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MLB suspends two minor league players for violation of drug policies

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

Miami Marlins Minor League outfielder Cameron Baranek, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Marlins, has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for the stimulants Dimethylbutylamine (DMBA) and an isomer of Methylhexaneamine (DMAA).

Atlanta Braves Minor League pitcher Madinson Colón, who is currently on the roster of the Club’s Dominican Summer League team, has received a 72-game suspension without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.

 

 

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

 

MLB, MLBPA announce creation of “Players Weekend” and unique jerseys for each player

 

(courtesy MLB)

Major Leaguers will let their personalities and passions shine during Players Weekend, a newly created event taking place during all MLB games scheduled between August 25th-27th, it was announced today by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Players Weekend is a player-focused event that will include the players wearing colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth league uniforms. Players will have the opportunity to have a nickname placed on the back of the jerseys made by Majestic Athletic, as well as to wear and use uniquely colored and designed spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves, catcher’s masks, and bats.

During Players Weekend, the players will also be wearing specially designed caps by New Era, and socks from Stance. In addition, players will have the option of wearing t-shirts highlighting a charity or cause of their choice during pregame workouts and postgame interviews.

Several Major Leaguers will serve as Players Weekend Ambassadors by taking an active role in promoting the event, including: Yonder Alonso (Seattle Mariners), Javier Báez (Chicago Cubs), José Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays), Nelson Cruz (Seattle Mariners), Ender Inciarte (Atlanta Braves), Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians), Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles), Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Christian Yelich (Miami Marlins) and Chris B. Young (Boston Red Sox). The players will support the event by posting to social media using #PlayersWeekend.

Additionally, during Players Weekend, the right sleeve of each player’s jersey will feature a patch with a blank space for him to write the name of a person or organization that was instrumental to his development. The patch features a new logo that shows a progression of five players increasing in size to demonstrate the process of a player’s path from Little League and youth leagues to Major League Baseball. The new “Evolution” logo, which symbolizes solidarity with local youth baseball and softball organizations, will also appear on the back of each Club’s cap and jerseys in place of the MLB silhouetted batter.

“The journey from youth leagues to Major League Baseball is one that players don’t take alone,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “Major League players have been supported by family members, coaches, and organizations that helped them develop their unique skills and overcome challenges to reach the highest level of the sport. These games will allow the players to thank those who were important in their lives while showcasing their personality in a fun way that fits baseball’s community-driven focus.”

“Players are increasingly interested in finding unique ways to connect with their fans by allowing them to see more of their personalities and interests,” stated MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark. “The collective desire to express their diverse interests and backgrounds is what motivated Players to advocate for the creation of Players Weekend. This will be an exciting and unique opportunity for the Players to literally wear their passions on their sleeves, and equipment, too, as they embrace this chance to let their true identities shine.”

Game-worn, Players Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions with 100% of net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in July 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.

The special features of the Players Weekend games will also be adopted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals during the MLB Little League Classic to be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, August 20th during the 2017 Little League World Series. The game, which will celebrate youth baseball, will be played in front of a crowd of primarily Little League players and their families at a renovated, historic Bowman Field. Earlier in the day, Major League players will attend Little League World Series games and cheer on these youngsters as a demonstration of the players’ passion and commitment to helping grow the game at the youth level. The MLB Little League Classic will air nationally on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and ESPN Radio at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

 

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

 

MLB announces 2017 Postseason schedule

Major League Baseball recently announced the schedule for the 2017 Postseason, which is set to open with the American League Wild Card Game on ESPN on Tuesday, October 3rd, followed by the National League Wild Card Game on TBS on Wednesday, October 4th. Game One of the 2017 World Series on FOX is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24th at the home of the League Champion with the better 2017 regular season record.

Following the scheduled Sunday, October 1st conclusion to the regular season, potentially necessary regular season Tiebreaker Games would be telecast exclusively by ESPN on Monday, October 2nd. Tuesday’s AL Wild Card Game on ESPN will be followed by the Wednesday, October 4th National League Wild Card Game, which will be telecast exclusively by TBS.

Both AL Division Series will be scheduled to begin on Thursday, October 5th. The first full slate of Division Series games, featuring two NL Division Series openers and a pair of ALDS Game Two contests, will be held on Friday, October 6th. Overall, the Division Series are scheduled to run from Thursday, October 5th through the following Thursday, October 12th, with potential Game Fives on Wednesday, October 11th (ALDS) and Thursday, October 12th (NLDS). TBS will cover all NLDS games, while FS1 and MLB Network will cover the ALDS.

The American League Championship Series, beginning on Friday, October 13th, will be telecast by FOX or FS1. The National League Championship Series, set to start on Saturday, October 14th, will be telecast by TBS. A potential Game Seven of the ALCS is scheduled for Saturday, October 21st, while a potential Game Seven of the NLCS is set for Sunday, October 22nd.

Game One of the 2017 World Series is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24th, and the 113th Fall Classic will change sites for Game Three on Friday, October 27th. If a Game Seven proves necessary, it would be scheduled for Wednesday, November 1st. The scheduled off days during the World Series are Thursday, October 26th and Monday, October 30th (if a Game Six is necessary). FOX Sports will present live telecast coverage of the World Series for the 20th time.

All games telecast on MLB Network, TBS, FS1 and FOX will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers to the applicable network through a participating pay TV provider.

The AL Wild Card Game, as well as any necessary tiebreakers, will also be available via the ESPN App. ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all 2017 MLB Postseason games, including the Wild Card Games and any necessary Tiebreakers.

The 2017 Postseason schedule, subject to change, accompanies this press release and can be viewed in its entirety at MLB.com/postseason.

 

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

 

After weeks of rumors, speculation, William Byron picked to drive #5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in 2018 replacing Kasey Kahne

August 9, 2017

 

WILLIAM BYRON TO COMPETE IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES FOR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS BEGINNING IN 2018 

AXALTA AND LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ON BOARD AS PRIMARY SPONSORS

 

 

CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 9, 2017) – Record-breaking teenager William Byron will drive for 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning next season. He will debut at stock car racing’s highest level in the 2018 Daytona 500 and compete for rookie of the year honors. 

Byron’s No. 5 Chevrolet team will feature sponsorship from Axalta Coating Systems and Liberty University, which currently support the 19-year-old driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Beginning in 2018, the two primary sponsors will cover the majority of Byron’s Cup races annually. Additional details of the multi-year partnerships will be announced at a later date.

In 2016, Byron turned in the most successful debut season in Camping World Truck Series history with a NASCAR national series rookie record seven victories. This year, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native progressed into the Xfinity Series, where he has already earned three wins — Iowa, Daytona and Indianapolis — and currently ranks second in the standings after 20 of 33 races with Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports.

William Byron in 2015 By Sarah Stierch - Own work, CC BY 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Byron, who will turn 20 on Nov. 29. “Mr. (Rick) Hendrick has built such a great team. The people at Hendrick Motorsports have dedicated their lives to giving their drivers the best chance to win every weekend. I have a responsibility to them to work hard and put everything I have into this opportunity. They need to know I’m always giving 100 percent because that’s what they do.

“When I told my parents that I wanted to drive race cars, they supported me and believed I could do it. Without them, there’s no way this would be possible. Axalta and Liberty University are awesome partners, and I’m so thankful for their faith in me. I’m going to do all I can to make my family, my sponsors and my teammates proud and represent them all in the right way.”

Hendrick Motorsports signed Byron in August 2016. Next season, he will join drivers Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman as a member of the four-car NASCAR Cup Series operation.

“At every step, William has proven how quickly he can adapt,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Some drivers have raw talent and some have a strong work ethic. William has both. It’s impressive to see a young guy who never gets rattled and instinctively knows how to communicate with his team. That level of commitment, poise and pure ability is rare at any age. I think he’s just scratching the surface.”

Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, became a sponsor of Byron’s Xfinity Series effort this season. With primary sponsorship across teammates Byron and Alex Bowman (15 races), the company will increase its already significant presence with Hendrick Motorsports in 2018. Axalta has been a Hendrick Motorsports corporate partner since 1992 and recently opened its state-of-the-art Customer Experience Center on the team’s campus.

Liberty University began its support of Byron in 2014 when he drove late models for JR Motorsports and is now in its fourth season sponsoring the driver. Founded in 1971 and located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is the largest private, nonprofit university in the United States, the largest university in Virginia and the largest Christian university in the world. Byron is currently a sophomore student working toward an undergraduate degree in business communications through the school’s online education program.

“To have this opportunity with a new partner (to Hendrick Motorsports) in Liberty University and to grow what’s been an incredible long-term relationship with Axalta, it’s very special,” Hendrick said. “These are two sponsors who have already built effective programs around our sport and now see even more possibilities. It’s a big compliment to William, who has been a terrific ambassador for them both, and we look forward to a bright future together.”

WILLIAM BYRON YEAR-BY-YEAR:

2017: As a rookie, has posted three wins, one pole position, seven top-five finishes and 14 top-10s through 20 of 33 races in the Xfinity Series. Recorded wins at Iowa Speedway and the iconic venues of Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Currently second in driver points, first in playoff points and leads the rookie of the year standings.

2016: Recorded the most successful rookie season in NCWTS history with seven wins (a national series rookie record), three poles, 11 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Named rookie of the year after leading 21 percent of the season’s total laps and securing the NCWTS owner championship. Started two ARCA Racing Series events, finishing second and eighth. Signed by 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports in August.

2015: Crowned NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion after posting four wins, three pole positions, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. In 14 events, led 740 of the season’s 1,730 total laps (43 percent). Started two K&N Pro Series West races, recording two top-five finishes. Competed in two ARCA events, earning a second-place finish in his series debut after leading 120 of 200 laps at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Won the pole at Kentucky in second ARCA start. Posted one win and three top-five finishes in three CARS Super Late Model races. Made NASCAR national series debut with a NCWTS start Nov. 13 at Phoenix. Outside of racing, earned the Boy Scouts of America rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank in scouting.

2014: Turned professional in legends cars in January and promptly won the Charlotte Winter Heat Series U.S. Legend Car Pro championship. Crowned Pro Legends champion at the Winter Nationals at Florida’s Auburndale Speedway after winning six of six races. Gained experience in full-sized stock cars across the U.S. Legend Car Pro division, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model division and select pro late models. Signed to compete regionally for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s late model program at JR Motorsports, competing 21 times at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway. Earned first-ever victory in a stock car on Sept. 6 at Hickory. Named the state of North Carolina’s rookie of the year in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Late Model Series. In total, competed 56 times with 11 wins, 24 pole awards, 29 top-three finishes and 37 top-five finishes.

2013: After racing exclusively online, began competing in the U.S. Legend Car Young Lions division. Raced in 69 legends car events across the United States, posting 33 wins, 59 top-five finishes and 64 top-10s en route to the U.S. Legend Car Young Lions national championship. In addition, won the 2013 Thursday Thunder Young Lions championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Young Lions all-star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

ABOUT AXALTA COATING SYSTEMS:
Axalta is a leading global company focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable solutions. From light OEM vehicles, commercial vehicles and refinish applications to electric motors, buildings and pipelines, our coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enable the materials we coat to last longer. With more than 150 years of experience in the coatings industry, the 13,600 people of Axalta continue to find ways to serve our more than 100,000 customers in 130 countries better every day with the finest coatings, application systems and technology. For more information visit Axalta.com and follow us @Axalta on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

ABOUT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY:
Liberty University, founded in 1971, is the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world. Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains on more than 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty offers more than 550 unique programs of study from the certificate to the doctoral level. More than 250 programs are offered online. Liberty’s mission is to train Champions for Christ with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.

ABOUT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
Founded by Rick Hendrick in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 249 points-paying race victories and a record 12 car owner championships in the premier NASCAR Cup Series. The organization fields four full-time Chevrolet teams on the Cup circuit with drivers Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, Hendrick Motorsports employs more than 600 people. For more information, please visit HendrickMotorsports.com or interact on TwitterFacebook and

Instagram.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jesse Essex; COURTESY HENDRICKS MOTOR SPORTS & NASCARmedia.com

 

“Bubba” Wallace holds off Bell and Busch to win NASCAR Trucks race at Michigan

Darrell Wallace Jr. in victory lane (photo credit Jonathan Ferry of Getty Images courtesy NASCARmedia.com)

Brooklyn, Michigan — Several members of the media in the Michigan International Speedway Media Center were talking amongst themselves Saturday afternoon after watching the NASCAR Camping World Series race, why Darrell Wallace Jr. doesn’t have a regular ride in any series?

The 23-year-old Wallace has been wondering the same thing and mentioned in interviews after holding off Christopher Bell and the tenacious Kyle Larson to win the 18th Annual LTi Printing 200 at the 2-mile oval in the Irish Hills area of Southwestern Michigan.

Rounding out the top 5 were Ryan Truex and Austin Cindric.

The win by Wallace gives truck owner Mike Millner his first Camping World Truck Series victory.

What is most remarkable about the Mobile, Alabama native, is prior to this race, he had not driven a truck since the 2014 season where his best finish was third. Winning a race after not competing regular in the series for three years, so that he has talent. He won the last race of the 2014 season.

The last 11 laps of the race were very exciting as Wallace protected his position very well. Probably worried more about the clever and cunning Busch, who has dominated this series for years, than he was about Bell. Driving his #99 Maestro’s Classic Chevrolet, Wallace blocked high, low and middle. He did lose the lead briefly, but gained it back and confidently held on to win his sixth Trucks race overall. His first win at Michigan.

“It’s been so long since I’ve been in victory lane,” Wallace said. “I try to hold a positive mindset over it, and everybody in my family knows it eats at me every day.”

Wallace, NASCAR’s who started the 2017 season as the only African American full-time driver, has had an up-and-down career. He lost his ride driving in the XFINITY Series for Roush Fenway Racing because the sponsorship dried up. He debuted for four races in the Monster Cup Series as a fill-in for the injured Aric Amirola. He received a deal this week with MDM Motorsports.

Wallace’s start to the race was not spectacular. He started ninth on the 5th row. His pit crew received a penalty on Lap 53 when his crew went over the wall too soon. But as the race progressed, Wallace edged up closer and closer to the top of the flow. For several laps he was driving third behind Cindric and Bell but passed them up with 11 laps to go thanks to strategy planning by his spotter, Freddie Kraft.

Wallace’s crew chief is Shane Huffman.

Darrell Wallace Jr. #99 winning race (photo credit by Sean Gardner of Getty Images courtesy NASCAR media.com)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race Results LTi Printing 200

Michigan International Speedway

Brooklyn, Michigan

Saturday, August 12, 2017

1. (9) Darrell Wallace Jr.(i), Chevrolet, 100.

2. (13) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 100.

3. (10) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 100.

4. (11) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 100.

5. (8) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 100.

6. (1) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 100.

7. (5) Noah Gragson #, Toyota, 100.

8. (6) Grant Enfinger #, Toyota, 100.

9. (4) Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 100.

10. (7) Justin Haley #, Chevrolet, 100.

11. (14) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 100.

12. (12) Kaz Grala #, Chevrolet, 100.

13. (16) Stewart Friesen #, Chevrolet, 100.

14. (17) Tyler Young, Chevrolet, 100.

15. (20) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 100.

16. (19) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, 99.

17. (18) Wendell Chavous #, Chevrolet, 99.

18. (2) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 99.

19. (24) Josh Reaume, Chevrolet, 98.

20. (28) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, Vibration, 82.

21. (15) Cody Coughlin #, Toyota, Accident, 65.

22. (29) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, Engine, 48.

23. (26) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, Engine, 33.

24. (22) BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, Vibration, 16.

25. (27) Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, Electrical, 12.

26. (21) Ray Ciccarelli, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 11.

27. (30) Mike Senica, Chevrolet, Brakes, 8.

28. (25) Todd Peck, Chevrolet, Engine, 5.

29. (3) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, Accident, 4.

30. (23) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Vibration, 2.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  126.493 mph.

Time of Race:  01 Hrs, 34 Mins, 52 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.176 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 23 laps.

Lead Changes:  7 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   M. Crafton 1-10; C. Briscoe # 11; J. Sauter 12; C. Briscoe # 13-15; K. Busch(i) 16-62; J. Haley # 63-65; A. Cindric # 66-89; D. Wallace Jr.(i) 90-100.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Busch(i) 1 time for 47 laps; A. Cindric # 1 time for 24 laps; D. Wallace Jr.(i) 1 time for 11 laps; M. Crafton 1 time for 10 laps; C. Briscoe # 2 times for 4 laps; J. Haley # 1 time for 3 laps; J. Sauter 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 51,29,88,27,21,19,18,16,99,4

Stage #2 Top Ten: 51,16,4,88,27,33,24,18,29,98

 

RACE NOTES

* Matt Crafton was the Keystone Light Pole Award winner for the race.

13th pole of his NCWTS career in 397 starts

First pole of 2017

11th Top-10 of 2017

Third pole in 16 races at Michigan International Speedway

*Chase Briscoe, who finished fourth, was the fastest qualifying rookie.

*Austin Cindric, who finished fifth, was the highest placing rookie.

* Christopher Bell leads the point standings over Johnny Sauter by 37 points.

* Kyle Busch finished third. He has  posted nine Top-10 finishes in ten races at MIS.

Stats courtesy of NASCAR Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

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