MLB to probe racism allegations vs. Seattle Mariners

Major League Baseball said Tuesday it will investigate claims of racial discrimination in the Seattle Mariners organization made by a former employee on Monday. “MLB is aware of the allegations made by a former employee of the Seattle Mariners regarding the conduct of Club employees. Consistent with our policies, we are investigating the allegations,” the league said in a statement given to The Athletic. The Mariners denied allegations made by a former employee that management called Latino players, especially those from the Dominican Republic, “dumb” and “stupid.” The Mariners on…

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Buster’s MLB Buzz — Time for Giants to decide what to do with Madison Bumgarner

The timing of Farhan Zaidi’s hiring by the San Francisco Giants could not be better for an organization that probably needs a clear-eyed examination of its most treasured on-field asset. It would be too much to ask some in the ownership group or front office to wholly separate themselves emotionally from Madison Bumgarner, who played an important role in two championships, in 2010 and 2012, before almost single-handedly carrying the group to a third title in 2014. Just in case the passing years have muddied your memory of 2014, there…

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Japan rallies to beat MLB All-Stars 5-3 to lead series 3-1

HIROSHIMA, Japan — Ryosuke Kikuchi drove in the go-ahead run as Japan rallied with four runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the MLB All-Stars 5-3 and take a 3-1 lead in their six-game exhibition series on Tuesday. The ninth-inning comeback started when Kirby Yates walked leadoff batter Kazuki Tanaka, who stole second and scored on Seiji Uebayashi’s single to center to cut the MLB lead to 3-2. Japan tied the game on Kosuke Tanaka’s single to center that scored Uebayashi from second. Kosuke Tanaka scored the…

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Why are MLB managers so short?

There’s an odd thing about MLB managers: They’re pretty short. They’re even shorter now than they were. They’re shrinking! Or, more accurately, some of the taller managers have been replaced by shorter managers: Jeff Bannister (74 inches) by Chris Woodward (72), and Bryan Price (74) by David Bell (70), and Mike Matheny (75) by Mike Shildt (72ish), and so on. The one exception among the recent batch of turnovers is in Minnesota, where Rocco Baldelli (76, now tied for the tallest manager in baseball — shorter than 150 players who…

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MLB All-Stars get first win against Japan

TOKYO — Yadier Molina and J.T. Realmuto both homered Sunday to lead the MLB All-Stars to a 7-3 win over Japan for their first win of the six-game exhibition series. Realmuto hit a solo homer to right in the fourth at Tokyo Dome and Mitch Haniger scored on a throwing error by Japan starter Shinsaburo Tawata in the fifth to give the MLB All-Stars a 2-1 lead. Molina followed with an opposite-field three-run blast to right that knocked Tawata out of the game and gave his team a 5-1 advantage.…

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MLB — Nobody’s more valuable than Mike Trout, but will he be MVP?

Late in the regular season, a couple of Houston Astros players paused between their rounds of batting practice to speculate about some negotiations to come in the offseason, about what Bryce Harper and Manny Machado might get in free agency and where they might land. Last winter was tough for older free-agent position players, but even at 32 Andrew McCutchen could snap that cold spell. The Indians are open to trade offers — even for their ace. Adding Kluber to one of these clubs could help shift the balance of…

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Buster’s MLB Buzz — Andrew McCutchen faces tough market for older free agents

Travis Sawchik wrote an interesting piece for FiveThirtyEight.com recently about how the baseball industry is running away from major investments in players in their early 30s, and this is especially true for position players. Here is the list of infielders, outfielders or catchers who got multiyear deals last winter, at age 32 or older: The Indians are open to trade offers — even for their ace. Adding Kluber to one of these clubs could help shift the balance of power in 2019 and beyond. When the Nats’ rejected offer was…

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MLB awards roundtable — Who will win and why

It’s time to hand out some hardware as baseball’s major award winners will be announced this week, beginning with the Rookies of the Year on Monday, Managers of the Year on Tuesday, the Cy Young Award winners on Wednesday and the MVPs on Thursday. In advance of the announcements, we asked some of our analysts for their takes on who would win and their insights on the top contenders. Shohei Ohtani presents an unusual case, but his big bat in September is hard to ignore. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill Rookie of…

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MLB — Predicting 2019 for this year’s MLB awards finalists

The finalists for MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year all had great 2018 seasons. Some continued along their superstar paths, some emerged as greats, while multiple rookies showed they might soon be in line for bigger things in the years to come. Their accomplishments in 2018 mostly speak for themselves as we head toward winter. But as for next season, some have a greater chance at repeating last year’s excellence than others. Here’s the 2019 outlook for the 2018 finalists. Ohtani or Andujar? Verlander or Snell? DeGrom with…

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Buster’s MLB Buzz — A Corey Kluber blockbuster? These teams could be in the mix

Corey Kluber will be 33 years old next April and if he was about to hit free agency, there would be important questions about the high risk of a long-term investment in a pitcher with more than 2,000 innings logged in professional baseball. But Kluber, the Cy Young award winner in the American League in 2014 and 2017, is not a free agent; rather, he’s under team control for the next three years, but only a year at a time through a series of one-year club options. He’s set to…

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