Tag Archives: MLB news

The 2014 Major League Baseball Season Is Here. Let’s Play Ball!!!

The 2014 Major League Baseball Season Is Here.  Let’s Play Ball!!!

Finally we get to hear those two words we’ve been wanting to hear since November – ‘PLAY BALL’!!!

I am very excited that the 2014 baseball season is here. The Marlins are hosting the Colorado Rockies tonight in a rare night game and I am going to make every effort possible to it from start to finish.  Hopefully my two boys will want to watch a bit of it as well.  And with Jose Fernandez on the mound, it is even more exciting as the Marlins have a true ‘Ace’ on the mound!

As a kid, I always wanted to go to an Opening Day game, but there was no team in Florida during my youth. And as an adult, I guess that work and other priorities have gotten in my way as I have still not been able to conquer that dream.

I promise that one day I will!!!

Until then, ‘PLAY BALL’!!!!

MLB Increases For Positive Drug Test Results & I LOVE IT!!!

MLB Increases For Positive Drug Test Results & I LOVE IT!!!

From MLB.com

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced today significant improvements to virtually every component of their Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. In making the most extensive modifications to the Program since 2006, MLB and the MLBPA continue to take steps to ensure that Baseball has the most comprehensive drug program of any professional sports organization in the world.

Some of the significant elements of the revised Program include the following:

  • The number of in-season random urine collections will more than double beginning in the 2014 season (from 1,400 to 3,200), which are in addition to the mandatory urine collections that every player is subjected to both during Spring Training and the Championship Season. This represents the largest increase in testing frequency in the Program’s history.
  •  Blood collections for hGH detection — which remains the most significant hGH blood testing program of its kind in American professional sports — will increase to 400 random collections per year, in addition to the 1,200 mandatory collections conducted during Spring Training.
  •  A first-time performance-enhancing substance violation of the Joint Drug Program will now result in an unpaid 80-game suspension, increased from 50 games. A player’s second violation will result in an unpaid 162-game suspension (and a loss of 183 days of pay), increased from 100 games. A third violation will result in a permanent suspension from Baseball.
  •  A Player who is suspended for a violation involving a performance-enhancing substance will be ineligible to participate in the Postseason, and will not be eligible for an automatic share of the Player’s Pool provided to players on Clubs who participate in the Postseason. (Such Players are already ineligible to participate in the All-Star Game.)
  •  Every Player whose suspension for a performance-enhancing substance is upheld will be subject to six additional unannounced urine collections, and three additional unannounced blood collections, during every subsequent year of his entire career.
  • Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) will be randomly performed on at least one specimen from every player in addition to any IRMS test that the laboratory conducts as a result of the parties’ longitudinal profiling program (which was implemented prior to the 2013 season) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines for conducting IRMS.
  •  The parties established a program in which Players will have year-round access to supplements that will not cause a positive test result and which will improve home and visiting weight rooms.
  •  The parties provided the Arbitration Panel with the ability to reduce a Player’s discipline (subject to certain limitations) for the use of certain types of performance-enhancing substances if the Player proves at a hearing that the use was not intended to enhance performance;
  •  The parties added DHEA to the list of banned substances and enhanced the confidentiality provisions of the Program.

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: “Major League Baseball is proud to announce some of the most significant improvements that we have made to our Program in recent years. Although we had the strongest Program in professional sports before these changes, I am committed to constantly finding ways to improve the Program in order to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the game and for MLB to serve as a model for other drug programs. I want to express my appreciation to the Players for being proactive and showing remarkable leadership in producing the new agreement. I commend them for both their foresight and their creativity throughout this process, and for strongly sharing our desire to improve what is already the toughest drug program in sports.”

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said: “Experience proves that increased penalties alone are not sufficient; that’s why the Players pushed for a dramatic increase in the frequency and sophistication of our tests, as well as comprehensive changes in a number of other areas of the program that will serve as a deterrent. Make no mistake, this agreement underscores the undisputed reality that the Players put forward many of the most significant changes reached in these negotiations because they want a fair and clean game.”

MLB’s 2015 All-Star Game To Be Played In Cincinnati

MLB’s 2015 All-Star Game To Be Played In Cincinnati

From MLB.com

CINCINNATI — The 2015 All-Star Game will be hosted by the Reds and Cincinnati, and the announcement will be made on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET, sources confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday morning.

Commissioner Bud Selig, joined by Reds president and CEO Bob Castellini, will be at Great American Ball Park for a news conference, during which it also will be announced that Major League Baseball is making a contribution toward an Urban Youth Academy in the city.

But numerous media outlets and an official close to the situation have said that an All-Star Game announcement is expected on Wednesday. The Cincinnati Enquirer first reported the story.

Neither Major League Baseball nor the team has confirmed the reports.

The Reds last hosted an All-Star Game in 1988 at Riverfront Stadium. The game was also held there in 1970 and at Crosley Field in 1953 and 1938.

Since Castellini’s ownership group bought the team in 2006, the Reds have lobbied MLB to host the Midsummer Classic. The club and city successfully hosted a showcase event — the Civil Rights Game — in 2009 and ’10, and impressed the Commissioner and other league officials. Each winter, the team holds a fan fest at Duke Energy Center that is of the size and scope of the All-Star Game Fanfest.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be hosted by the Mets at Citi Field in New York while the Twins and Target Field in Minneapolis will have the 2014 All-Star Game.

After that, it will be Cincinnati’s turn to open its doors to the nation for one of baseball’s biggest events.

MLB Announces Their 2013 Schedules Which Includes At Least 1 Inter-League Game Every Day!!!

MLB Announces Their 2013 Schedules Which Includes At Least 1 Inter-League Game Every Day!!!

From Mark Newman, MLB.com

Major League Baseball on Wednesday released its tentative 2013 master schedule, which includes the Astros’ shift to the American League West that will lead to at least one Interleague game every day, and features 19 divisional games for every club and the World Baseball Classic during Spring Training.

There is dramatic change, and yet there are familiar twists. The ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” opener returns on March 31, featuring teams to be determined. That will be followed by 12 Opening Day games on April 1, including the traditional opener in Cincinnati, where for the first time the Reds will open against an American League team, the Angels.

The regular season will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 29, after back-to-back years of finishing on a Wednesday. That will be five days earlier than the scheduled 2012 conclusion, allowing for more flexibility in postseason scheduling.

The Astros competed in the National League for the first 50 years of their franchise existence, and their move from the NL Central means there will be 15 teams in both leagues and five teams in all six divisions for the first time. Houston kicks off its inaugural AL season with 15 consecutive games against its new division opponents, including an opening series at home against new rival Texas on April 2-4.

That balancing act leads to some significant changes:

• Clubs play 19 games against divisional opponents, for 76 division games total. The 19 games will be played in six series: three at home and three on the road. This playing load, in sharp contrast to past scheduling, will make division races more balanced and competitive. In 2012, for instance, the Pirates do not meet each NL Central foe an equal number of times, and play just 15 games against the Cardinals.

• Each club will play either six or seven games against non-divisional league opponents. Those games will be played in two series: one at home and one on the road. Overall, 66 games will be played against non-divisional league opponents.

• Each club will play 20 Interleague games throughout the season. Those games will be played in eight series: four at home and four on the road. Interleague series featuring prime rivals will include back-to-back two-game series spanning both cities/venues. The week featuring Interleague Play’s prime rivals will begin on Monday, May 27, with the host clubs in the same matchups shifting on Wednesday, May 29.

On May 24, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen will return to Chicago to face the White Sox for the first time. He played 13 seasons for the White Sox and managed them for eight seasons, including a World Series title in 2005.

Former Yankees fixture Don Mattingly will lead his Dodgers against the Bronx Bombers next year in New York (June 18-19) and at home (July 30-31) for Interleague Play. It will mark the first visit to the new Yankee Stadium for the Dodgers, who represented Brooklyn until moving west in 1958.

Speaking of the Dodgers, they open their season with a three-game series at home against the rival Giants starting on April 1. For further intrigue, Boston visits Los Angeles on Aug. 23-25 for the first time since 2002. Four significant former Red Sox are under contract with the Dodgers for next season: Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.

The Red Sox will open their season at Yankee Stadium on April 1-3, the first time they have done so since 2005 at the old park. The Yankees opened at Fenway in ’10.

There will be some interesting firsts. Evan Longoria and the Rays go to Dodger Stadium for the first time on Aug. 9-11. The Cubs visit Oakland for the first time on July 2, so the Coliseum will represent the 114th different ballpark they have visited in franchise history. Marlins Park and Target Field were their most recent additions to that list.

A matchup between superb right-handers Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg can’t happen in 2012 now that the latter is shut down for the year, but it could happen in ’13 as part of a pair of two-game series between the Tigers and Nationals. The two series take place May 7-8 at Nationals Park and July 30-31 at Comerica Park.

If you are a Subway Series fan, the new scheduling will have a slight effect. The Mets will play four games against the Yankees instead of the usual six, facing their inter-borough rivals twice at Citi Field and twice at Yankee Stadium.

The Dodgers will host the Padres on Monday, April 15, which is Jackie Robinson Day throughout the Majors. The First-Year Player Draft will begin Thursday, June 6. The 84th All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on July 16, marking the return of the Midsummer Classic to Flushing for the first time since 1964.

The Cardinals will meet up with an old friend from July 2-4: Albert Pujols. That series is in Anaheim, so a trip to Disneyland complete with fireworks and No. 5 might be worth scheduling if you’re a Redbirds fan.

After competing in the NL Central since 1994, the Astros won’t say goodbye to their former division foes just yet. Houston will play three games in Pittsburgh (May 17-19) and in Chicago against the Cubs (June 21-23), while playing host to the Brewers (June 18-20) and Reds (Sept. 16-18) for three games. They will play a pair of two-game series against the Cardinals that will begin in Houston (June 25-26) before moving to St. Louis (July 9-10).

“We’re extremely excited about the 2013 schedule,” Astros owner Jim Crane said. “We think our fans will enjoy seeing many of the new teams and players that will be coming to our ballpark next season. This is an exciting time for the Astros organization. We’re confident that we’re moving in the right direction, both on and off the field. Our plan is in place.”

The 12 Monday Opening Day games include Padres at Mets, Marlins at Nationals, Royals at White Sox, Tigers at Twins, Cardinals at D-backs, Mariners at A’s, Phillies at Braves, Rockies at Brewers and Cubs at Pirates.

Seven games are scheduled for April 2, and the first full slate of 15 games will be scheduled for Wednesday, April 3.

The regular season will be prefaced by the third edition of the World Baseball Classic, won the first two times by Japan. An expanded field of 28 nations will play at sites around the globe, starting with the first qualifier on Sept. 19 and leading up to the main tournament in March, with dates and ticket availability to be announced later.

“I know I’m going to guarantee the [MLB] managers and the general managers that I’m going to have these guys going back to their teams ready to start the season,” said Joe Torre, who will manage the U.S. team. “I think that’s the most important thing I can commit to those teams. I’ll take care of their players, and hopefully they can trust me on that.”