Examining surprising Hall calls for Harold Baines, Lee Smith

In an absolutely stunning Hall of Fame announcement Sunday night, the Today’s Game Era Committee elected Lee Smith … and Harold Baines. I just hope this wasn’t the Hall of Fame’s “La La Land/Moonlight” moment. Smith is understandable. He wouldn’t have been my first choice on this 10-person ballot — no general manager in the 1980s or 1990s would have traded Smith for Will Clark or Orel Hershiser — but he did retire in 1997 as the all-time saves leader and still ranks third behind Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman.…

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Lee Smith and Harold Baines Tapped for Hall of Fame

It has become harder in recent seasons for relief pitchers to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and designated hitters have historically had an extremely high bar to clear. But Cooperstown opened its doors to both on Sunday with the election of Lee Smith and Harold Baines by the Hall of Fame’s Today’s Game Era committee. Smith, a closer primarily for the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals, was unanimously elected by the 16-person committee. Baines, a designated hitter who played primarily for the Chicago White Sox,…

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Chicago legends Harold Baines, Lee Smith make Hall of Fame

LAS VEGAS — Smooth-swinging Harold Baines and longtime closer Lee Smith were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. “Very shocked,” Baines said on a conference call. Former outfielder and manager Lou Piniella fell one vote short. Results of the 16-member Today’s Game Era Committee were announced at the winter meetings. It took 12 votes for election — Smith was unanimous; Baines got 12 and Piniella had 11. Smith and Baines both debuted in Chicago during the 1980 season. Smith began with the Cubs and went on to…

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Chili Davis hired as Mets hitting coach

LAS VEGAS — Chili Davis has been hired as hitting coach of the New York Mets after spending last season in that role with the Chicago Cubs. Davis was hitting coach for Oakland manager Bob Melvin (2012-14) and Boston manager John Farrell (2015-17) before moving to the Cubs under manager Joe Maddon. Davis was fired in October. The Cubs were 22nd among the 30 teams, with 167 home runs and finishing 13th with a .410 slugging percentage despite a .258 batting average that was third behind Boston and Cleveland. A…

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MLB — Carlos Carrasco’s surprising extension changes Cleveland Indians’ plans

Not long after the World Series, the Cleveland Indians made it known to the rest of the industry that they would take offers for their best available starting pitchers — two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, right-hander Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer, who was coming off a breakout performance in 2018. Other teams might seem more likely to land Bryce Harper, but he wouldn’t be the first Boras client to shop around before re-signing with his original club. From the free agents set to cash in to the big-name…

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Kyler Murray – College Player – 2018 Player Profile

CollegeBasketballTalk College hoops news and rumors » CBT on NBCSports.com Off the Bench An irreverent, offbeat look at sports » OTB on NBCSports.com Source link

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Mike Napoli announces retirement after 13-year MLB career

Veteran Mike Napoli, a popular clubhouse figure who hit 267 home runs and made three World Series trips during his 13-year career, announced his retirement Saturday. Napoli, who did not play in the majors last season because of a knee injury, said in a statement that he hopes to “be remembered as someone who always tried to keep the clubhouse atmosphere light and inclusive.” Napoli, 37, was a career .246 hitter over parts of 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. He…

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Senate passes bill to honor baseball pioneer Larry Doby with Congressional Gold Medal

CLEVELAND — The U.S. Senate has passed legislation to honor former Cleveland Indians center-fielder Larry Doby, the American League’s first black ballplayer, with the Congressional Gold Medal. Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, and Rob Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, recently announced passage of the bill, which awaits President Donald Trump’s signature. Republican Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth earlier helped gain House approval. Larry Doby became the first black player in the American League, joining the Cleveland Indians less than three months after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in…

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MLB — Never say never on Bryce Harper going back to the Washington Nationals

Let the record show that if Bryce Harper never plays another game for the Washington Nationals, his last plate appearance resulted in a double off the Rockies’ Chris Rusin, in Harper’s 3,306th at-bat for the franchise that drafted him — his 922nd hit and 385th extra-base hit. Hopefully, Harper set aside his jersey from that moment as a keepsake, for children and grandchildren. Nationals owner Mark Lerner said he has told Bryce Harper that the team has maxed out its offer to the free-agent outfielder. “I really don’t expect him…

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Arizona Diamondbacks sign pitcher Merrill Kelly after South Korea stint

PHOENIX — Right-hander Merrill Kelly is joining his hometown Arizona Diamondbacks, agreeing to a $5.5 million, two-year contract. The 30-year-old spent the past four seasons with SK Wyverns in South Korea. He was 48-32 with a 3.86 ERA, including 16-7 in 2017. A Scottsdale native, Kelly attended Desert Mountain High School, Yavapai College and Arizona State. He was taken by Tampa Bay in the eighth round of the 2010 amateur draft and rose to Triple-A in the Rays’ system. He is due $2 million next season and $3 million in…

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