Scott Gleeson USA TODAY Published 6:18 p.m. UTC Aug 7, 2018 The Clearwater (Fla.) Threshers, a minor-league High-A affiliate for the Philadelphia Phillies, become part of baseball history on Monday night by winning a game without a hit or walk. How is that even possible? The Threshers used a new minor-league extra innings tiebreaker rule in which a runner starts on second base to secure a run in the eighth inning of their 1-0 victory over the Tampa Tarpons (the Yankees' affiliate). The Threshers are the first Florida State League team since Aug. 23, 1992, to win a game despite not recording a hit. Because minor league games during doubleheaders are only seven innings, the tiebreaker rule was applied at the start of the eighth. The Threshers were able to get the runner on home courtesy of an error (which advanced him to third) and then a game-winning fielder's choice ground ball by Clearwater's Daniel Brito in which the winning run, Luke Williams, beat the … [Read more...] about Minor-league baseball team wins despite no hits or walks
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Bob Nightengale USA TODAY Published 9:43 p.m. UTC Jul 28, 2018 COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Maybe his words would carry more weight if he was in baseball’s Hall of Fame, and not just signing autographs in the back room of a collector’s store on Main Street, but still this is Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hit king. Rose believes that he belongs in the Hall of Fame, and continues to be on the outside looking in, but he’ll never stop sharing his views on the game he loves. The game has changed so dramatically since Rose last played that he concedes he has trouble watching it, condemning the rash of strikeouts, home runs and lack of fundamentals, while believing that Major League Baseball has doctored the baseballs. “I’m going to argue with baseball until the day I die," Rose said, “that baseball is juiced. I don’t care what anybody says. They’ll say it’s not, which they have to. I saw a ball bounce behind the dugout the … [Read more...] about Pete Rose sounds off on MLB, again: ‘I’m not real happy when I watch baseball’
AP Updated 7:27 p.m. UTC Jul 16, 2018 WASHINGTON (AP) — David Ortiz can now laugh, sort of, at the shifting culture of baseball. For J.D. Martinez, Nolan Arenado, Aaron Judge and every other All-Star hitter, dealing with different defensive alignments is just part of the game. Tune in Tuesday night and no telling where fans will see fielders. Especially in what's become merely an exhibition — why not try a five-man outfield? To Big Papi, these overloaded infields are reshaping the sport. Not in a good way, either. "It seems crazy, it seems like it's taking some fun part of the game away," the retired Red Sox slugger said Sunday at Nationals Park, site of this week's All-Star action. "It seems like there are 20 guys playing defense against you," Ortiz said, playfully estimating shifts took away "like 500 hits away from me." His idea: "So I would take my chances, if MLB wanted to. Just saying to play normal, like the game is supposed to be played since Day One, just to … [Read more...] about Baseball’s shifting culture set to play out in All-Star Game
On a searing hot summer's day in Washington, a group of children are playing baseball at a pristine ballpark that stands at odds with its surroundings in the city's rough-and-tumble southeast. Parents and grandparents shout encouragement from the stands as they chow down on hot dogs, some seeking shelter under the shade of a blue tent. This quintessential scene is taking place in little leagues across the United States -- and would be unremarkable if it weren't for the stark color divide on the field. Currently at bat is a team of 12-year-old African Americans representing Southeast's Mamie Johnson league -- named for the only woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues. Their opponents from the affluent Northwest Washington league -- which has dominated area competition for decades -- are almost all white. Mamie Johnson coach Neil Snell -- whose team wins easily -- is hoping his league, which was developed four years ago to help reverse baseball's precipitous decline among African Americans … [Read more...] about Striking out: why is black America turning away from baseball?
Steve Strauss Special to USA TODAY Published 4:17 p.m. UTC Jun 14, 2018 So, you thought LeBron and the NBA were popular, eh? Get ready to have your mind blown. Soccer and the World Cup are far more popular worldwide than the NBA Finals. Consider: — According to data analyst firm Umbel, in the last World Cup, the women’s final was watched by more Americans than the NBA Finals. — A 2014 ESPN poll found that among 12-17 year olds, the second most popular sport in America after the NFL is soccer. Indeed, among that age group, Major League Soccer (MLS) is tied with Major League Baseball in popularity. — And, according to 2015 Adobe Digital Index data, social media buzz for some soccer events has been doubling every year. So a word to the wise: With the month-long quadrennial World Cup under way, go with the flow and allow the folks in your office who are so inclined to enjoy the spectacle … [Read more...] about Got World Cup fans in your office? Bend the rules like Beckham