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Sunday, August 20, 2017


Jeffrey Loria says ‘no sadness’ about selling Marlins

Jeffrey Loria Marlins

Jeffrey Loria is in the process of selling the Miami Marlins, the team he has owned for the last 15 years.

As Loria prepares to turn his team over to a group led by Derek Jeter, he says he has no sadness over losing his team.

Though Loria did not give reasons for why he is selling the team, other explanations have been provided in the past. The Miami Herald previously reported that sadness over the death of Jose Fernandez; disappointment over the team’s losing; and criticism from the fans all contributed to Loria deciding it was time to move on.

After winning the World Series in Loria’s second year of ownership (their second title in franchise history, to boot), the Marlins failed to qualify for the postseason. Their postseason drought stretches back to 2003, and the team has not had a winning season since 2009. The Marlins have long been viewed as a second-rate franchise. Hopefully new ownership will change that.

Aroldis Chapman removed as Yankees closer

Aroldis Chapman Yankees

Aroldis Chapman has been removed as the New York Yankees’ closer.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Saturday that Chapman is out as closer but will be used in other roles to see if that helps the southpaw improve.

The move appeared imminent. After Chapman fared poorly against the Red Sox on Friday night, Girardi refused to commit to the reliever as the team’s closer. Now he has made it official that Chapman is out.

Chapman has allowed runs in each of his last four appearances. Friday’s outing was his first since hurting his hamstring on Tuesday. Perhaps he needs more of a break before being thrown into such high-stress situations again.

Noah Syndergaard posts Twitter tribute to all his traded teammates

Noah Syndergaard is pouring one out on social media for his fallen comrades.

The New York Mets right-hander took to Twitter on Friday to post a tribute to his now-former teammates Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce, and Neil Walker, all of whom were traded away in the last few weeks. Syndergaard also threw in some Napoleon Dynamite GIF action for good measure.

Rest assured, Thor didn’t forget about Addison Reed either.

Syndergaard, who remains sidelined with a lat injury, doesn’t usually do well with goodbyes. The Mets’ 53-67 record on the year won’t offer him much solace either, as it has truly been a tough season for the 24-year-old fireballer.

MLB umpires wearing white wristbands to protest ‘escalating attacks’

Major League umpires are making a statement against the commissioner’s office by wearing white wristbands during games.

According to a statement issued by the World Umpires Association, the issue stems from the league’s response to recent criticism from Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler. Kinsler criticized umpire Angel Hernandez harshly but was only fined for his public comments, which rubbed Hernandez’s fellow umpires the wrong way.

The response is to wear white wristbands in response to “escalating attacks” on umpires until the commissioner addresses their concerns.

Here’s a look at Joe West wearing a wristband:

And a statement from the WUA:

Many would argue that umpires get off fairly easily. They have free reign to discipline players as they see fit during games, and if they are held accountable for bad calls or overreactions, it is not done so publicly, giving the public illusion that they are, essentially, untouchable. It is fair for the umpires to argue that Kinsler’s punishment was lenient, particularly in light of the fact that one umpire actually was suspended for being publicly critical of a player. That said, the overall complaint — that umpires are unfairly and overly criticized — seems a bit oversensitive, as there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of evidence that umps are facing any more heat than they always have. The criticisms of Hernandez, in particular, are not new — and are often warranted.

Cardinals, feral cat non-profit at odds over future of Rally Cat

What the St. Louis Cardinals must have expected would be a rather simple, straightforward process of adopting their very own Rally Cat has turned into anything but.

The officially-named Rally Cat is currently in the care of the St. Louis-based non-profit St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach, but in a statement earlier in the week, the Cardinals assured fans that they would soon have custody of the cat, which ran onto the field one pitch before Yadier Molina hit a go-ahead grand slam in an Aug. 9 game against the Kansas City Royals.

“The St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach organization has assured us they will be returning our cat to us after a mandatory 10-day quarantine period,” said Ron Watermon, the team’s vice president of communications, via Denise Hollinshead of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

There’s just one problem: according to STLFCO in a statement released Thursday, Rally does not yet belong to the Cardinals.

“It was a disappointment to STLFCO and many of our friends and fans to read the Cardinal’s PR Head Ron Watermon’s comments to the media concerning Rally,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “It was a totally false statement that STLFCO has committed anything to the Cardinals. We have made no decisions about Rally‚Äôs long-term placement. It seems inconsistent with ‘The Cardinals Way’ to make such false statements.

“Due to our many commitments and complex schedules, we told the Cardinals we’d be delighted to meet later this month, the first time the entire group can meet with them to discuss the situation. Perhaps we can find a way to reach out to the Senior Leadership of the Cardinals (the Dewitts, Mike Whittle, etc) and meet with them, as Mr. Watermon’s perceived bullying tactics shocked us.”

The story of Rally Cat has included many twists and turns, including a disappearance almost immediately after the first dramatic appearance. The guess is that the Cardinals will work something out with STLFCO, though they seem to have made it a little more difficult on themselves.

H/T CBS Sports

Joe Girardi declines to commit to Aroldis Chapman as Yankee closer

Aroldis Chapman Yankees

Struggling New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman did not get much of a vote of confidence after another horrendous outing Friday night against the Boston Red Sox.

Chapman was asked to pitch the eighth inning Friday with the Yankees down a run to the Red Sox, but the flamethrowing closer once again struggled, allowing two runs in his inning of work and failing to keep the deficit in place. It was the fourth consecutive outing in which he has allowed a run, having now given up seven in his last 4.1 innings of work. Moreover, he failed to back up home plate after giving up a hit in the outing, which got him an immediate admonishment from manager Joe Girardi.

After the game, Girardi did not exactly back Chapman to remain in the closer’s role.

It’s worth noting that Girardi had a very different message prior to this outing.

Chapman has dealt with a hamstring issue, which may be a factor in determining the way forward. Still, the Yankee closer hasn’t really been his dominant self all season and has been a huge disappointment, and with the team in a tight playoff race and other options with closing experience such as Dellin Betances and David Robertson available if necessary, the question has to be asked whether Chapman is still the right man for the job for the immediate future.

Max Scherzer scratched from start with neck issue

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer continues to be plagued by neck issues.

The Washington Nationals ace was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday against the San Diego Padres after experiencing a neck problem. Matt Grace got the nod in Scherzer’s place.

Nats manager Dusty Baker could tell something was amiss when Scherzer was at Petco Park early.

Scherzer left his start on Aug. 1 after one inning of work. He had hit his first career home run in that game and then was unable to continue pitching because of his neck. He still made his next two starts, pitching nearly identical lines of five hits and two runs allowed over seven innings. But the neck issue resurfaced Friday.

MASN’s Dan Kolko says Scherzer will undergo testing to see if anything can be found concerning his neck. The Nats would obviously want to have some answers before the playoffs roll around.

Scherzer is 12-5 with a 2.25 ERA this season.

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