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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

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Jon Lester retires, ending a 16-year career that included 3 World Series titles with Cubs and Red Sox

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — One of the most pivotal free-agent signings by a Chicago franchise is closing the book on his career.

Former Cubs left-hander Jon Lester announced his retirement Wednesday via ESPN after 16 big league seasons that featured 200 wins and three World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox and Cubs. Lester, 38, spent the 2021 season with...Read more

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Paul Sullivan: Jon Lester only pitched 6 seasons in Chicago, but the Cubs need to retire his number

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — Now that Jon Lester has called it quits on his 16-year career, the Chicago Cubs need to pick a good day in 2022 to retire his No. 34, assuming there is a season.

The organization already has retired five numbers: No. 14 (Ernie Banks), No. 26 (Billy Williams), No. 10 (Ron Santo), No. 23 (Ryne Sandberg) and No. 31 (Fergie Jenkins and ...Read more

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Mets to retire Keith Hernandez's No. 17 on July 9

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — It’s been 25 years since the Mets put Keith Hernandez into their Hall of Fame. Now, they are putting his jersey number into their history books, too.

Hernandez’s No. 17 will be retired by the Mets on July 9, before a game against the Marlins at Citi Field, the team announced on Tuesday.

Hernandez spent seven years with the ...Read more

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Orioles altering Camden Yards' left-field dimensions amid ballpark's historic home run binge

Sports / Baseball /

BALTIMORE — In the aftermath of pitching the Orioles’ first complete game no-hitter in more than 50 years, left-hander John Means expressed gratitude that the feat came on the road, given that Kyle Lewis’ eighth-inning drive was caught at the left-field wall of the Seattle Mariners’ T-Mobile Park instead of sailing over the fence for a ...Read more

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Matthew Roberson: What will Major League Baseball look like post-lockout?

Sports / Baseball /

Whether it’s full on reconstructive surgery or just some touch ups around the edges, Major League Baseball could look a lot different the next time we see it.

For starters, an Opening Day in May or June would have a much different vibe than the traditional late-March start date. While the weather across the country would be much more ...Read more

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Bryce Miller: Padres' player rep Craig Stammen navigates lockout workouts, labor fight

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO — Lockout-related questions linger across Major League Baseball for players like Padres pitcher Craig Stammen, along with near-constant tinkering to Plans A, B … and Z.

Will spring training start on time? Will the season be delayed? How do you handle workouts without input from the manager, coaches or trainers as the Collective ...Read more

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David Cone joining ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball booth, A-Rod and Michael Kay getting alternative broadcast

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — For years, national baseball fans have complained that Sunday Night Baseball features the Yankees too often.

Now, the league’s premier nationally televised broadcast will also sound more like a Yankees game.

ESPN announced on Friday that David Cone will be part of a revamped Sunday Night Baseball booth starting in 2022. Cone, ...Read more

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Iowa Cubs owners surprise full-time employees with combined $600,000 from proceeds of Triple-A team sale: 'That is a life-changing event'

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — Only a handful of people knew what awaited full-time employees of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, who were summoned just after Christmas to the restaurant in the left field corner of Principal Park.

Michael Gartner, the Iowa Cubs’ majority owner since 1999, planned a staff meeting on Dec. 28, which coincided with the closing date of the ...Read more

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Garth Brooks' upcoming gig at Petco Park brings back memories of 1999 hit single

Sports / Baseball /

SAN DIEGO — Garth Brooks is heading to Petco Park on March 5 for a concert at the downtown ballpark, where several more hits are expected in two hours than Brooks produced over two months in a 1999 spring training appearance with the Padres.

A single 23 years ago against the Chicago White Sox wasn't among the country music superstar's ...Read more

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Ex-Mets GM Zack Scott found not guilty of both counts after DWI arrest

Sports / Baseball /

NEW YORK — On Thursday morning, former Mets acting general manager Zack Scott was found not guilty of driving while intoxicated (DWI). He was also found not guilty of driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI), a lesser charge.

Scott was arrested on Aug. 31 in White Plains after a party at Mets owner Steve Cohen’s mansion in ...Read more