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2018 MLB Spring Training Look At All Teams-Trades-Rumours-Injuries ETC. !

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  • 2018 MLB Spring Training Look At All Teams-Trades-Rumours-Injuries ETC. !

    Friday’s 6-pack

    More over/under betting propositions for home runs this season:

    30.5— Kyle Schwarber

    28.5— Charlie Blackmon

    25.5— Francisco Lindor

    25.5— Kyle Seager

    24.5— Corey Seager

    22.5— Greg Bird

    Quote of the Day
    “I think it would be in their best interests to know how our industry financially operates before they start working with legislators across the country on sports gaming bills. I’m not aware of any league inquiries at this time. I would like to see that change in the near future on both levels. I hope we can discuss and meet with the leagues and legislators who are considering or processing sports betting bills. I believe it would be a tremendous benefit for all of them to understand the sports gaming industry and how it operates.”
    Jay Kornegay, VP of Westgate Race and Sports Book

    Friday’s quiz
    NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans have traded their first round draft pick four of the last five years; the one player they did draft. they later traded to Sacramento— who is he?

    Thursday’s quiz
    Benjamin Franklin’s picture is on the $100 bill.

    Wednesday’s quiz
    Mike Krzyzewski played his college basketball at West Point.


    Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……

    13) We’ve entered the age of “guilty until proven innocent.”

    I’m talking now about Sean Miller and the situation at Arizona, where ESPN claimed that Miller was caught on an FBI wiretap talking about an illegal payoff for star player DeAndre Ayton.

    Problem is, there is no recording of this conversation, no transcript of it, and there isn’t 100% agreement on when this conversation supposedly took place, or whether the player being talked about on the tape in question was even Ayton.

    So Miller remains the coach at Arizona, but if he is indeed innocent, where does he go to get his reputation back, since there will always be people that believe he broke the rules?

    12) Arizona xx, Stanford xx— Allonzo Trier was cleared to play by the NCAA, so all-around, it was a solid day to be a Wildcat in Tucson.

    11) Bartolo Colon pitched for the Rangers Thursday; Luis Urias was the Padres’ 2B in the same game. Colon made his major league debut April 3, 1997, two months before Urias was born.

    10) Other than who the Rams take, the one thing I’ll be looking for when the NFL Draft rolls around is where Louisville QB Lamar Jackson winds up. My personal opinion is that there is a place for him in the NFL, but I’m just a guy typing on his laptop.

    One NFL personnel guy has to risk his career on Jackson being an NFL QB.

    9) When the Cleveland Browns interviewed Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough at the NFL Combine, one of the questions they asked him was if he thought God is an Auburn fan.

    What does that have to do with anything?

    8) Minnesota Vikings went 13-3 this past season, their best record in 19 years, but it is likely that none of their three QB’s from last year will be on their 2018 roster.

    Case Keenum had a great season, but it looks like Minnesota will let him test the free agent market; Sam Bradford’s knee is so bad that they’d be stupid to sign him- Mike Zimmer called it “degenerative”, and Teddy Bridgewater had a non-contact injury in 2016 that he still may not be fully recovered from. All three of those quarterbacks are free agents, and all three will likely be elsewhere in a few months.

    7) Bruins led Pittsburgh after the first period Thursday night; it was most goals scored in first period of an NHL game since Arizona led Nashville 6-3 after first period on March 28, 2013.

    6) RB’s Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb did 29 bench press reps at the NFL Combine.

    Barkley and Chubb had more reps than all but five of the 36 offensive linemen to bench press at the Combine this year.

    5) No quarterback who played at USC has ever started a Super Bowl.

    QB’s from Fresno State, Arizona, Morehead State, Northern Iowa, Navy, Southern Miss and Grambling have all won Super Bowls.

    4) This from
    “Nevada has seen explosive popularity in sports betting over the past decade. The annual handle rose from $2.8 billion in 2010 to $4.9 billion in 2017……”

    3) If you care about such things, Lee Westwood has the most career earnings at The Masters without ever having won the tournament. Justin Rose is 2nd, Ernie Els is 3rd on that list.

    2) University of Nevada has only seven healthy scholarship basketball players right now; they’ve added three walk-ons in the last month, including two WR’s from the football team. Adding the walk-ons allows them to practice 5-on-5 at least.

    1— Our thoughts/prayers go out to Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, who once again is battling cancer. He’s a tough guy; we wish him well in this latest battle.

  • #2
    March MLB Record: ( All Selections Are For Opinions Only )


    03/01/2018 9-8-2 52.94% -1.45


    • #3

      PHI at TB 01:05 PM
      PHI +115

      ATL at NYY 01:05 PM
      NYY -175
      U 8.5

      BOS at STL 01:05 PM
      STL -125
      O 8.5

      TOR at MIN 01:05 PM
      TOR +120

      PIT at BAL 01:05 PM
      PIT +100

      MIA at DET 01:05 PM
      DET -132

      LAD at CHW 03:05 PM
      LAD -135
      O 9.5

      SEA at MIL 03:05 PM
      SEA +110

      TEX at CLE 03:05 PM
      CLE -161

      CIN at SF 03:05 PM
      CIN +120

      CHC at LAA 03:10 PM
      CHC +100
      O 9.5

      KC at SD 03:10 PM
      SD -132
      O 9.5

      ARI at COL 03:10 PM
      ARI +110


      • #4
        Hosmer faces Royals for first time since joining Padres
        March 2, 2018

        PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) It was more than a spring training game for Eric Hosmer.

        The four-time Gold Glove Award winner faced the Kansas City Royals for the first time since signing with the San Diego Padres last month, getting a double and an RBI against the team that drafted him in 2008.

        Hosmer was 1 for 4 in San Diego's 13-5 victory Friday. Hosmer signed a $144 million, eight-year contract with the Padres on Feb. 19 and is in camp with a new team following seven major league seasons with the Royals.

        The 28-year-old first baseman had time to catch up with some old teammates, as well as Royals executive and Hall of Famer George Brett. He also stopped to take a selfie with Royals fans.

        ''It was weird,'' Hosmer said. ''I'm not used to seeing that Royal blue on the other side. It's spring training, but it is a different feeling. It really is. If I were to tell you there were no weird feelings in me before the game, I'd be lying.''

        Hosmer faced off against close friend Danny Duffy, who started for Kansas City. Hosmer popped up in his only at-bat against Duffy.

        ''We were laughing and joking before and the whole at-bat and after,'' Hosmer said. ''It went well. It's crazy. The last time I faced Duffy was in rookie ball or maybe instructional league. It's been about 10 years since I've got to get in the box off him.''

        Duffy remembered Hosmer homered off him in that intrasquad game when they were teenagers.

        ''I never wanted to face him,'' Duffy said. ''I never thought I'd ever have to. That's a perfect world. He's on a route that's best for him. It was just a weird experience. I love the dude.''

        Alex Gordon walked to lead off the game, then chatted with Hosmer at first base. Gordon, Duffy, Perez, Escobar and Hosmer were core members of the Royals' teams that advanced to the World Series in back-to-back years and won it all in 2015.

        Hosmer said changing teams ''doesn't change what we've all been through.''

        ''I've got nothing but love for these guys,'' Hosmer said. ''I'll continue to root for these guys. A lot of us were 18-year-olds when we first got to the organization. We went from 18-year-old kids to grown men and we all kind of went through the maturation. We're family.''

        Royals manager Ned Yost was anything but sentimental about seeing Hosmer, who hit .318 with 25 home runs last season, in a different uniform.

        ''Move on man, it's done,'' Yost said. ''It's gone. It's over. He's with that team. We've got our team and be done.''


        • #5
          Dodgers' Kershaw breezes through routine spring start
          March 2, 2018

          Clayton Kershaw's second spring training outing went according to plan, save for one poor throw to first.

          The ace left-hander breezed through two scoreless innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, allowing one hit and walking one during a 7-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Glendale, Arizona. He worked a perfect inning in his spring training debut against Seattle on Sunday.

          ''Another step. Another inning,'' Kershaw said. ''Definitely things I can do better, but for the most part I'll take it. It was all right. I made some good pitches when I needed to. I made some bad ones, too. Enough to work on for the next one.''

          Leury Garcia dropped a single into left in the first for Chicago's only hit off Kershaw. Garcia raced all the way to third when Kershaw made a wild throw on a pickoff attempt, but Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia grounded out to end the inning.

          ''I just tried to be a little too quick,'' Kershaw said, looking back on his fielding miscue. ''I think I might have, it would have been close, but I didn't make a good throw.''

          After Kershaw departed, there was a scary moment in the third when plate umpire Tony Randazzo went down after he was hit by a pitch from Dodgers reliever Brock Stewart in his collarbone area. Randazzo was carted off, but the White Sox said he ''passed all orthopedic and medical evaluations.''

          Tom Koehler, who replaced Kershaw, got just one out before he was pulled with a right shoulder injury. The Dodgers said he was going to get an MRI.


          YANKEES 5, BRAVES 4

          Russell Wilson struck out in his first spring training at-bat with the New York Yankees. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback pinch hit for AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge in the fifth inning against Atlanta on Friday and swung past a 2-2 pitch from left-hander Max Fried.

          Braves' top prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer off Masahiro Tanaka, who retired just four batters and allowed four runs, four hits and a walk in his first spring training appearances. Giancarlo Stanton had two hits, including a double, and prospect Miguel Andujar had a two-run double. Braves closer Sam Freeman retired all three batters he faced in his first appearance. New York improved to 7-1 when Tyler Austin hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

          TIGERS 8, MARLINS 3

          Detroit left-hander Travis Wood has a torn left ACL and medial meniscus in left knee, and the team is evaluating surgical options. Wood twisted the knee during a game Thursday. Miguel Cabrera had two hits Friday, including a two-run double. Matthew Boyd, trying to earn a rotation job, gave up three runs four hits in three innings with five strikeouts.

          NATIONALS 2, METS (SS) 1

          Max Scherzer pitched three perfect innings and struck out five. Ryan Zimmerman doubled in two at-bats in his first appearance of spring training. Tim Tebow and Adrian Gonzalez had back-to-back singles in the fourth inning for a New York split squad. It was Tebow's first hit in seven at-bats. The Mets' only other hit was Gavin Cecchini's leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth.

          METS (SS) 7, ASTROS 7, 9 INNINGS

          World Series MVP George Springer hit a long two-run homer and new Houston starter Gerrit Cole allowed one run over three innings. Travis d'Arnaud went 2 for 2 with a walk for the Mets, and Brandon Nimmo had an RBI triple.

          PHILLIES 9, RAYS 2

          Philadelphia's top prospect Scott Kingery hit his third spring home run. Phillies ace Aaron Nola allowed two runs and three hits in three innings. Blake Snell allowed one run and one hits in two innings.

          ORIOLES 10, PIRATES 8

          Tim Beckham had two hits, including his first home run, and drove in three runs, and Colby Rasmus homered for the Orioles. Adam Frazier, hitless in his first eight at-bats, had three hits, including a triple and double, and three RBIs. Orioles' No. 2 starter Dylan Bundy gave up five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

          TWINS 2, BLUE JAYS 1

          Joe Mauer had a hit an and RBI, and Eddie Rosario led off the second inning with his first home run. Twins starter Jake Odorizzi struck out three in 2 2/3 hitless innings. Cavan Biggio, the son of Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, tripled in his only at-bat for Toronto.

          RED SOX 9, CARDINALS 6

          Boston's Drew Pomeranz left after one inning due to left forearm tightness. Bud Norris of the Cardinals came out after 2 1/3 innings due to a left hamstring spasm.

          Drew Pomeranz made his first start for Boston, but he had to leave for precautionary reasons on a 2-2 count to the first batter of the second inning with left forearm tightness. Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski made a visit to camp. Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-2 with his first home run and a double for the Red Sox, while prospect Sam Travis homered twice and drove in four runs. Tommy Pham had two hits, including a triple, for St. Louis.

          MARINERS 4, BREWERS 2

          Dan Vogelbach, hoping to make the roster while Ryon Healy recovers from hand surgery, has two hits for Seattle, including a three-run homer. Mike Zunino singled for his first hit in 11 at-bats. Junior Guerra, chasing a spot in Milwaukee's starting rotation, allowed four hits in three shutout innings. Seattle's Marco Gonzales gave up three hits in three shutouts innings..

          REDS 3, GIANTS 2

          Madison Bumgarner pitched three perfect innings in his second start and struck out four. Cincinnati's Homer Bailey gave up two runs and two hits in three innings, and Reds closer Raisel Iglesias struck out one in a hitless fourth inning. Prospects Steven Duggar and Kyle Jensen had solo homers for the Giants.

          INDIANS 9, RANGERS 4

          Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer and Jose Ramirez singled twice and drove in two runs for Cleveland. Trevor Bauer pitched three innings and gave up a run and three hits while striking out four. Cleveland closer Cody Allen pitched a perfect fifth in his first appearance. Joey Gallo homered for Texas. Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor went 0 for 3 and is batting .083.


          Chris Iannetta homered twice and drove in five runs for Colorado. No. 2 starter Chad Bettis allowed four runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings. Jake Lamb hit a grand slam for Arizona and Paul Goldschmidt singled and drew two walks in three trips.

          CUBS 6, ANGELS 4

          Jose Quintana made his first start for Chicago and allowed one run and three hits in one inning. Los Angeles starter Garrett Richards gave up two hits in three shutout innings. Jason Heyward led off for the first time this spring training and doubled for his first hit. Ian Kinsler, Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols combined to go 0 for 10 at the top of the Angels' batting order.

          PADRES 13, ROYALS 5

          Austin Hedges had two hits, including his fourth home run for San Diego, while Wil Myers singled twice and drove in a run. Jorge Bonifacio hit a three-run homer and Whit Merrifield had two hits for Kansas City, which lost its first big league exhibition. Royals ace Danny Duffy retired his first five batters, then issued consecutive walks. Christian Villanueva followed with the only hit off Duffy, a two-run double.


          • #6
            Red Sox limit Sale's spring workload
            March 2, 2018

            FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Boston ace Chris Sale is scheduled to start an intrasquad game on Sunday and could have five spring training outings before the Red Sox opener.

            The extra spring training rest is by design. Sale was 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA last year and led the major leagues with 214 1/3 innings and 308 strikeouts.

            He tailed off at the end of the season, going 7-4 with a 4.09 ERA. That's been his pattern: He is 59-22 with a 2.74 ERA in 133 first-half starts during eight big league seasons and 32-36 with a 3.28 ERA in 127 second-half starts.

            ''We've kind of gotten together a couple of times and talked about different things and different schedules to kind of build up through spring training,'' Sale said.

            New manager Alex Cora, pitching coach Dana LeVangie and the training staff have conferred on the plan.

            ''We're all involved in the training room, in the weight room,'' Sale said. ''We've all got together and talked about coming up with a formula for longevity and building up. I think last year, I came into spring training kind of too amped up, too ready to go and I think we're kind of looking for more of a gradual buildup.''

            Sale, who turns 29 on March 30, hopes this new approach will keep him strong throughout the season.

            ''I can't say for certain because I haven't really done it,'' he said. ''But that's the plan, that's our end goal seeing things as a whole instead of so kind of in front of you. We're working on something to create longevity and maintain strength throughout the whole year.''

            Sale hopes limited work in spring training will translate into longer outings later in the season.

            ''I think that's part of it,'' Sale said. ''Kind of like a plane takes off, kind of that gradual buildup instead of just a heavy workload up front, and just maintaining that. I'm confident, obviously, in the people I have in my corner and I'm confident in myself to be able to stay on track. It's kind of weird doing something different, that I've never done, but like I said, I have faith and trust in everyone here and in myself to see this process through and make sure that we're on the positive side of things.''


            • #7
              Yovani Gallardo wants to stay ahead of curve with Brewers
              March 2, 2018

              PHOENIX (AP) Yovani Gallardo's curveball helped him get to the major leagues, a pitch so effective it helped the right-hander become Milwaukee's career strikeouts leader.

              Back with the Brewers again after signing a minor league contract, Gallardo is returning to the curveball in an effort to regain his form after two disappointing seasons.

              Gallardo was selected by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft, and he reached the big leagues three years later. The curveball was Gallardo's top secondary pitch through his first four big league seasons.

              But he started throwing his slider more frequently in 2011 and by 2015, when he was dealt from Milwaukee to Texas, Gallardo spun curves only about 11 percent of the time.

              ''My cutter had been such a good pitch for such a long period of time that it got me away from what I did to get here in the first place,'' Gallardo said. ''That's what we're trying to do here in spring.''

              Gallardo is encouraged so far by the results. In two exhibition appearances, he has allowed four runs, though only one earned, two hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. The lone earned run on a homer by San Francisco's Jarrett Parker.

              ''I've been able to make some good pitches from behind in the count and get outs,'' Gallardo said. ''I just wasn't able to do that (the last two years). For whatever reason, I was maybe trying to be too fine.''

              Pitching coach Derek Johnson has stressed to all his hurlers the value of occasionally working higher in the zone. For Gallardo, going high with the fastball could be a complement to his curve.

              ''The last outing against the Giants, I elevated and got soft contact and some ground balls,'' Gallardo said. ''Then, I could drop the curveball at the right time for a swing-and-a-miss.''

              Less than a month remains before the regular season opens March 29 in San Diego. Gallardo is not sure of his chance to make the big league roster.

              ''I'm going to keep going out there and trying to throw the ball the way I'm throwing it right now. Everything else is out of my control,'' he said.

              Left-hander Wade Miley also could be in the mix for one of the two spots open. Like Gallardo, Miley is trying to rebound from a rough season of his own. In camp on a minor league contract, Miley has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

              Miley struck out five Thursday in a 2 1/3-inning start against the Diamondbacks. He allowed a major league-high 93 walks last year.

              ''He just feels crisp right now,'' manager Craig Counsell said. ''He pitches with some good pace. Velocity's very good for early in the spring.''


              • #8
                White Sox prospect Jimenez hampered by left knee tendinitis
                March 2, 2018

                GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Chicago White Sox are going to hold out top prospect Eloy Jimenez for a couple days to help the outfielder recover from patella tendinitis in his left knee.

                Jimenez is taking medication, and manager Rick Renteria says they want to give it time to work before putting together a plan to get the slugger back on the field.

                The 21-year-old Jimenez is regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball. He isn't expected to begin the season in Chicago, but could make his major league debut this summer.

                Chicago also scratched shortstop Tim Anderson for Friday's spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Renteria said it was a personal matter.


                Scott Kazmir making progress in comeback from hip injury
                March 2, 2018

                TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Scott Kazmir is making progress in his comeback from a hip injury and bid to win a spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation.

                The 34-year old left-hander pitched two scoreless innings and worked out of jams during both frames Friday in the Braves' 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees.

                ''I wouldn't say I'm there yet, but I feel like I'm getting better and better, and that's the progression I would like to have,'' Kazmir said.

                Kazmir is 108-96 with a 4.01 ERA over 12 seasons. He didn't pitch last year.

                Aaron Judge walked with one out in the first, took third on Giancarlo Stanton's double and was stranded when Gary Sanchez flied out and Greg Bird struck out.

                ''Fell behind a lot of guys but was able to make some pitches to get some outs,'' Kazmir said.

                Tyler Wade hit an inning-ending grounder in the second, leaving a runner at third.


                Angels' Cozart adjusting to new team
                March 2, 2018

                TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Zack Cozart was set to move from shortstop to second base after leaving Cincinnati for a $38 million, three-year contract with the Angels. Then general manager Billy Eppler asked whether he would be willing to shift to third, which would allow Los Angeles to acquire Ian Kinsler from Detroit.

                ''I was about to fly out for my physical, and Billy called and he just said `Hey, I hate to do this to you, but I have a chance to swing this trade for Kinsler that's going to make our team much better,''' Cozart recalled. ''He told me `If you're not comfortable with it than I won't make the trade, simple as that.'''

                Cozart admitted being a little shocked.

                ''The whole point of me coming to the Angels and to switch positions anyways was because I felt like the Angels were doing everything they can to win,'' Cozart said. ''So it was easy to say `of course I'll do it.'''

                After postseason appearances early in his career, the Reds finished no better than fourth place in the NL Central from 2014 through last season.

                ''There's no hard feelings that they didn't see me as part of the rebuild,'' Cozart said. ''The last couple of years with the Reds were tough with wins and losses. There's no way around that. But I'm happy where I'm at right now and I'm looking forward to helping the Angels win.''

                Cozart was a first-time All-Star last year and set career highs last year in batting average (.297) and home runs (24), and he tied his best with 63 RBIs. He thought back to a knee injury that limited him to 53 games in 2015.

                ''To be rewarded last year at the break was cool,'' Cozart said. ''That's a little bit of an individual bonus. I don't like to harp on those too much, but it was a cool experience.''

                Kinsler said the move from shortstop to third should be easier that a switch to second. He is getting used to his new infield teammates, which include shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

                ''We all have a pretty significant amount of experience in the major leagues, so everything's gone smooth,'' Kinsler said.

                Cozart played third base and batted fifth for the Angels against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, Cozart's second spring training game. He got his first hit and scored twice in the Angels' 6-4 loss.

                ''It was a little weird at first, just because the angles are so much different. My whole life I played shortstop, so literally, just sliding over you would think would be easy,'' Cozart said. ''Just figuring out the positioning part of it, the way the ball comes off the bat differently, it's going to take a little bit of time.''

                Note: Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani pitched in a minor league game at Milwaukee's facility in Phoenix. He struck out eight and allowed two earned runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.


                • #9
                  Clark: Some free agents may not get deals until season
                  March 2, 2018

                  TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Baseball union head Tony Clark says it is possible some free agents may not agree to contracts until after the start of the regular season.

                  More than four dozen players remain without deals from among the 166 who exercised free agent rights last November, and the total seeking jobs is much greater when released players, non-tender free agents and minor league free agents are included.

                  ''We know in the past there have been players that have signed deals later, so we'll have to see how the rest of the offseason works out,'' Clark said Friday after meeting with the New York Yankees during his tour of spring training camps.

                  Top free agents include pitchers Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Greg Holland, and third baseman Mike Moustakas.

                  ''What we are seeing is proving very challenging for that group of players and a number of others,'' Clark said. ''You can't help but acknowledge the quality of those free agents that are still out there that could undoubtedly help teams compete. That is a concern.''

                  Baseball's labor contract agreed to last year included steeper penalties for teams exceeding the luxury tax threshold by more than $40 million, which coincided with more teams deciding to rebuild their rosters with youth.

                  The union filed a grievance last week against Miami, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, accusing the teams of failing to appropriately spend revenue-sharing money.

                  ''It appears that we have upwards of a third of the league not interested in trying to be team the last team standing,'' Clark said.

                  ''Our system is set up where a team like the Yankees are contributing to revenue sharing in an effort to have those teams who aren't in New York, give them the chance to put the most competitive team on the field as possible,'' Clark added. ''I'll simply suggest that teams that are making that kind of contribution I would think would be looking for those teams to put the most competitive group on the field as possible.''

                  Players expressed concerns about the slow pace of free agency.

                  ''There is an understanding and appreciation for what the rest of their fraternity is going through and whether to what extent it may affect them now or may affect them later,'' Clark said.


                  • #10
                    Reds claim Labourt off waivers from Tigers
                    March 2, 2018

                    GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) The Cincinnati Reds claimed left-hander Jairo Labourt off waivers from the Detroit Tigers on Friday and optioned him to their minor league camp.

                    Detroit had designated the 23-year-old reliever for assignment. He appeared in six games for the Tigers last season and had a 4.50 ERA, walking seven in six innings.

                    Right-handed starter Rookie Davis was placed on the 60-day disabled list Friday as he recovers from hip surgery. The Reds also assigned right-handers Barrett Astin, Ben Rowen and Domingo Tapia to their minor league camp.


                    Schoeman dominates season-opening world series triathlon
                    March 2, 2018

                    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) South African triathlete Henri Schoeman became only the second man in world series history to win a race after leading out of the swim, bike and run on Friday.

                    In the women's race, Rachel Klamer became the first Dutch triathlete - female or male - to top a world series podium.

                    Schoeman's six-second victory in the season-opening Abu Dhabi race was only his second in the world series, after the Cozumel Grand Final in 2016.

                    He made his move on the third lap of the bike, riding the last 10 kilometers solo and taking a 13-second lead into the run.

                    Unseasonal rain made the bike ride on part of the Formula One track slick, and several racers crashed, including Jonathan Brownlee, who resumed cautiously and finished seventh.

                    ''I was telling myself that if they catch me on the run, well, whatever, because I had fun on the bike and I was safe,'' Schoeman said.

                    Second was Mario Mola of Spain, the Abu Dhabi winner in 2015 and 2016. Vincent Luis of France was third in a repeat of 2017.

                    Bike crashes forced the withdrawals of women's world champion Flora Duffy, fellow American Katie Zaferes, and Joanna Brown of Canada.

                    The Americans were among the leading pack of 11 on the bike, which dropped to four on the run. Klamer broke away on the last lap and won by 14 seconds.

                    ''There was no way I was expecting this,'' Klamer said. ''I was quite scared on the bike because the last few months I have been training on only straight roads and didn't do any corners. There was a lot of women crashing so I just decided to take it easy, ride hard, but just go easy through the corners.''

                    Jessica Learmonth of Britain was second and Natalie Van Coevorden of Australia was given third in a photo finish with Kirsten Kasper of the U.S.

                    The second race in the series is in Bermuda on April 28-29.


                    Bell wants fast start after slow finish
                    March 2, 2018

                    BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) Overall, Josh Bell had a fine rookie season in 2017.

                    The Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting behind unanimous winner Cody Bellinger of the Los Angles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals' Paul DeJong.

                    Bell's 26 home runs established an NL rookie record for a switch-hitter. He also had a .255 batting average and a team-high 90 RBIs in 159 games.

                    However, the 25-year-old Bell is looking for more consistency after a slow start and cold finish last year. He arrived at spring training nearly a full month before the reporting day.

                    ''I felt it was important to shake the cobwebs off earlier this year,'' Bell said. ''Some guys can roll out of bed and be ready to play in a game. I'm not that way. I need more time to prepare and the more prepared I am the more confident I am that I'll perform well.''

                    Bell hit just .214 with two homers in his first 20 games last season after arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from his left knee two weeks before spring training opened. However, the Pirates gave no thought of sending him back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

                    ''Josh was still trying to literally get his legs under him,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''It was a little frustrating for him and we had to pump the air breaks a few times.''

                    Bell was hitting .262 with 23 home runs at the end of August. But he hit just .221 with three homers in his last 27 games.

                    The poor finish caused Bell to change his offseason itinerary.

                    He originally planned to drive the length of the Pacific Coast Highway to take in some breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Instead, he stayed home in Dallas and spent extra time in the weight room and batting cage.

                    ''You always want to finish the season strong and go into the offseason with a good feeling,'' Bell said. ''I was very disappointed with the way last season ended. I don't want that to happen again this year. I tried to take safeguards to avoid that from happening.''

                    The Pirates, though, were pleased with Bell's performance.

                    ''There were some ups and downs but you're going to have that with young players,'' Hurdle said. ''I like what Josh Bell did last season and I like what he can do us going forward. I like Josh Bell a lot.''

                    The Pirates also appreciated Bell's defense graded well in advanced metrics. He was shifted to first base from outfield in instructional league following the 2014 season.

                    ''I've put a lot of time into learning the position and it felt like everything started really coming together last year,'' Bell said.

                    The Pirates have had high hopes for Bell since selecting him with the first pick of the second round of the 2011 amateur draft.

                    ''Josh is one of the young, potential leaders of this group,'' Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said. ''He had a great rookie season, and instead of taking a deep breath and saying, `I've got this thing figure out,' he wants to go to the next level. He wants to be a good player for a very long time.''


                    • #11
                      Lind agrees to a minor deal with Yankees
                      March 2, 2018

                      TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Adam Lind agreed Friday to a minor league contract with the Yankees, giving New York another backup option to Greg Bird at first base.

                      The 34-year-old Lind had been at the training camp for free agents organized by the players' association in Bradenton. If added to New York's 40-man roster, he would get a one-year contract with a $2 million salary while in the major leagues.

                      ''The way the winter worked out, I'm just happy to have a job,'' Lind said.

                      He batted .303 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs in 116 games and 301 plate appearances for Washington last season, including four home runs in 48 plate appearances as a pinch hitter.

                      Lind has a .272 average with 200 homers and 723 RBIs in 12 big league seasons with Toronto (2006-14), Milwaukee (2015), Seattle (2016) and Washington (2017).

                      His deal allows him to opt out later in spring training.

                      Notes: Yankees backup OF Jacoby Ellsbury was a late scratch from Friday's lineup against Atlanta with right side tightness.


                      Tigers P Wood has torn knee ligament
                      March 2, 2018

                      LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Detroit left-hander Travis Wood has a torn left ACL and medial meniscus in left knee.

                      Wood twisted the knee while starting a rundown in the second inning of his spring training debut Thursday and fell to the ground clutching his knee.

                      Detroit said Friday its training staff is evaluating surgical options.

                      The 31-year-old, who pitched in three games of the 2016 World Series for the Chicago Cubs, agreed to a minor league contract with the Tigers. He was held out of the early exhibition games because of an injury to his right index finger, sustained during a hunting accident.

                      Wood was 4-7 with a 6.80 ERA last year in 14 starts and 25 relief appearances for San Diego and Kansas City.


                      Padres phenom Tatis Jr. born to play in the big leagues
                      March 2, 2018

                      PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) There's no question Fernando Tatis Jr.'s birthright is to play major league baseball.

                      Having just turned 19, the phenom is in his first big league camp with the San Diego Padres. He's one of baseball's top prospects, is the son of a former major leaguer and, until Eric Hosmer signed as a free agent, was probably the one player in the organization that fans of the downtrodden Padres were most eager to see.

                      If the shortstop plays as well as he did last year in making the jump from low Class A to Double-A, he could get his first call-up, perhaps in September.

                      Why is he so good, so young?

                      ''This kid was born in the big leagues,'' his father said from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, which often is referred to as ''The Cradle of Shortstops.''

                      Tatis Jr. was born on Jan. 2, 1999, just before his dad's third big league season. Fernando Tatis' 11-year big league career ended just eight years ago.

                      ''I was already there playing for the Cardinals,'' the elder Tatis said. ''As soon as he opened his eyes, everything he watched was big league baseball.''

                      Fittingly, Tatis Jr. is the face of the Padres' rebuild around young players. He was obtained as the team scrapped its failed win-now attempt with high-priced veterans, coming over from the White Sox in the deal that sent James Shields to Chicago in June 2016.

                      Tatis Jr. said he talks with his father by phone every day.

                      The senior Tatis will visit his son in spring training soon. Tatis Jr. hit an impressive opposite-field home run in his second Cactus League at-bat and has been making nice plays at shortstop.

                      ''He's happy for me, man,'' said Tatis Jr., the youngest player in any big league camp. ''He brought me into this game since I was a kid and now here we are, since a young age and doing stuff and playing the good baseball.''

                      Tatis recalls being a clubhouse kid.

                      ''I remember my dad was taking me to the field. It was fun. It was great. It was a thing that I love and that was the first love that I brought to this game.''

                      Padres general manager A.J. Preller was with the Texas Rangers when he first saw Tatis Jr. when he was 14 or 15. Tatis Jr. ended up signing with the White Sox. That Padres scouting department continued to follow Tatis Jr., so when the Padres moved Shields, the young player was a ''priority guy,'' the GM said.

                      ''When you see guys you like, that are interesting, obviously the son of a big leaguer and everything like that, those guys stick with you,'' Preller said.

                      The GM likes Tatis Jr.'s lineage.

                      ''In general, being familiar with being around the ballpark, being in the clubhouse, having an understanding what offseasons look like, and work ethics, all of those things come into play,'' Preller said. ''You're given another experience at an earlier age than guys obviously if your dad didn't play. We see it as an advantage from a bloodline standpoint. Not all the time, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in a lot of these situations.''

                      Tatis Jr. had a big 2017 season, when he started at Low-A Fort Wayne and tore up the Midwest League before being promoted to Double-A San Antonio in August. Spring training will give the Padres a better look at how close he is to coming up and, if expectations play out, stop the revolving door at shortstop.

                      The Padres have had a different starting shortstop each of the last four opening days. They traded for Freddy Galvis, who has one year left on his contract, to keep the spot warm for Tatis.

                      ''I think I'm ready,'' said Tatis who at 6-foot-3 is four inches taller than his father. ''Everything's a process, but what can I say. I've worked hard for it and am still going to keep going until I get a call.''

                      Preller said Tatis likely will start the season at Double-A. A promotion to the bigs will depend on a lot of factors, a big one being how he does against pitchers in the Texas League.

                      ''The good ones, they come quick,'' Preller said. ''We're going to try to challenge guys. We're not going to put them where they drown.''

                      Last Friday, in his second Cactus League at-bat, Tatis Jr. hit a monster opposite-field homer on a seemingly effortless two-strike swing.

                      He struck out three times in his next game and had two more 0-for-3 games, but then had two hits during a seven-run sixth inning Wednesday , as well as a nice defensive play.

                      Tatis and other young players ''are going to push as hard as they can to be here as fast as they can,'' manager Andy Green said. ''We want them to do that. It's our job to tap the brakes and take our time with them if we think they need more time and seasoning. They're clearly dynamic baseball players and we're excited to have them.''

                      Cal Quantrill, himself the son of a former big leaguer, played with Tatis Jr. last year.

                      ''He's the real deal,'' Quantrill said. ''He's obviously extremely young but he's gifted well, well beyond his years. We shall see.''

                      Tatis' biggest fan is his father.

                      ''I'm telling you, they're going to have a shortstop forever because he's only 19 years old. Oh my God. He might be there 20 years. Who knows?'' Fernando Tatis said with a laugh.


                      • #12
                        March MLB Record: ( Opinions Only )

                        DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

                        03/02/2018 13-5-0 72.22% +40.50
                        03/01/2018 9-8-2 52.94% -1.45


                        Saturday’s 6-pack

                        Odds to win college basketball national title:

                        5-1: Michigan State, Villanova, Duke

                        6-1: Virginia

                        10-1: Purdue, Kansas

                        15-1: North Carolina

                        20-1: Wichita State

                        22-1: Michigan

                        Quote of the Day
                        “I’m strictly a quarterback. Whoever likes me at quarterback, thats where I’m going.”
                        Lamar Jackson

                        Saturday’s quiz
                        Who was basketball coach at North Carolina before Roy Williams?

                        Friday’s quiz
                        NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans have traded their first round draft pick four of the last five years; the one player they did draft, they later traded to Sacramento— Buddy Hield.

                        Thursday’s quiz
                        Benjamin Franklin’s picture is on the $100 bill.


                        Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind……

                        13) Virginia 67, Louisville 66— Someone on Twitter Thursday night described this as the worst loss by any team, EVER!!!

                        — Louisville led by 4 with 0:05 left- they fouled a Virginia player shooting a 3 with 0:01 left.
                        — Virginia kid made two of three FT’s, Cardinals still lead by 2.
                        — Louisville has ball out-of-bounds with 0:00.9 left, up 2, but they can’t run baseline
                        — Louisville inbounder runs baseline- thats a turnover.
                        — Virginia banks in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game. Oy.

                        12) Arizona State 84, California 53— Shooters get scholarship offers, and this is why; Cal was 0-18 on the arc in this game. Zero. for. 18. They were 19-78 in previous four games, so that is 19.8% over their last five games.

                        Kids who are prolific shooters get scholarships, because there aren’t that many of them.

                        11) Michigan 77, Nebraska 58— I have no sympathy for bubble teams that lose their first conference tournament game. Cornhuskers are 22-10 but will likely miss the NCAA’s- their non-conference schedule was ranked #272. Nebraska had Thursday off while Michigan played an OT game, but the Wolverines won this game easily.

                        10) Penn State 69, Ohio State 68— Buckeyes are 0-3 vs Penn State this year, 15-1 against the rest of their league. According to the Bracketology people on Twitter, Penn State still needs one more win to get into the field of 68.

                        9) St Peter’s 66, Rider 55— #9-seed Peacocks upset top-seeded Rider in beautiful downtown Albany. Broncs had won 15 of their last 17 games coming in. Such is March.

                        Quinnipiac 72, Canisius 69– Top two seeds in MAAC tourney are gone; whoever wins the conference title Monday night can pack their bags to Dayton for the play-in game.

                        8) Murray State 70, Jacksonville State 63— Racers were up 20 points, blew the lead, but then they scored last eight points of the game to advance to the OVC finals.

                        7) Football/baseball crossovers Friday:
                        — Tim Tebow batted cleanup for the Mets Friday; he went 1-3 as their DH.
                        — Russell Wilson pinch-hit for Aaron Judge and struck out in his only AB for the Bronx Bombers.

                        6) Baseball trivia: Last season, 99 switch-hitters appeared in major league games.

                        5) Bradley 63, Drake 61— Drake didn’t score for last 3:28 of this quarter-final game in the Missouri Valley Conference— they led by 8 at the half.

                        4) Davidson 63, Rhode Island 61— Rams started season 21-3, then went 2-3 in their last five games. Now they need to make a run in A-14 tourney to avoid being a suspect in NCAA’s.

                        Trivia: Davidson has players from seven different countries.

                        3) Tex-Arlington 85, Texas State 82— Arlington led 78-70, blew the lead, then Kevin Hervey drained a long 3-pointer with 0:00.9 left to hand Texas State their ninth loss in a row.

                        2) Princeton 78, Brown 63— With one night left in the season, there are three teams tied for the 4th and final spot in next week’s Ivy League tournament.

                        1— Liberty 69, NC-Asheville 64— Big upset in Big South, as top-seeded Asheville is shown the door. Liberty plays #2-seed Radford in the Big South final.


                        • #13
                          SATURDAY, MARCH 3
                          GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

                          NYM at MIA 01:05 PM
                          MIA -111

                          TB at DET 01:05 PM
                          TB -105

                          WAS at HOU 01:05 PM
                          WAS +130
                          U 8.5

                          NYY at BOS 01:05 PM
                          BOS -120
                          O 8.5

                          STL at ATL 01:05 PM
                          ATL -120

                          MIN at TOR 01:07 PM
                          TOR -141

                          CIN at CHC 03:05 PM
                          CIN +135

                          ARI at LAD 03:05 PM
                          ARI +145
                          O 9.5

                          SD at OAK 03:05 PM
                          SD +110

                          CHW at KC 03:05 PM
                          KC -125

                          MIL at COL 03:10 PM
                          COL -132

                          LAA at SEA 08:40 PM
                          LAA +110


                          • #14
                            Pitcher Win Total Best Bets
                            February 28, 2018

                            If you’re one of those baseball nutjobs that’s completely enthralled by starting pitching, then I have the perfect betting board for you. has listed regular season win totals for starting pitchers in the MLB player futures section of the sportsbook. Let’s grease those stitches!

                            Most of these odds are split evenly, and are priced in the -110 and -115 range depending on the pitcher. You can bet on most of the big names, and I’m sure our busy bees in the odds making hive will be producing even more bets for this board. Severino, Greinke, Syndegaard, Kershaw and many more are already up and running so check out our MLB player futures to see the whole board.

                            These are some of my favorite plays on this awesome board, and I have to write about Shohei Ohtani because it would be sacrilegious not to.

                            Yu Darvish (Chicago Cubs) – UNDER 13.5 Wins
                            The Cubs sure spent a lot of money to land Darvish, who will replace Jake Arrieta as the go-to mound master for this club. The Cubs are an extremely competitive team. So why the low mark? Darvish has been chased off the mound a ton in recent years and hasn’t earned 13 wins since the summer of 2013. He only won 10 games split between the Rangers and Dodgers last season. I like Darvish, and staying in the National League is the smart move for him.

                            Darvish should perform strongly against the NL Central, which has some truly terrible teams at the bottom of the standings but I’m not completely sold that that he’s really a franchise pitcher. His team will win a lot of games that he starts, but he won’t earn the w’s for himself. I see a lot of early departures for Darvish this coming summer.

                            Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) – UNDER 10.5 Wins
                            Oh boy, here we go. Shohei Ohtani’s extremely long and agonizingly slow migration to the majors has finally come to fruition, and the whole baseball world is excited to see if this kid can deliver the goods. Since somehow winning the sweepstakes for the multi-talented prospect, the Angels have maintained that he’ll be used more so as a pitcher than a batter. That’s fine I guess, but there’s no way they can guarantee that this will always be the case.

                            Ohtani could be great, but he could also be historically average. There’s no way to tell. This guy hasn’t hurled the stitches at major league hitters until this spring, and there’s no possible way that we can safely say that the Angels won’t switch gears and designate Ohtani as a hitter halfway through the season.

                            Let’s be clear: Ohtani is a very interesting player. But right now that’s all he is. Yu Darvish made his way to the league in 2012 and notched 16 wins, but this is a much different circumstance. Ohtani is pitching against a devilishly good division. So while the fun bet is to take the OVER, it simply relies on too many variable for my liking.

                            Corey Kluber (Cleveland Indians) – OVER 16.5 Wins

                            This one seems the most straightforward on the entire board. Kluber is the reigning American League Cy Young winner, and notched 18 wins during an undeniably great season. The Indians hit a stroke of bad luck in the playoffs with the Encarnacion injury, but all engines will be go for when Cleveland takes to the field in the spring. Kluber will be center stage for another, brilliant run.

                            Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants) – OVER 15.5 Wins
                            This is a play-it-safe type of bet. Bumgarner is a god. We all know that. But the San Francisco Giants left a lot to be desired. Then the club literally swung the for the fences in acquiring Andrew McCutchen, who’s the exact type of multi-use sparkplug that this lineup needed. There are some really tough calls at the bottom of the order, but McCutchen-Posey-Pence-Belt-Longario and Panik as the opening six should give Bumgarner the chance to make up for what was essentially his worst season.

                            Bumgarner has posted records of 18, 18 and 15 wins from 2015-17 so this mark is right where it should be. When he is on, and his team is winning, there’s no stopping him. How you attack this MLB player prop depends greatly on how you feel about the Giants, and I’m optimistic about their 2018 projections. Remember that this is more so a bet on Bumgarner than the Giants anyways.

                            Justin Verlander (Houston Astros) – OVER 15.5 Wins

                            Nothing against Verlander at all. I love him and I’m so happy that he finally earned the storybook season his talent so very much deserved. There’s no doubting that Verlander can absolutely decimate the National League through a full season. He went 5-0 SU in his five starts to end the season. A lot of people will talk about how Verlander is on the wrong side of his peak, but I’m willing to bet against that grain. This guy is just too good to fall off a cliff like that.


                            • #15
                              Cubs' Schwarber noticing difference
                              March 3, 2018

                              MESA, Ariz. (AP) Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon noticed right away. The Cubs were working on a baserunning drill at spring training when Maddon saw an unfamiliar figure.

                              It was Kyle Schwarber.

                              ''When I watch him in the drills, like first to third, that looks different,'' Maddon said. ''Honestly, the first time he did it over here I was looking, I didn't know who it was. I looked up really quickly, I'm thinking `Who is that? Oh, it's Schwarbs,' because appearance-wise, it's entirely different.''

                              No kidding.

                              Stung by a disappointing season, Schwarber stepped up his workouts over the winter, embraced a new diet and lost about 20 pounds. The catcher-turned-outfielder looks faster and more agile this spring, a positive sign as he tries to return to form after struggling for much of last year.

                              ''My goal is be a great teammate and take it one day at a time,'' Schwarber said before Saturday's exhibition game against Cincinnati. ''I'm not looking forward to October or the first day of the season ... I'm looking just forward to today right now.''

                              Schwarber, who turns 25 on Monday, began last season with sky-high expectations. He missed most of 2016 after he tore two knee ligaments in an outfield collision, but he returned for the World Series and helped the Cubs win the championship for the first time since 1908.

                              He managed to stay healthy last year. But the season was pretty much a disaster.

                              The No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 draft hit just .211 with 30 homers, 59 RBIs and 150 strikeouts in 129 games. He struggled during an extended stay at the leadoff spot and even spent some time in the minors while he tried to find his swing.

                              ''Just trying to do too much,'' Schwarber said, ''because when you're in that slump, you're just wanting to get out of it so bad because you want to win, you want to help the team win and sometimes you just put too much pressure on yourself.

                              ''You just got to take a step away from that and be able to just take that breath, whatever it is, relax and go back in.''

                              Schwarber got right back to work shortly after the Cubs were eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series. By the time this season rolled around, he was ready.

                              He had two hits and swiped two bases in Chicago's second game after he had one steal all of last season. He made his sixth spring appearance in the Cubs' 7-4 victory over the Reds and went 1 for 2 with a single back up the middle in the third.

                              While Schwarber said he simply feels better after his winter workout regimen, he has no illusions about what it means for the upcoming season.

                              ''It's not going to go out there and help me hit .300 with 50 bombs,'' he said. ''I've got to go out there and perform. But it's little things that you can control.''

                              But Schwarber's increased quickness and agility almost assuredly will make a difference defensively, an occasional issue since he started playing the outfield after coming up as a catcher. He committed five errors as a left fielder last season, tied for third-most in the National League.

                              ''It just makes sense, I would think,'' Maddon said. ''With better technique, with continued work on his technique, which he does, tirelessly, and a better frame to work from, I am curious to watch this whole thing. I think he's going to play really well out there.''