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Dodgers' Utley accepts bench role

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- The text messages reached Corey Seager as a greeting and a warning.

"Watch out when I come into second base next year," Chase Utley wrote in the off-season, when a reunion with the Los Angeles Dodgers looked so unlikely. Even his jokes contain a hint of menace.

Seager idolized Utley during their time together and considered him a ...Read more

Moreno: Angels can compete

Sports / Baseball /

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sixty-nine Angels gathered Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium for their first full-squad workout of 2017.

Unseasonable rain pounding the Phoenix area nixed that. But, in a rare instance of public comment, their owner, Arte Moreno expressed excitement about the Angels' chances this season.

He said he believed the team had improved...Read more

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts hoping for Patriots-like stretch of domination

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- It started seven years ago trying to win the National League Central.

Now the Ricketts family wants the world.

After addressing the full squad Saturday at the Cubs' spring training complex, Chairman Tom Ricketts said he would like the team one day to be considered "one of the great sports organizations in the world."

They took ...Read more

Son beat him to video stardom, but Yoan Moncada might not be far behind

Sports / Baseball /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The first viral video of a Moncada on the baseball field this year didn't feature new White Sox top prospect Yoan but his 2-year-old son.

Robinson Moncada has been playing T-ball for about a year, and he already knows how to do it with style. The video shows the youngster hitting a ball off a tee in a game, carrying the bat ...Read more

Rangers' Beltre still won't rule himself out for WBC's first round

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre said on Saturday that he has not ruled himself out for the first round of the World Baseball Classic even though a Texas Rangers press release stated that he was not going to play because of a strained left calf.

Beltre seemed taken aback by the release. He maintained that if his calf feels 100 ...Read more

Rangers' Cashner has something to prove in home state

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Free agency during the just-completed baseball offseason gave Andrew Cashner the opportunity he had been working toward since his major league service clock started ticking in 2010.

For the first time in his career, he had the opportunity to choose where he played, and topping his list was the Lone Star State. Being in Texas ...Read more

World Baseball Classic leaves teams holding collective breath

Sports / Baseball /

The World Baseball Classic is Major League Baseball's way of making the game a more global one, as well as bringing some patriotism into it.

But the reality is that there will never be a convenient time to hold the tournament, which this year begins March 6 with the championship round set for March 20-22. It leaves teams having to hope that ...Read more

Rangers' Beltre has strained calf, might miss World Baseball Classic

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre arrived at Texas Rangers spring training with an announcement: He has a strained left calf and he might not play in the World Baseball Classic.

Beltre said he was injured Tuesday while working out at his home. He underwent an MRI that showed the strain, which he said is slightly more severe than a ...Read more

Dodgers' Gonzalez shut down for two weeks with elbow inflammation

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- Adrian Gonzalez slipped a compression sleeve over his right elbow as he finished up his first day this spring at Camelback Ranch. From a few lockers away, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager pondered his teammate's outfit. The garb screamed golf.

"Where you going to play?" Seager asked.

"No, no," Gonzalez said. "I can't play."

Gonzalez ...Read more

No plans for Braves closer-by-committee

Sports / Baseball /

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Braves have two relievers with major league closer experience and another with a fastball that regularly reaches or exceeds 100 mph, but there are no plans to go with a closer-by-committee or have an open competition for the closer job this spring.

Barring injury or other unexpected development before opening day, ...Read more

Marlins president Samson confirms sale talks, Loria's potential ambassadorship

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. -- For the first time, the Miami Marlins acknowledged that the team is for sale and owner Jeffrey Loria is a candidate to be the U.S. ambassador to France -- two possibilities that are not connected, team president David Samson said.

Samson said Friday afternoon that the Marlins' talks with the Kushner family to purchase the ...Read more

Pirates' McCutchen says he had to 'not be as selfish' in move to right field

Sports / Baseball /

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Andrew McCutchen wasn't particularly pleased when manager Clint Hurdle phoned a few weeks back to inform the former center fielder he would play right field. McCutchen had always assumed he'd be the one who decided when he left center for a corner.

After 10,3171/3 innings in the majors, all in center, he discovered the ...Read more

Dominican authorities: Yordano Ventura toxicology report won't be released to public

Sports / Baseball /

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Authorities in the Dominican Republic told The Star on Thursday that the toxicology report on Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura following his fatal car crash will only be released to his family and attorneys.

In the days following the Jan. 22 wreck, Royals officials said they were told toxicology results would ...Read more

Angels' Street aims to shed hard times

Sports / Baseball /

TEMPE, Ariz. -- As the Angels assembled for their first team meeting of 2017 this week, their owner filtered through the Tempe Diablo Stadium clubhouse to offer handshakes and salutations across the room.

When Arte Moreno reached the locker of Huston Street, the 33-year-old reliever he will pay $9 million this year, he extended a hand and a ...Read more

Armed with lessons from '16, Padres' Myers aiming for 40-40 season

Sports / Baseball /

Inside the Padres' clubhouse this spring, Wil Myers is occupying two adjacent lockers, a space that previously belonged to Matt Kemp and, before him, Carlos Quentin. The assignment is an indication of Myers' standing on a youthful team. The 26-year-old first baseman last month signed the largest contract in Padres history, a six-year, $83 ...Read more

Cubs ready to defend their World Series title with a swagger

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- Nearly three years after Anthony Rizzo charged the Reds bench in defense of his feeble teammates, the Cubs seem on the verge of cultivating a winning attitude bordering on arrogance.

"Go back in history," said manager Joe Maddon, whose hapless 2008 Rays transformed themselves into a formidable American League playoff contender ...Read more

Dominican authorities: Yordano Ventura toxicology report won't be released to public

Sports / Baseball /

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Authorities in the Dominican Republic told The Star on Thursday that the toxicology report on Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura following his fatal car crash will only be released to his family and attorneys.

In the days following the Jan. 22 wreck, Royals officials said they were told toxicology results would ...Read more

Braves' Kemp impresses with leaner physique, then power-hitting display

Sports / Baseball /

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It wasn't just that Matt Kemp shed some pounds during the offseason, it was that the Braves slugger redistributed, if you will, other pounds he retained.

His waist, midsection and backside are slimmer, and his arms and chest are massive.

"He looks great," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "The first time I saw him I ...Read more

Napoli signing causes other Rangers dominoes to fall

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Everybody on the Texas Rangers' side of the Surprise Recreation Campus, and probably everybody on the neighboring Kansas City Royals side, likes Mike Napoli.

His life consists of baseball and partying -- at least that's the image many have, and possibly not in that order. His name lends itself perfectly to a ballpark crowd's ...Read more

Tigers' Michael Fulmer vows 'it's going to be done right'

Sports / Baseball /

LAKELAND, Fla. -- He woke up with adrenaline that morning last spring, knowing it was his first chance to make an impression in big-league camp.

Man, how things have changed for Michael Fulmer in one year.

This time last year, he was just a prospect: Taking in a lot, talking a little, trying to feel his way through his first spring training ...Read more