Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang loses sentencing appeal, leaving return to MLB in question

It appears increasingly unlikely Jung Ho Kang will play for the Pittsburgh Pirates this year, and there are legitimate questions about whether his MLB career will continue at all.

A Korean court on Thursday rejected the infielder’s appeal of a sentence handed down in March in the wake of a drunken-driving conviction, Yonhap News reported.

Kang was sentenced to eight months in jail, with the term suspended for two years, after his conviction in the wake of a December DUI incident ’ his third such arrest. Kang has been unable to secure a visa to return to the United States in the wake of the sentencing, and his attorneys appealed to the court in part on grounds that he believes the sentence is preventing him from earning a living.

There are big games and there are BIG GAMES. What the Dodgers’ Shawn Green did against the Brewers on this day in 2002 definitely qualifies as a BIG GAME.

On May 23, 2002, Greene, in an extraordinary showing with the lumber, tied the MLB record with four home runs as part of a 6-for-6, seven-RBI performance that also saw him set the MLB record for the most total bases in a single game (19). Have a look back at Green’s huge day in all its 2002, standard-definition glory.

Green is the only player in MLB history to have a 6-for-6 day that included four home runs.

His victims: Glendon Rusch (double; first inning); Rusch (home run No. 1; second inning); Brian Mallette (home run No. 2; fourth inning); Mallette (home run No. 3, fifth inning); Jose Cabrera (single; eighth inning); Cabrera (home run No. 4; ninth inning).

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Will Dodgers, Marlins feud carry over to Saturday?

The benches cleared in the ninth inning Friday night in Los Angeles after Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling threw a pitch behind Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.

In the middle of the scrum, Marlins manager Don Mattingly and Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren could be seen heatedly arguing, possibly about that pitch, or the fact Miami reliever A.J. Ramos had hit outfielder Brett Eibner with a pitch in the eighth inning. Or both.

The incident led to the ejection of Stripling, Mattingly and Geren. After the Dodgers finished out a 7-2 win, everyone wondered the obvious: Will the bad blood between the two teams carry over into the rest of the weekend series?

Who knows? You never know what happens, Mattingly told reporters, via MLB.com. It should be something that’s over. I don’t see it really carrying over or there being any reason. They got hit, they throw a ball behind Stanton, they swing 3-0, whatever they do, whatever happens at that point, just move on.

But when reaching to grab the base, his left thumb became lodged against the bag. Trout immediately shook his left hand and did remain in the game before being replaced in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler told reporters Monday that surgery is an option for Trout, who heads to the disabled list for the first time in his career. Should the Angels elect for surgery, the timetable for a return to the lineup is 5-8 weeks but he could be back sooner.

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Bryce Harper to Little Leaguers: ’No participation trophies’

Why that’s surprising: Holland was a great mystery this offseason. He hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 with the Royals, sitting out 2016 after Tommy John surgery, and nobody knew quite what to expect.

The Rockies rolled the dice, offering Holland a $6 million deal with a $10 million mutual option for 2018. The contract was loaded with incentives based on appearances and games finished. He’s been better than anyone could have reasonably expected ’ 19 for 19 in save opportunities, with a 1.37 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings. If teams would have known he’d be this good, you can bet he would have gotten more than a $6 million guarantee. Kudos to the Rockies for taking the chance.

Bryce Harper’s competitiveness has never been in question, so it’s no surprise he advocates honing that trait from an early age.

Speaking to a group of Little Leaguers in the D.C. area Saturday morning, the Nationals star offered up some advice during a Q&A session. Though the start of the exchange doesn’t appear on the video posted by a WJLA reporter, Harper concludes with this:

As much as they might tell you, ’Oh, it’s OK you guys lost’ ’ no, Johnny. No participation trophies, OK? First place only.

Take it from a guy who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16 and hasn’t looked back since, kids.

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Chicago man dies after falling over railing at Wrigley Field

The Pirates held the first overall pick in 2011 and spurned the two-way star Hultzen, instead opting to take an established right-handed pitcher from UCLA named Gerrit Cole, who now anchors their rotation.

The Mariners quickly scooped Hultzen up at No. 2 and gave him a $6.35 million signing bonus. Now, nearly six years later, Hultzen is a free agent with multiple shoulder surgeries, having never thrown an inning in the majors. It will never be known what effect, if any, being a two-way player in college had on his professional career, or any of the physical ailments he faced after being drafted, but the fact remains that the Pirates brought their organization back to life with an established college pitcher and the Mariners did not.

A Chicago man died one day after plunging over a Wrigley Field railing following Tuesday night’s Cubs game.

Richard E. Garrity, 42, fell from an undisclosed height and landed on his head while leaving the ballpark around 11 p.m. CT Tuesday, causing head trauma.

Garrity was pronounced dead at 3:33 p.m. Wednesday at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with his family during this difficult time, the Cubs said in a statement.

Garrity, a marketing manager with Heineken, attended the game as a work outing with colleagues and his wife, his father, Richard Garrity Sr., told the Chicago Tribune.

The incident occurred after the Cubs defeated the Reds, 9-5 ’ a game which ended at 10:20 p.m.

Further details about the circumstances that led to Garrity’s fall were not released.

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’False alarm’ disrupts Pirates-Braves at SunTrust Park

SunTrust Park’s Twitter account posted an apology later in a game won by the Braves, 6-5, that also experienced a three-hour rain delay and didn’t end until just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, some 6 hours, 15 minutes after the first pitch.

An apparent altercation involving fans in one of the ballpark restaurants caused a malfunction that resulted in the alarm sounding, The Associated Press reported.

One fan told the Journal-Constitution that in a time of heightened awareness at entertainment and athletic venues, the incident caused some anxiety.

The Cobb County Police Department released a statement, saying in part there was never a security issue or an evacuation of the park.

Masahiro Tanaka is the Yankees’ friendly neighborhood starting pitcher.

Per Newsday’s Erik Boland, Yankees manager Joe Girardi says the team is avoiding giving the struggling Tanaka any kind of medical scans for fear of ’ are you ready for this? ’ turning him into a superhero.

You just don’t scan people, Girardi said prior to Wednesday’s home game vs. the Royals. You just don’t light them up inside. We don’t want to turn him into Spider-Man or Superman or something like that. Radiation is something you have to deal with, so, no, you just don’t scan people to scan them. We have to do that in the airport and none of us like it.

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Braves retaliate against Jose Bautista, then immediately pay for it

The Dodgers have gone with college players for five of their past seven first-rounders, but they’ve hit prep gold in the past with Corey Seager (2012) and Clayton Kershaw (2006). They could go with Bubba Thompson, but if Warmoth is still here, the college hitter with a good glove might be too much to resist.

He’s an outstanding college bat who could play first or corner infield. The past two college bats they’ve taken: Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. Not too shabby.

Thompson is a prep star in both football — he received SEC scholarship offers as a quarterback — and baseball, and he’s committee to Alabama to play baseball. But the Nationals, or whatever team winds up taking him in the first round, should be able to convince him to take the professional route this summer.

The Braves got their pound of flesh against Jose Bautista in the first inning Thursday. So not worth it, Atlanta.

Braves starter Julio Teheran hit the Blue Jays’ Bautista in the left thigh with a fastball, a response to Bautista flipping his bat after hitting a home run Wednesday night. Unwritten rules followed to the invisible letter.

At that point, it was on Teheran to make sure the Jays didn’t score. He failed.

Toronto put up a three-spot in the inning. Darrell Ceciliani doubled home Bautista, and then Chris Coghlan doubled home Ceciliani and Kendrys Morales.

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NCAA baseball tournament 2017: College World Series bracket, schedule in Omaha

Once the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament’s regionals and super regionals are complete, the eight remaining teams will travel to Omaha, Neb., to crown a College World Series national champion.

The College World Series, a double-elimination tournament with a best-of-3 final, begins June 17 at TD Ameritrade Park with the championship series set for June 26-28.

Joe Girardi scoops dirt onto home plate after being ejected, and the home plate umpire leaves the dirt there. Bush league.

It has been an eventful, confusing day for the Rays and Yankees. Yankees’ starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka got bombed, allowing six runs in three innings of work.

Yankee reliever Tommy Layne drilled Rays outfielder Corey Dickerson later, and Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge got hit with a retaliatory pitch from Rays starter Matt Andriese.

All this leads to one conclusion: We’re one ejection closer to computerized strike zones.

So what might injuries cost Harper if they persist? Perhaps seven home runs a season, with Harper averaging 24 home runs his first five seasons but 31 homers per 162 games. This might sound inconsequential and like something that will even out over time. Seven homers a year for 20 years, however, is 140 homers. It’s the difference between more than 600 home runs and barely 450.

Six-hundred home runs will pretty much guarantee a player enshrinement, at least at some point with Barry Bonds starting to look like a probable Cooperstown selection from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Sammy Sosa, the only other eligible player with 600 home runs not in the Hall of Fame, has struggled to draw more than a small percentage of votes so far. But he could also be a committee pick at some point.

Meanwhile, numerous players have 450 or so home runs and are not enshrined, the Adam Dunns, Dave Kingmans and Carlos Delgados of the baseball world.

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NFL Draft 2017: ECU’s Zay Jones states case as top receiver in his class

The record-setting ECU receiver fielded some punts after running routes and retreated to catch a booming punt down the right sideline from ECU punter Worth Gregory.

As Jones tracked the ball, the kick led him toward some tackling dummies that were lying on the field. Jones tripped over a couple of the pads and crashed into a standup dummy as scouts and trainers ran over to check on him.

Allen should fall in the draft past the top-five picks, but the Saints shouldn’t be picky when it comes to adding to their defense. Allen, Sheldon Rankins and Cameron Jordan are three great defensive linemen to build around.

The Bengals lost their two best offensive linemen, and it’s unclear whether they trust in Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher as their bookend tackles. Robinson could play guard to start before replacing one of the two in 2018.

It’s likely that a quarterback goes before 10, and my money is on Trubisky being the first quarterback taken at this point. The Bills have interest in Trubisky, and if he doesn’t go in the top-three picks, I’ be surprised if the Bills don’t draft him.

Obviously, reigning MVP Kris Bryant and All-Star Anthony Rizzo are the core of the Cubs’ lineup, as both are in their primes and form potentially the best offensive duo in baseball. But Chicago needs to get some return on its investment in Jason Heyward, particularly with the departure of Fowler. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections predict an uptick for Heyward. The right fiedler is still elite defensively, but the Cubs need him to hit closer to his .257/.336/.410 Baseball Prospectus projection than his .230/.3016/.325 actual line from 2016.

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he could have better odds with the Modern Baseball Committee.

Jack was a dominating pitcher during his era, Whitaker said. Jack was probably the best starter in the game. You had some quality starters during those years but Jack pretty much dominated, was the ace. He was going to go long in the games. He was going to take you to the eighth or ninth inning.

Trammell has something of a similar case to Whitaker, rating as one of the top shortstops in baseball history by sabermetrics but having less impressive traditional stats partly because of his era. That said, Trammell did considerably better with the writers, peaking at 40.9 percent of the vote his final year on the ballot. By extension, he could have better odds with the Modern Baseball Committee.

Asked whether he considered Trammell a Hall of Famer, Whitaker said, Of course.

To me, he’s one of the best shortstops to ever play the game, Whitaker said.

So what’s taken Trammell and Whitaker so long? Why haven’t the 1984 Detroit Tigers, who won 104 games and the World Series, had a single Hall of Famer?

We were just consistent, Whitaker said. We were a team with consistent players. We played, we won.

With Span, et. al getting more swings, offense in the NL should, in theory, increase. But would AL offense be hurt as full-time DHs disappear? Not by much, because, as in the NL, regulars would be taking those PAs.

SN put together a model that roughly shows how scoring would be affected if just the eight position players hit. Our findings, based on what we’ll term average runs created per plate appearance (RC/PA):

All NL players who batted in the first through eighth spots last season (average .127 RC/PA) would have created an additional 638 runs had they absorbed all of the 9,179 plate appearances by NL ninth-place hitters. That comes out to 42.5 additional runs per NL club over the course of a season.

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They stay in the closet because they don’t want to get attacked on social media.

He pointed to ESPN giving the Arthur Ashe Courage award to Caitlyn Jenner at the 2015 ESPYs Awards.

ESPN’s rivals at Fox Sports have also been taunting ESPN over the subscribers losses that have reduced its footprint to 88 million homes from a former high of 100 million. Fox Sports radio host Clay Travis wrote ESPN has morphed into a left-wing network he calls MESPN. He pointed to ESPN giving the Arthur Ashe Courage award to Caitlyn Jenner at the 2015 ESPYs Awards.

And that was the jumping off point, the moment ESPN ceased to be about sports and became a mouthpiece of the farthest left reaches of the Democratic party. I’m all for political discussion, but when you ally yourself with one political party and your business ostensibly is to talk about sports, you lose viewers who see what you’re doing. That’s why I call ESPN MSESPN now, the network is desperate to prop up its ratings and has decided that becoming a shill for the left wing in the country is its best option. Sadly, this is just going to lose more viewers.

In an interview with Sporting News, Jason Whitlock, co-host of FS1’s Speak for Yourself, said ESPN is trying to please hyper left-wing social media forces.

Despite the protests against Republican president Donald Trump by high-profile athletes such as LeBron James, Steph Curry and various members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, Schilling estimated that 80 percent to 85 percent of pro athletes are actually conservative politically. They stay in the closet because they don’t want to get attacked on social media.

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