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Japan walks off Mexico to secure WBC championship showdown with the United States

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI — Shohei Ohtani rarely shows emotion on the baseball field.

But when he roped a double to the right center field gap in the bottom of the ninth on Monday night, Ohtani swung his arms up, yelling at his Japan teammates in the dugout to get fired up.

Moments later, they all joined Ohtani in the middle of the diamond in a wild celebration...Read more


Cuban catcher defects in Miami after World Baseball Classic game

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI — Just hours after playing in the World Baseball Classic in Miami, Cuba’s national baseball team took an early-morning flight back to the island on Monday — a quick return home in line with the Cuban government’s desire to prevent defections by its athletes.

It didn’t totally work: The official Cuban baseball delegation returned...Read more

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Fabiola Santiago: We played ball with Cuba in Miami, filled the stadium -- and expressed ourselves. A win.

Sports / Baseball /

Despite the initial overzealous actions of loanDepot park stadium staff who tried to quash the political content of fan clothing, freedom of speech won the day in Miami on Sunday.

The Communist Party’s state-owned Cuban baseball team played in the Capital of Exiles during Sunday’s World Baseball Classic semifinal, which the USA won 14-2. It...Read more

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David Murphy: Phillies' best bench bets include Darick Hall as DH and Scott Kingery in the minors. Who knows from there?

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. — It shouldn’t surprise anybody if the final member of the Phillies’ Opening Day roster is currently wearing another jersey. In fact, it’s one of the strongest conclusions you can draw once you consider their limited range of options to fill their one obvious hole. With 10 days remaining before the Phillies open the ...Read more

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Lessons learned as a child showing maturity, poise for Cardinals prospect Tink Hence

Sports / Baseball /

At around the time Cardinals pitching prospect Tink Hence was eight or nine years old, the baseball conversations he’d hear while sitting in the back seat of the family car between his father and older brothers about managing emotions when playing the sport began to resonate with the future 63rd overall pick.

“You can't be all happy ...Read more

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At this point in his career, Matt Olson has fine-tuned his 'spring training process'

Sports / Baseball /

FORT MYERS, Fla. — So, does the baseball look like a beach ball this spring?

Matt Olson smiled.

“I mean, it’s always good to come out and see some success early,” Olson said. “But, really, whether it’s going good or bad, it’s just the process of spring. Trying to see different pitches, get some at-bats under your belt and try to ...Read more


United States routs Cuba to advance to World Baseball Classic final

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI — From purely a baseball standpoint, Sunday’s World Baseball Classic semifinal was a rout.

The United States dominated Cuba, 14-2, in front of a sold-out crowd at Miami’s loanDepot park to advance to Tuesday’s championship, where it will play the winner of Monday’s semifinal between Japan and Mexico for the chance to defend its ...Read more


Protesters slam Cuban national team hours before World Baseball Classic game in Miami

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI — As fans arrived Sunday afternoon at loanDepot Park, they donned red, white and blue gear — the colors of the two nations facing off in a contentious matchup.

But for many, it’s more than a game.

The U.S. is now coming up against Cuba in a World Baseball Classic affair hosted in Miami, home to the largest Cuban American community ...Read more

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Team Mexico's Randy Arozarena wants Cuba in WBC final. Why? 'So then we can face them.'

Sports / Baseball /

Randy Arozarena had a clear rooting interest in Sunday’s World Baseball Classic semifinal between the United States and Cuba at Miami’s loanDepot park.

“Cuba,” said Arozarena, the Tampa Bay Rays star who was born in Havana.


“So then we can face them in the finals,” Arozarena added, giving a throat-slashing gesture as part of ...Read more

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Paul Sullivan: Can the World Baseball Classic compete with the NCAA Tournament? March Madness is tough to beat.

Sports / Baseball /

March Madness or the World Baseball Classic?

That was a question sports fans and bar owners were forced to answer Saturday as the second round of the NCAA Tournament clashed with Team USA’s WBC quarterfinal game against undefeated Venezuela.

Would fans have more interest in their NCAA brackets or watching their favorite baseball players?

...Read more

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Bill Madden: Yankee legend Don Mattingly's latest challenge is coaching up the rival Blue Jays

Sports / Baseball /

DUNEDIN, Fla. — There is a whole new air of professionalism around the Blue Jays this spring, and right in the middle of it is a guy who couldn’t look more out of place in a royal blue and white Toronto uniform with the red Canadian maple leaf logo on the front than Donald Arthur Mattingly.

I caught up with “Donnie Baseball” conducting ...Read more

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Trea Turner's grand slam rallies Team USA past Venezuela and into WBC semis

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI — Trea Turner spent some of his teenage years hitting home runs about 60 miles north of loanDepot park.

The graduate of Park Vista High in Lake Worth, Fla., has hit seven at the ballpark during his major league career.

But none likely as memorable as the one he hit on Saturday night.

Turner’s go-ahead grand slam in the top of the ...Read more

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Emotional Sergio Romo back with Giants, 'trying to wrap my head around' retirement

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Sergio Romo didn’t think he would be this emotional. It was just catch.

But the setting, on the backfield behind Scottsdale Stadium, with at least two dozen fans lined up along the metal fence, and the circumstances, with Romo back in a Giants uniform for the first time since 2016, were too much to overcome.

After ...Read more

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Larry Stone: Why ex-Mariner Edwin Diaz's injury shouldn't sideline the World Baseball Classic

Sports / Baseball /

SEATTLE — In light of the horrific Edwin Diaz injury, you can be sure that the Mariners won't breathe easy until all of their players in the World Baseball Classic are returned safely with their health intact.

And maybe not even then. I well remember the hero's welcome Drew Smyly received in 2017 when he came back to Peoria, Ariz., from San ...Read more

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Benji Gil has never been offered an MLB manager job. He's determined to change that.

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — Benji Gil didn't hold back. When asked about the World Baseball Classic's decision to move up Mexico's quarterfinal game against Puerto Rico to Friday, the Mexico manager bluntly contended that it was unfair.

The plan had been for the winner of Pool C to play Saturday against Pool D's runner-up. Mexico won Pool C. Puerto Rico ...Read more

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Lance Lynn, Team USA set to take on red-hot Venezuela in World Baseball Classic

Sports / Baseball /

The United States will face its first true test of the World Baseball Classic. Unfortunately for them, it’s win or go home.

Lance Lynn will take the ball for Mark DeRosa’s squad Saturday night at loanDepot Park in Miami against a red-hot — 4-0 in pool play — Venezuela squad

Lynn tossed five innings of one-run baseball while striking ...Read more

WBC games are sold out but prices on secondary markets are dropping, including Cuba semifinal

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI — LoanDepot park, home of the Miami Marlins, was packed for five days of pool play to begin the World Baseball Classic.

Expect that to continue as the ballpark becomes the sole host for the rest of the tournament.

The Marlins announced Friday that all five remaining World Baseball Classic games — both quarterfinals (Mexico vs Puerto ...Read more

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David Murphy: Edwin Díaz's injury has people questioning the World Baseball Classic. But there is an answer.

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. — How did you spend your Wednesday night? I spent mine counting the number of Colombian baseball players I could name while sitting at a bar that shares a parking lot with a Shell station and a laundromat. This was a few miles from the Tampa airport, near the hotel where I spent the night before heading to the Phillies spring ...Read more

David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS

Six teams remain in the World Baseball Classic. Breaking down the field.

Sports / Baseball /

MIAMI — The 2023 World Baseball Classic started with 20 teams.

Now, the field is down to six.

And all teams are either in or will be making their way to Miami’s loanDepot park for the final five games of the tournament: Two quarterfinals on Friday and Saturday, two semifinals on Sunday and Monday and the championship game Tuesday.

...Read more

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Rays reliever Trevor Kelley is hoping change does him well

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The issue has been in front of Trevor Kelley for years, trying to figure out why his impressive success at Triple-A for three different organizations couldn’t transfer to the big leagues.

But what if the answer was within his grasp the whole time?

Early in spring training, Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder suggested a ...Read more