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MLB News & Moments You Should Know – June 17

Manfred talks pitch clock, robo umps, stadium situations.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

The schedule might have been light for a Thursday, but the news and viral moments were just as hot as the temperatures around most of the country. Here is a summary of what you should know about what happened yesterday.

 

Today’s Headlines

 

Pitch Clock, Robo Umps, Stadium Situations

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talked about a number of hot-button issues following a meeting of owners in New York. Here is a quick look at some of the items Manfred spoke on:

Pitch clock: Up to the newly formed competition committee, which has its first meeting next week.

Automated strike zone: Likely not to be addressed before next season.

Streaming bundle: While light on details, Manfred said MLB is cognizant of trying to give fans greater access to games digitially. “It’s about giving fans that may be outside the traditional cable bundle adequate opportunity to see our games,” he said.

Oakland stadium: As he acknowledged progress between the city of Oakland and the Oakland A’s on a new stadium at Howard Terminal, Manfred also said politics could bog down the process and ultimately see the team head to Las Vegas. As for Tampa Bay’s stadium situation, Manfred said he is focused on a local resolution instead of relocation.

Minor leagues: With a renewed focus on team-supported housing and better overall treatment of minor-league players and their working conditions, Manfred said there have been hiccups in the first year of this process, with MLB and teams working through those issues.

Guardians ownership: MLB owners approved a sale of 25-30% of the Cleveland Guardians ownership to David Blitzer, which includes a pathway to take over majority ownership from James Dolan. Blitzer currently is part of the ownership of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and a Triple-A baseball team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, among other interests.

Rizzo Blast Gives Yankees 14 Straight Home Wins

If you think the New York Yankees get too much ink already, you probably aren’t going to like the rest of the season. Something magical is happening in the Bronx, with the latest chapter being written by Anthony Rizzo. The lefty-hitting first baseman crushed a 2-1 pitch from right-hander Shawn Armstrong with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Yankees a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the 14th straight home win and seventh consecutive victory overall for New York, which is 47-16 and lead the American League East by 10 games over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yankees Want To Play In Paris

With MLB expanding its international venues, the New York Yankees have reportedly chimed in and want to be one of the first teams to play in Paris in 2025. Stade de France, site of soccer’s Champions League final this year, will be the first site in continental Europe to host an MLB game, according to an Associated Press report. The Yankees have already played in London, sweeping the rival Boston Red Sox in two games in 2019 at West Ham’s Olympic Stadium. The new collective bargaining agreement calls for more international destinations, with schedules going to a balanced format next season, meaning every team will play every one of the other 29 teams.

Cranky Knees Will Send Molina To IL

Yadier Molina’s final MLB season will include a trip to the injured list. The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to place the catcher on the IL due to “persistent knee soreness,” according to The Athletic’s Katie Woo. Iván Herrera will be called up to take the 10-time All-Star’s roster spot before Friday’s series opener in Boston. Molina has played in only 40 of the Cardinals’ 65 games and is slashing a mere .213/.225/.294 with two homers and 10 RBIs.

One In First, One In Last

With the San Diego Padres‘ 6-4 win and a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, a couple of notable things happened. First, the good. The Padres improved to 41-24 and moved past the Los Angeles Dodgers for sole possession of first place in the NL West. It is the first time the Padres have been alone atop the West since June 2010. Sure, it is mid-June and the Padres’ lead is the thinnest it could be at half a game, but the fact is the Padres, without the injured Fernando Tatis Jr., has proven itself worthy thus far. Now, for the bad. The Cubs’ loss was their 10th straight and put them in a tie for last in the NL Central with the Cincinnati Reds at 23-40. Remember, these are the same Reds that started 3-22 and many wondered if they would even get to 50 wins, much less 20 by the end of June. Don’t worry, Cubs fans, the red-hot Atlanta Braves bring their 14-game winning streak to Wrigley on Friday.

M’s, Winker Avoid Arbitration

While this season hasn’t gone the way the Seattle Mariners envisioned to this point, they apparently have liked what they have seen in Jesse Winker. Despite the outfielder slashing .214/.326/.308 entering Thursday’s action, the Mariners signed Winker to a two-year, $14.5 million deal that avoids arbitration and covers this season and 2023. This buys out his final year before free agency. Winker was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds during spring training.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

 

Young Glove

Always take your glove to the game. Always. A young fan sitting down the right-field line in foul territory brought his mitt to Nationals Park. He was rewarded when the Washington NationalsNelson Cruz lofted a fly ball to the opposite field against the Philadelphia Phillies. The pictures say the rest.

A Bat For An Errant Ball

Players throw balls into the stands all the time. Sometimes there is an intended target, sometimes not. Sometimes it doesn’t go well. That was the case when Oakland A’s right fielder Ramón Laureano tossed a ball in the direction of 5-year-old Luca Rascona at Fenway Park. After warming up in the fourth inning, Laureano spotted the youngster near the Pesky Pole and gave him a gentle toss, who wasn’t able to catch it cleanly. It struck Luca near the eye and he started crying. The next inning, Laureano jogged out and gave Luca a signed maple bat with the inscription, “Sorry for hitting your eye. Get well champ!” Luca and his family were visiting from Long Island, N.Y., and said he is a New York Mets fan.

Spida Adding Baseball?

NBA star Donovan Mitchell would up in New York and took batting practice at Citi Field before the New York Mets hosted the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of a three-game series. Does this mean the Utah Jazz guard is thinking about adding baseball to his playing resume? Unlikely, but there is a lot of speculation about Mitchell’s future with the Jazz, especially after coach Quin Snyder suddenly resigned after becoming coach in 2014.

Always Use Two Hands

You never know when or where a bat will break, but this one was a bit unusual. Eric Hosmer of the San Diego Padres swung at a 2-1 pitch from Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Swarmer and tried to check his swing as he made contact with the ball near the barrel. The various forces at work caused the bat to snap between Hosmer’s hands, leaving his right hand with a handful of the handle and his left with a tenuous grasp of the rest. It is the second time this happened this season, with the Texas RangersCorey Seager actually notching a go-ahead single on April 10 against the Toronto Blue Jays as his bat split.

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

There has been a slew of crazy designs that have come out the last couple seasons, but this one might be one of the worst I have seen. Of course, it is art, so you are the ultimate judge. Note that the same hat players wear in games retails for $41.99, an authentic jersey with a player’s name on the back is $329.99, a hoodie is $79.99 and a basic T-shirt goes for $34.99. That is before someone starts punching random “meteor holes” in them.

 

Injuries

 

New York Mets right-hander Tylor Megill exited his start after 3⅓ innings with right shoulder discomfort. More tests will be conducted Friday.

Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Aaron Ashby, starting opposite Megill, left the game after 4⅓ innings with left forearm tightness. It was deemed a precautionary move.

Mets third baseman Eduardo Escobar wasn’t available due to a “nonworkplace event,” manager Buck Showalter said. An update is expected Friday.

Not an injury, but New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino was put on the COVID-19 injured list.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

Tommy Pham is outspoken and still talking about his slap of Joc Pederson Bob Nightengale, USA Today

Ostracized Cubans want to be part of World Baseball Classic — James Wagner, New York Times

Florida high school pitcher is a righty and a lefty and an intriguing draft prospect — Jim Callis, MLB.com

Donning Uvalde replica jerseys, the San Antonio Missions had a special night — Michael Avallone, MLB.com

 

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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter @DrummerWrites.

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