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Archive for May 21st, 2018

Former MLB pitcher Chris Young hired by Commissioner Manfred as VP for on-field operations, initiatives & strategy




Chris Young pitching for Royals in 2016 By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https

Longtime Major League pitcher will work with MLB’s baseball operations and umpiring departments on range of issues


Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that Major League Baseball has appointed longtime Major League pitcher Chris Young as Vice President, On-Field Operations, Initiatives & Strategy. Young will begin in the new capacity, under the direction of MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre and reporting to Senior Vice President, On-Field Operations Peter Woodfork.

Young will work with MLB’s Baseball Operations and Umpiring Operations Departments on issues affecting play on the field, including the application of playing rules and regulations, on-field standards and discipline, pace of play and other special projects. Among his duties will be ensuring that ballpark and field alterations meet MLB standards; working on MLB’s pace of play and game presentation initiatives; advising on on-field disciplinary issues; assisting with negotiations with umpires, players and Minor League Baseball; participating in issues regarding player safety, on-field equipment and wearable technology; and having a role in official scoring reviews submitted to MLB.

Commissioner Manfred said: “We are pleased to announce the hiring of Chris Young, who brings invaluable perspective to a number of areas that are significant to our game. His unique background and experience as a player will make Chris an asset to a wide variety of initiatives going forward.”

Young said: “I am excited to continue my career in Major League Baseball in a new capacity. I look forward to working in the Baseball Operations Department and contributing to the advancement of the game. I will forever cherish the wonderful memories playing a game I love and I’m extremely grateful for the friendships of so many former teammates, coaches, staff members, front office executives, media members and many others with whom I have worked.”

Young, who will turn 39 later this month, recently concluded a 13-year Major League career with the Texas Rangers (2004-05), the San Diego Padres (2006-10), the New York Mets (2011-12), the Seattle Mariners (2014) and the Kansas City Royals (2015-17). He participated in 2018 Spring Training with the Padres. The 6’10″ right-hander posted a career 79-67 record with a 3.95 ERA. With the Padres, the Dallas native was a key part of the starting rotation in the Club’s National League West-winning 2006 season, and he followed up by being named an NL All-Star in 2007, when he went 9-8 with a 3.12 ERA. In 2015, Young helped the Royals capture the World Series Championship with 15.2 innings pitched throughout the Postseason, including three innings of hitless relief and the win in their 14-inning victory over the Mets in Game One of the Fall Classic.

Young received a degree in politics from Princeton University in 2002. At Princeton, Young became the Ivy League’s first male athlete to earn Player of the Year honors in two different sports — baseball and basketball — and he wrote his senior thesis on the impact of the life of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson on racial stereotypes.


MLB branches into London with Red Sox-Yankees Series in 2019



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


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 recently.

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.

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:

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.”



Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock recent NL Player of the Week




A.J. Pollock on field 2015 photo By Mark Winograd - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock has been named the National League Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason for the period ending May 6th.

Other candidates for NL Player of the Week honors were Pollock’s teammate, closer Brad Boxberger (0.00 ERA, 1-0, 3 SV, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 6 SO); Washington Nationals teammates Wilmer Difo (.524, 2 HR, 5 RBI 6 BB, .630 OBP), Matt Adams (.360, 5 HR, 8 RBI) and Max Scherzer (1-0, 2.13 ERA, 12.2 IP, 8 H, H, 23 SO); San Francisco Giants teammates Brandon Crawford (.478, 11 H, 1 HR, 7 RBI) and Andrew Suárez (1-0, 1.46 ERA, 12.1 IP); and Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis (.520, 13 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, A.J. Pollock will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

After earning Budweiser Presents NL Player of the Month honors for April, Pollock began May on a sizzling note, batting .423 (11-for-26) with four home runs, eight RBI, five runs scored, a double, a triple and two stolen bases. The 2015 All-Star slugged an NL-best 1.000, registered a .448 on-base percentage and led the Senior Circuit with 26 total bases. Pollock closed out April with three solo home runs in an 8-5 win over the NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers, marking the first three-homer game of his Major League career. The next day, the University of Notre Dame product hit a home run off three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw in Arizona’s 4-3 win. Pollock went 8-for-16 in the four-game set vs. Los Angeles. In a weekend series against the defending World Champion Houston Astros, Pollock played a key role in helping the D-backs take the last two games, driving in two runs apiece in close victories on both Saturday (4-3) and Sunday (3-1). Saturday featured Pollock’s ninth inning RBI single to win the game, and Sunday brought his game-turning triple against Astros ace Justin Verlander. This is Pollock’s fourth career Player of the Week honors and he is the second D-back to win this season, joining teammate Patrick Corbin.

Four Dodger pitchers combined to make history in Mexico on Friday night, as teammates Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore combined to blank the San Diego Padres at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey, the first regular season games in the country since 1999. On a night that began with a ceremonial first pitch from Fernando Valenzuela, it was MLB’s first no-hitter ever outside of the United States or Canada and the 12th combined no-hitter in history, including the first for the Dodgers.


Indians SS Francisco Lindor a recent AL Player of the Week




Francisco Lindor wiping brow after bad play 2017 photo By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, https


Shortstop Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians has been named the American League Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason for the period ending May 6th.

Other candidates for AL Player of the Week were Pujols’ teammate, two-time AL Most Valuable Player Mike Trout (.545, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 8 BB, 8 R, .667 OBP); outfielder Eddie Rosario (.433, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 4 2B) of the Minnesota Twins; outfielder Mookie Betts (.400, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 1.200 SLG) of the Boston Red Sox; New York Yankees teammates Gleyber Torres (.348, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and Domingo Germán (0.00 ERA, 10.0 IP, 4 H, 13 SO); Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jake Faria (2-0, 0.68 ERA, 13.1 IP, 6 H, 10 SO); Houston Astros hurlers Gerrit Cole (1 SHO, 9.0 IP, 1 H, 16 SO) and Justin Verlander (0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 22 SO); and Seattle Mariners southpaw James Paxton (0.00 ERA, 7.0 IP, 16 SO).

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

In eight games last week, Lindor batted .425 (17-for-40) with four home runs, 10 RBI and four doubles for Cleveland, pacing all of Major League Baseball in hits, runs scored (11) and total bases (33). The fourth-year Major Leaguer drove in at least one run in six of the Indians’ eight games, and within his active nine-game hitting streak was a span of six consecutive contests (Apr. 30th-May 4th) of two-or-more hits. In the Thursday, May 3rd home doubleheader vs. the Toronto Blue Jays, the two-time AL All-Star went a combined 5-for-12 on the day, including a two-homer game in the opener. The 24-year-old Lindor, who finished fifth in AL Most Valuable Player balloting last season, is now batting .283 with 10 doubles, eight home runs, 20 RBI, five stolen bases, a .350 on-base percentage and .517 slugging. Nicknamed “Mr. Smile,” this is the Puerto Rico native’s first career AL Player of the Week honors and Cleveland’s first of 2018.

On Friday at Seattle, Los Angeles Angels first baseman/designated hitter Albert Pujols became the 32nd player in the history of Major League Baseball to collect 3,000 career hits. Pujols became just the fourth Major Leaguer ever to reach both 600 career home runs and 3,000 hits, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.



NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issues statement on Sports Betting Ruling



Roger Goodell on podium 2012 photo By SSG Teddy Wade, U.S. Defense website, Public Domain, https

As it was for my predecessors, there is no greater priority for me as the Commissioner of the National Football League than protecting the integrity of our sport.  Our fans, our players and our coaches deserve to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure no improper influences affect how the game is played on the field. Last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court has no effect on that unwavering commitment.

We have spent considerable time planning for the potential of broadly legalized sports gambling and are prepared to address these changes in a thoughtful and comprehensive way, including substantial education and compliance trainings for our clubs, players, employees and partners. These efforts include supporting commonsense legislation that protects our players, coaches and fans and maintains public confidence in our games. We are asking Congress to enact uniform standards for states that choose to legalize sports betting that include, at a minimum, four core principles:

  1. There must be substantial consumer protections;
  2. Sports leagues can protect our content and intellectual property from those who attempt to steal or misuse it;
  3. Fans will have access to official, reliable league data; and
  4. Law enforcement will have the resources, monitoring and enforcement tools necessary to protect our fans and penalize bad actors here at home and abroad.





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