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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Baseball

Tim Tebow to speak to Florida Gators before season opener

The Florida Gators showed some improvement in their first year under head coach Dan Mullen last season, and they are hoping to be a College Football Playoff contender in 2019. Fortunately, Tim Tebow is here to help.

Florida opens the season on Saturday night against Miami, and Tebow was spotted at practice this week and plans to speak to the team before that game.

Tebow and Mullen have a long history together, as Mullen was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida during the Tebow glory days. Both were with the program when Urban Meyer led the team to national championships in 2006 and 2008.

Tebow may have given up on football in pursuit of a career in professional baseball, but we know he is still inspiring guys on the gridiron. Mullen is hoping he can do the same for the Gators.

Felix Hernandez could return to Mariners rotation by weekend

Felix Hernandez

Seattle Mariners fans haven’t had a lot to cheer about this season, but seeing King Felix back on the hill could be of some solace.

Daniel Kramer of MLB.com shared video on Monday of former Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez warming up for a 70-pitch rehab assignment with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. Kramer added that if everything goes well, Hernandez could be back in the Mariners rotation by as early as the weekend.

The 33-year-old Hernandez has not pitched for Seattle since May due to lat and shoulder issues. He was 1-4 with 6.52 ERA in eight starts this season.

Hernandez has been a below-average pitcher for several years now but is still a beloved figure to the Mariner faithful. Seeing him back on the mound this season would be nice, especially given the negativity the year started with.

Chris Sale had injection in elbow, will be reevaluated in six weeks

Chris Sale

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale got some good news about his ailing elbow when he visited with Dr. James Andrews on Monday, but it sounds like the left-hander is unlikely to pitch again in 2019.

The Red Sox released a statement updating Sale’s health, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski revealed that the former Cy Young Award winner received a plasma injection in his elbow. He will be reevaluated in six weeks.

The best news is that it does not sound like Sale will need Tommy John surgery, which is always a concern when a pitcher has inflammation of the elbow. However, the regular season ends in six weeks, and the Red Sox would have to overcome long odds to reach the playoffs. Sale has likely thrown his last pitch this season.

Sale dealt with some fatigue in his throwing shoulder down the stretch last season, and that led to concerns about his velocity during the postseason. He was able to do enough to help Boston win the World Series, and they were confident enough in his health that they signed him to a massive extension over the winter.

Report: Chris Sale will not need Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale got the best possible diagnosis on Monday when his sore left elbow was checked out.

Sale saw Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the club’s original diagnosis of inflammation. That means Sale will not need Tommy John surgery.

It’s always frightening when a pitcher is sent to see Dr. Andrews while nursing elbow issues, but the Red Sox have received the best possible news here. He has been placed on the IL and, while there is no return date at this point, it should be a manageable absence that can be dealt with by rest.

Michael Kay ‘scared’ as voice remains shaky after play-by-play return

Michael Kay

New York Yankees TV announcer Michael Kay returned to the booth for the team’s weekend series against Cleveland, but the way his voice responded has left him “scared.”

Kay told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post in a text interview that his recovery from vocal cord surgery left him full of anxiety, and that feeling has only grown after having a rough time with his voice in his return.

“Awful,” Kay said of his recovery. “Filled with anxiety and fear. Not being able to speak for all that time. You’re trapped in your own mind and you’re thinking the worst. It’s been very scary, and at no point do I think I’m all good now. It took a long time to get back, and I didn’t rush because I want it to be right and I want it to last.”

Kay added that his voice “didn’t have much” on Sunday, which he chalked up to a cold.

The longtime Yankee TV announcer was originally slated to miss four weeks when he underwent surgery, but he missed closer to six. Vocal cord surgery is no joke, especially for someone who does a lot of talking for a living, so hopefully Kay’s shaky return is simply a bump in the road for him.

Watch: Zack Greinke had great reaction to Carlos Correa’s cannon throw

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is only in his third week as a member of the Houston Astros, so some things about the team are still surprising him.

The six-time All-Star started on Sunday against the Oakland Athletics and covered first base in the seventh inning to record the putout on a 3-6-1 double play. The return throw from shortstop Carlos Correa came in hot, appearing to catch Greinke off-guard and leading to this great reaction from him.

Greinke would go on to earn the win, as the Astros came out on top by the final of 4-1. Correa helped his cause too with two walks and a run scored.

The 24-year-old Correa was a pitcher for a time in his youth, so that may help explain the rocket arm. As for Greinke, he called his Astros debut “boring” a couple weeks ago, but Correa ensured that wasn’t the case again on Sunday.

Cody Bellinger congratulates Pete Alonso on breaking his record

Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger had nothing but love for Pete Alonso after seeing his record fall on Sunday.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored and two RBIs in the New York Mets’ 11-5 win over the Kansas City Royals. He slugged a solo home run in the ninth inning off Jacob Barnes to give him 40 on the season. The 40 home runs is a National League rookie record, surpassing Bellinger’s mark of 39 set in 2017.

The Dodgers star congratulated Alonso over Twitter, who was grateful for the recognition and sent some back.

Even though his record fell, Bellinger probably isn’t the least bit concerned. He smacked a 3-run home run on Sunday, giving him 42 homers and 97 RBIs on the season. He is the frontrunner to win National League MVP this season.