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John Romano: Tampa Bay is rid of the in-laws in Montreal, but has a stadium mess at home

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Thursday was a great day for baseball fans in Tampa Bay. Presumably. Well, possibly. OK, hopefully.

Major League Baseball’s stunning rejection of the sister city plan is a godsend for fans who abhorred the idea of sharing the Rays with Montreal, and it is complete vindication for everyone who insisted the concept ...Read more

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Ex-MLB pitcher Sergio Mitre sentenced to prison for 2020 murder of toddler in Mexico

Sports / Baseball /

Former Yankees pitcher Sergio Mitre is going to be behind bars for a long time after he was convicted of murdering his ex-partner’s daughter.

Mitre was convicted of femicide after raping and murdering the 22-month-old girl named Ines after his July 2020 arrest and trial.

The heinous hurler was sentenced Wednesday night to between 40-to-60 ...Read more

WILL VRAGOVIC/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes found his calling during his many stints in the minors

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — You won't find the most influential stat of Brandon Gomes' playing career on the back of any baseball card.

During five major league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays between 2011 and 2015, the right-handed reliever racked up 173 appearances, 144 strikeouts and a 4.20 ERA. He was part of two teams that reached the postseason. He ...Read more

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MLB kills Rays' split-city plan with Montreal

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Rays’ proposed plan to split seasons in Montreal has been killed by Major League Baseball officials, creating even more uncertainty about the team’s long-term future in Tampa Bay.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred informed Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg on Tuesday that the league’s executive council rejected...Read more

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Everything you need to know about Rays, Montreal and stadiums

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Feeling a little overwhelmed by the Rays news that there will be no split season with Montreal? Wondering what this means for Tampa Bay’s baseball team? We’ve got your answers here:

— So what the heck happened?

MLB’s executive council rejected the Rays request to move forward with the sister city plan with ...Read more

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Scott Lauber: MLB lockout: When must a deal be struck to avoid a delayed spring training or regular season?

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA — Never mind the six weeks of radio silence from Major League Baseball, or the lead balloon proposed by the owners last Thursday, or the saber-rattling that is sure to ensue once collective bargaining picks up for real over the next few weeks. Baseball fans, especially those with midwinter vacation plans to Florida or Arizona, ...Read more

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Mark Bradley: In a lockout winter, let's discuss Andruw Jones and the Hall of Fame

Sports / Baseball /

ATLANTA — It being January, this would be a fine time to assess offseason additions made by the 2021 world champion Braves. Here goes: In November, they acquired reliever Kirby Yates and catcher Manny Pina. That's about it.

As for Freddie Freeman: If he re-signs with the Braves, that'll be great; if he doesn't, it will be less great. How's ...Read more

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Matthew Roberson: Plenty of stud free agents are still on the board when MLB's lockout finally ends

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — With Carlos Correa hiring human ATM Scott Boras to be his agent on Tuesday, the free agent shortstop set himself up even better for a contract with multiple commas.

Along with Correa, there are still a handful of aspiring billionaires who will command similarly huge salaries from their next team, as they should. Whether they return...Read more

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Dodgers promote fast-ascending executive Brandon Gomes to general manager

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers are making Brandon Gomes their new general manager, promoting the 37-year-old executive to a post that had been vacant since Farhan Zaidi's departure four years ago.

A former pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays who joined the Dodgers following his retirement as a player in 2016, Gomes has risen quickly through the club's...Read more

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What's on Braves' to-do list when MLB resumes?

Sports / Baseball /

At some point, MLB's lockout will end. Expect a flurry of moves in the days after that happens as teams ready for opening day.

When baseball business resumes, here are some questions surrounding the defending champion Braves:

1. Will they re-sign Freddie Freeman?

Shortstop Dansby Swanson and other teammates made it crystal clear during the ...Read more

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Managing Yankees' Tampa team is next stop on Rachel Balkovec's long journey

Sports / Baseball /

TAMPA, Fla. — Rachel Balkovec has vivid memories of the dark, lonely and challenging chapters in her historic journey to the Tampa Tarpons manager’s office.

Three years ago, she went to Amsterdam to work for the first time as an apprentice hitting coach with the Netherlands national baseball and softball teams while earning a master’s ...Read more

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Ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera retires two seasons after final game

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — The Melkman has made his last delivery.

Melky Cabrera, the 37-year-old outfielder who played five seasons for the Yankees in the late-2000s, announced his official retirement on Friday. Cabrera had not played in the big leagues since 2019 with the Pirates, but he did sign a contract with the Mets in 2020 and was part of the team’...Read more

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Matthew Roberson: Making the Hall of Fame case for Keith Hernandez

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — While reflecting on his career, which earned him a number retirement from the Mets and a congratulatory press conference on Wednesday, Keith Hernandez also came face-to-face with his own mortality.

Specifically, when the topic shifted to his chances of making the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the 68-year-old Hernandez said that ...Read more

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Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died by suicide, per medical examiner

Sports / Baseball /

TAMPA, Fla. — Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died by suicide, the Tarrant County (Texas) Medical Examiner’s office said Thursday.

Ramirez, 28, was found Monday in a field by a creek bed near his family’s Fort Worth home, authorities said.

Ramirez’s family shared this statement via the Rays:

“The loss of our son has been the most ...Read more

How Detroit Tigers OF Robbie Grossman plans to cut down on his strikeouts

Sports / Baseball /

Detroit Tigers outfielder Robbie Grossman is coming off a career year.

He joined the Tigers in January 2021 on a two-year, $10 million contract — the organization's first multi-year deal since the 2015-16 offseason — and produced team highs of 23 home runs, 20 stolen bases and a .357 on-base percentage.

Grossman, though, thinks "the league...Read more

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Angel Stadium sale lawsuit: Anaheim officials detail negotiation timeline

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — The city of Anaheim and the owner of the Angels had discussed the future of the Angel Stadium property for half a year. On Aug. 23, 2019, the Anaheim City Council was advised the Angels wished to buy the land, rather than lease it. On Sept. 24, 2019, the council agreed to negotiate a sale of the property.

Those meetings took ...Read more

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Rachel Balkovec excited to be baseball's first female manager with Yankees' Tampa team

Sports / Baseball /

Rachel Balkovec is getting used to being first.

Eight years ago, she was the first woman to work as a full-time strength and conditioning coach in baseball’s minor or major leagues.

Two years ago, she was the first woman to be hired to work as a hitting coach anywhere in professional baseball.

And this year, she will be the first woman to ...Read more

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Keith Hernandez pleasantly surprised by Mets' belated retirement of his number

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — Everything coming from the Mets this offseason seems to be sending a clear message: things are going to be different now.

Whether it’s fitting the roster with a former Cy Young winner and multiple All-Stars, bringing in an establishment-type manager or adding a new general manager to work under Steve Cohen’s still fresh ...Read more

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Rachel Balkovec, first woman manager in American baseball, embracing being a role model

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — Last summer, managing in the Futures Game, LaTroy Hawkins was blown away by Rachel Balkovec’s resume. Looking for coaches for the annual event, the former big league reliever thought she was beyond qualified for a hitting coach job and it was well past time for a woman to be a part of the game that showcases minor leaguers during ...Read more

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Twins will retire Hall of Famer Jim Kaat's No. 36

Sports / Baseball /

MINNEAPOLIS — Expecting a perfunctory meeting about logistics for Cooperstown, Jim Kaat joined a Twins video call on Dec. 20. He was shocked to find Twins royalty waiting for him.

Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven, Joe Mauer, Tom Kelly, Tony Oliva and Kent Hrbek — the six living Twins whose numbers have been retired by the team — congratulated ...Read more