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January 17, 2014 | Bill Shaikin
It happens every year. The umpire blows a call, and every fan watching on television can see it. But baseball, bound by tradition and its embrace of the so-called "human element," shrugged and went on with the game, even if the blown call was the difference between victory and defeat. No more. For the first time -- and starting this season -- Major League Baseball will permit video review of just about every call an umpire can make beyond balls and strikes. -- How will this work?
December 20, 2013 | Wire reports
The Baltimore Orioles won't be closing a deal for All-Star closer Grant Balfour . Days after reaching a preliminary agreement with the free agent pending a physical, the Orioles said Friday that they weren't satisfied with the results of Balfour's exam. "This is a deal that's not going to come together," Dan Duquette , Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations, said on a conference call. Duquette declined to say what specifically concerned him about Balfour, who turns 36 later this month.
December 14, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
The origin of pro team nicknames ranges from local tradition to fan contests. Here's a snapshot of how the teams in the NBA, MLB, NFL and the NHL got their names, with help from the website NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSN. Atlanta Hawks - Initially named the Blackhawks like Chicago's hockey team, after the Sauk Indian Chief Black Hawk. It was shortened to Hawks when the team moved to Milwaukee in 1951; the team moved to St. Louis in 1955 and Atlanta in 1968.
December 7, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
Commissioner Bud Selig told the Oakland Athletics six months ago that they would not be allowed to move to San Jose, attorneys for Major League Baseball said in a court filing Friday. The formal notification letter was not included in the filing, but MLB attorneys wrote that Selig "was not satisfied with the club's relocation proposal. " The rejection of the proposed move was "his final decision," according to the filing. However, the decision was specific to that proposal and was not a judgment that the A's would not be allowed to move at all, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it. It is expected that the league would consider a new proposal once the court case -- filed by the city of San Jose -- is resolved.
November 22, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
Michael Weiner, who devoted his adult life to representing Major League Baseball players and rose to become their leader during an era of unprecedented prosperity and labor peace, died Thursday. He was 51. Weiner, who was found to have inoperable brain cancer 15 months ago, died at his New Jersey home, the union said. His casual manner and dress belied his stature as one of the smartest men ever to work in sports. His popularity extended beyond the players and their union to the commissioner's office, and to the very executives against whom he negotiated.
November 11, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
The World Series MVP is now producing for MTV. Fresh off a World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, along with Pittsburgh Pirates' centerfielder Andrew McCutchen , will executive-produce a weekly, 30-episode series for MTV2 to highlight baseball's stars off the field. This effort to bring baseball to MTV comes as the sport has had trouble pulling in viewers from the younger generation, who are often more inclined to tweet about twerking than triple-plays.
October 14, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
People who follow the endless saga of doping in sports know there's one hard-and-fast rule: Any time a big name gets whacked, the quality of public debate on the issue plummets. That's certainly true of the case of Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez, one of the highest-profile pro athletes ever accused of doping. Given that the playoffs between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers feature two players tainted by scandal--Sunday's hero David Ortiz of the Red Sox, who copped in 2009 to testing positive for steroid use years earlier, and Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who returned to the lineup in September after a 50-game suspension--it's timely to look again at doping in baseball, and what the league, the fans, and sportswriters get wrong about it. The A-Rod case puts it all in perspective.
October 11, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
A federal judge reluctantly upheld Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption Friday, throwing out almost all of a lawsuit the city of San Jose filed against the league. U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte also affirmed MLB's right to determine where its teams play. However, Whyte left intact one claim that San Jose might have been harmed because of the league's failure to decide whether the Oakland Athletics can move there. That could open the door to testimony from Commissioner Bud Selig and the release of internal league documents to show why MLB has not made a decision in the 4-1/2 years since Selig appointed a committee to evaluate the A's proposed move to San Jose.
October 5, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
JUPITER, Fla. - It's not quite 10 on a hot and sticky Saturday morning when Ryan Powers strides onto a remote back field at a minor league training complex. Carrying a protective titanium mask that reeks from previous sweat-soaked bouts with the punishing South Florida weather, he wears bulky pads beneath his uniform of gray slacks and a black polo shirt. Powers is an umpire. At 19, the second-youngest in professional baseball. Behind the plate for the next two hours and 15 minutes, he will squat low more than 200 times, render decisions on nearly as many pitches, and try to maintain order among teams of newly minted Major League Baseball prospects.
October 4, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
Alex Rodriguez has filed suit against Major League Baseball, claiming league officials trampled on their own rules and paid off witnesses in an effort to "destroy the reputation and career" of Rodriguez so that Commissioner Bud Selig could "attempt to secure his legacy as the 'savior' of America's pastime. " The suit, filed late Thursday in New York State Supreme Court and released Friday, names Selig and the league as defendants. The suit comes at the end of the first week of an arbitration hearing in which Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy.
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