall of Game ceremonies at the Gem Theater. The event will be produced by Kansas City-based sports agency Premier Sports Management.

Established by the NLBM in 2014, the Hall of Game annually honors former MLB greats who competed with the same passion, determination, skill and flair exhibited by the heroes of the Negro Leagues. The 2018 inductees will join baseball greats from the previous induction classes, which have included legends such as Roberto Clemente, Joe Morgan, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith and more. In addition to the induction ceremony, Hall of Game honorees also will receive permanent recognition as part of the future Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center being developed by the NLBM at the site of the Paseo YMCA, the birthplace of the Negro Leagues.

“We’re thrilled to honor five former MLB greats this year in honor of our fifth Hall of Game anniversary,” said Bob Kendrick, who has served as the NLBM President since 2011. “These men were truly captivating to watch every time they took the field, and they played with the same spirit, passion and hustle as the men who made the Negro Leagues so special. ”

In one of baseball’s least offensively productive eras, Dick Allen stood out as one of the most dynamic players of the 1960s and early 1970s. Spending time with five teams between 1963 and 1977, Allen twice led the American League in home runs and slugging percentage and once in on-base percentage, while also leading the National League in slugging percentage and on-base percentage for one season each. The 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, Allen earned seven All-Star appearances in 15 seasons, including his unmatched 1972 AL MVP season in which he led the league in home runs (37), RBI (113), walks (99), on-base percentage (.422), slugging average (.603) and OPS (1.023). The first player in the modern era of baseball to hit two inside-the-park home runs in a single game, Allen was added to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame at Citizens Bank Park in 1994.

The first black pitcher to both win 20 games in a season in the American League and to win a World Series game for the AL, James “Mudcat” Grant spent 14 seasons as a Major League pitcher, racking up a 145-119 win-loss record and pitching in 571 total games. Earning All-Star nods in both 1963 and 1965, Grant was named The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year in 1965 after going 21-7 for the Twins and helping lead the team to the World Series. Following his retirement from Major League Baseball, Grant dedicated himself to studying and promoting blacks in baseball, releasing his book The Black Aces, Baseball’s Only Black Twenty-Game Winners in 2006 and receiving subsequent recognition from President George W. Bush at the White House in 2007.

Six-time All-Star Kenny Lofton was a dynamic crowd favorite from the start. During his first full MLB season in 1992 he stole 66 bases for the Cleveland Indians, breaking the all-time record for an American League rookie. Playing for 11 franchises in his 17-year career, Lofton spent the most seasons with the Indians, helping the organization win six division titles in his 9.5 seasons. Known as a smart, complete player, Lofton complimented his six All-Star appearances with four Gold Glove Awards (1993-1996) and led the American League in stolen bases five times (1992-1996). Making 11 total postseason appearances, Lofton appeared in two World Series, earning a trip to the Fall Classic in 1995 with the Indians and 2002 with the San Francisco Giants.

Considered one of the best first basemen to play the game, “Steady” Eddie Murray played 21 MLB seasons, predominantly for the Baltimore Orioles. As a mainstay in the Orioles lineup from 1977 to 1981, Murray earned three Gold Gloves, two of his three Silver Slugger Awards and seven of his eight total All-Star appearances. Helping the O’s to a World Series victory in 1983, Murray had his jersey retired by the team in 1998 and was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame a year later in 1999. Just the third player in history to reach 500 home runs and 3,000 hits following Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, Murray was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 2003.

After making his MLB debut as a September call-up for the Astros in 1971, James Rodney “J.R.” Richardwould develop into one of the League’s premier pitchers. Between 1976 and 1980, Richard was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball, striking out an Astros franchise record 313 batters in 1979. Leading the NL in strikeouts in both 1978 and 1979 and in ERA in 1979, Richard won at least 18 games in each season between 1976 and 1979. After starting the 1980 season virtually unhittable, Richard earned his first and only All-Star selection before suffering a career-ending stroke on July 30. Regarded as one of the great talents of his era, Richard was named by two-time National League MVPs Johnny Bench and Dale Murphy as the toughest pitcher they ever faced.

“Each of these players were phenomenal athletes who achieved remarkable stats and records,” Kendrick said. “Buck O’Neil once said of the Negro Leagues that fans couldn’t go to the concession stands because they were afraid they’d miss something they’d never seen before. That’s how these guys played. Fans couldn’t take their eyes off them because they might miss an incredible play. This year’s honorees embody that wonderful Negro Leagues spirit, and we are delighted to welcome as our fifth induction class of our Hall of Game.”

In addition to the Hall of Game inductions, the NLBM also will be presenting the Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award for “career excellence in the face of adversity” to the award namesake’s daughter, Sharon Robinson. Just 7 years old when her father retired from baseball, Robinson grew up watching the iconic barrier-breaker embrace key roles in the Civil Rights Movement. Following in his difference-making footsteps, Robinson now serves as the educational consultant for Major League Baseball and manages Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life, a baseball-themed national character education curriculum that helps empower students to face obstacles in their lives.

“There’s no one we would rather honor on this special anniversary year than Sharon Robinson,” said Kendrick. “She’s been a phenomenal voice and champion for diversity in sports and is carrying on her father’s legacy in a powerful and effective way. She has continued to make a positive difference not only in the sport of baseball but also in American culture as a whole. It’s our honor to present her with this award.”

The establishment of the Hall of Game and its annual celebration event holds two purposes: 1) to provide an avenue for the NLBM to continue garnering attention for one of the greatest stories in American history, and 2) to serve as a significant fundraiser to increase the NLBM’s ability to stay relevant with technology and community programming, and to complete the Buck O’Neil Education Center.

“Hy-Vee continues to be a proud presenting sponsor of the NLBM’s Hall of Game induction ceremonies,” said Drew Holmes, senior regional vice president for Hy-Vee’s Kansas City market/southwest region. “We congratulate each of the players for this well-deserved honor.”

 

Read more: MLB

 

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