MLB, MLBPA reportedly making final negotiation effort
If the two sides aren’t able to reach a compromise, commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to implement a season at a length of the league’s choosing. Doing so would ensure the players their prorated salaries for the duration of the 2020 season and would not include the expanded playoffs, which the union has offered to ownership. Barring an agreement between the two sides, we’re down to the “last hours” before Manfred implements a season length, per Olney. Throughout this process, both parties have maintained that they hope to reach a deal rather than have a season set by Manfred under the pre-existing March agreement.
Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks will open the 2020 season on the injured list, manager Mike Shildt told reporters Wednesday (Twitter link via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The flame-throwing 23-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery last June and is still in the final stages of his rehab process. © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports St. Louis Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks is in the closing stages of rehab following Tommy John surgery and will begin the season on the injured list.
Back in May, Hicks had progressed to the point where he was able to throw multiple 20-pitch bullpen sessions. About six weeks have elapsed since that time, but it doesn’t seem that Hicks is yet at the point where he can immediately contribute. The club does expect him to factor into the bullpen before too long, though no clear timetable was provided.
ESPN’s Doris Burke opens up about COVID-19 struggle, NBA’s resumption concerns
When asked about the challenges the NBA will face as it attempts to mount a comeback next month, Burke didn’t mince words.“The thing that I felt the most was fatigue and headache,” Burke said about having coronavirus. “So for a good stretch of the first two weeks of that, I was just thinking I had a bad flu, because my symptoms were not aligning with what was being told were the main symptoms — the shortness of breath, the pressure on the chest — I didn’t have those scary symptoms. So for a good stretch of time, I didn’t think I had it. But then I finally decided to get tested.
Hicks turned in a sharp rookie season back in 2018, tossing 77 2/3 innings of 3.59 ERA ball — albeit with a more troubling 5.2 BB/9 mark and 13.3 percent overall walk rate. He looked to be taking his game to another level in 2019, though. Prior to going on the injured list, Hicks pitched 28 2/3 frames with across-the-board improvements in ERA (3.59 to 3.14), FIP (3.74 to 3.21), K/9 (8.1 to 9.7), K% (20.6 percent to 28.2 percent), BB% (13.3 percent to 10.0 percent) and ground-ball rate (60.7 percent to 67.2 percent). Those results and a fastball that averaged 101.6 mph in his brief career to date certainly paint the picture of a potentially dominant reliever.
With Hicks on the shelf to begin the year, the Cards should have plenty of alternatives — headlined by 2019 breakout setup man Giovanny Gallegos and veteran southpaw Andrew Miller. Gallegos, acquired in the 2018 Luke Voit trade with the Yankees, has helped to balance the scales on what initially looked like an inordinately lopsided deal. But while Voit came roaring out of the gates in the Bronx, Gallegos slowly and steadily increased his role in the St. Louis bullpen and wound up with downright dominant results in 2019: 74 innings, 2.31 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 11.3 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, one save, 19 holds. He’s controlled for another five seasons, so it seems the Cards may have unearthed a key long-term bullpen piece.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: NBA title in Orlando will be ‘toughest’ ever to win
Antetokounmpo thinks the 2019-20 NBA title will the be hardest one to win.With players having to quarantine in Orlando and follow numerous guidelines in order to get back to playing, Giannis told reporters on Wednesday that he believes this year’s championship will be the “toughest championship you can ever win.
As for the 35-year-old Miller, the 2019 season wasn’t his strongest. Like many pitchers, Miller saw his home-run rates skyrocket last year as hitters piled up big flies at record rates amid revelations about alterations to the ball’s composition. Miller’s 4.45 ERA and 5.19 FIP were his highest marks since breaking out as a high-end reliever, but he still averaged 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
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- Cardinals reliever John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery
- Cardinals sign hard-throwing Dominican prospect Edwin Nunez
- The 'St. Louis Cardinals to throw a no-hitter' quiz
Related slideshow: One classic game to watch for every MLB team (Provided by Yardbarker)
Blazers coach Terry Stotts gushes about Jusuf Nurkic ahead of NBA resumption
Stotts also said that Nurkic will 'in all likelihood' be starting next to Carmelo Anthony but could possibly even start alongside fellow big man Hassan Whiteside.Speaking with the media Wednesday, Stotts raved about the Bosnian big’s physical condition and said he was ready for the NBA’s resumption in Orlando.
One classic game to watch for every MLB team
As we await the potential start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, we've been spending a good amount of time celebrating the past glory of the game. We continue with that by looking at more free streaming options.Here's one memorable game for every major league club that fans can watch — via the Web — right now.
Arizona Diamondbacks (Game 7, 2001 World Series)
Four years into their existence, the Diamondbacks became World Series champions — and memorably, did so in dramatic fashion. Arizona concluded perhaps the most emotional World Series ever played. Just weeks after the tragedy of Sept. 11, Luis Gonzalez's game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding contest of the series sent the home crowd into a frenzy of delight.
Atlanta Braves (Game 6, 1995 World Series)
Those marvelous Braves teams of the 1990s managed just one World Series title. That came in 1995, by topping the Cleveland Indians in six games. In the clincher, star Tom Glavine threw eight innings of one-hit ball, and David Justice's sixth-inning solo home run was the difference in Atlanta's 1-0 victory. It was the club's first World Series title since 1957.
Baltimore Orioles (Ripken breaks Gehrig's record, 1995)
There have many special moments in Orioles history, but one that fans can revisit via the web might be the most memorable in all of baseball. In early September of the 1995 season, beloved Baltimore star Cal Ripken Jr. played in his 2,131st consecutive game. It broke the the long-standing record of the "Iron Horse," Lou Gehrig. Though the actual outcome of the game wasn't completely notable, Ripken did go 2-for-4 with an RBI home win over the California Angels.
Chicago Cubs (Game 7, 2016 World Series)
It took 108 years, but the Chicago Cubs finally ended their World Series drought. Cubs fans can relive that historical moment via YouTube, but that Game 7 clincher against the Cleveland Indians wasn't one for the faint of heart. The emotional, up-and-down affair needed 10 innings to complete, and even the final out of Chicago's 8-7 victory was a little nerve-racking — and still might be a little too much to take.
Chicago White Sox (Game 4, 2005 World Series)
Admittingly, Chicago's run to its first World Series title since 1917 was not all that dramatic (White Sox starting pitchers had a combined 2.89 ERA for the series), aside, maybe, from Scott Podsednik's walk-off homer in Game 2. White Sox fans, though, can relive the Game 4 clincher at Houston, when Freddy Garcia allowed four hits over seven innings during a 1-0 triumph.
Cincinnati Reds (Game 4, 1990 World Series)
One of the bigger upsets in World Series came in 1990 when the sizzling Reds swept away an Oakland club that was trying for back-to-back titles — while making its third straight appearance in the Fall Classic. Cincinnati held the potent Oakland lineup to just eight runs during the series, and got 8 1/3 innings from star Jose Rijo in the 2-1 victory in Game 4.
Cleveland Indians (Game 5, 2016 ALCS)
The Indians have not won a World Series since 1948. However, they did come heartbreakingly close in 2016. While that seven-game series loss to the Chicago Cubs (in which Cleveland led 3-1) might still be tough to take for Tribe fans, one special memory came from their Game 5, 3-0 clinching-win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL Championship Series. Rookie Ryan Merritt allowed just two hits over 4 1/3 innings, and the Indians stellar reliever trio of Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen did the rest.
Colorado Rockies (Gray's masterpiece at Coors, 2016)
One of the great pitching moments in Coors Field history came in late September 2016, courtesy of Jon Gray. Amid the thin air of Coors, the long-haired, right-hander allowed just four hits and struck out a remarkable — and ballpark-record — 16 batters without yielding a walk during an 8-0 rout of the San Diego Padres.
Houston Astros (Game 4, 2005 NLDS)
Before the Astros became perennial World Series contenders during the last decade, regardless how they got to that point, they burst on the scene in 2004 and '05. In 2005, Houston made the run to its first World Series. En route, the Astros sweated out an 18-inning marathon to win the NL Division Series with a 7-6 home victory over Atlanta in Game 4. Chris Burke's walk-off homer sent those still in attendance into a massive, perhaps sleep-deprived, celebration.
Kansas City Royals (Game 5, 2015 World Series)
It took 30 years, but the Royals were finally able to win another World Series. That happened in 2015 when Kansas City rode a stellar bullpen and solid lineup to a five-game World Series-victory over the New York Mets. The Game 5 clincher wasn't that easy. Kansas City needed to score twice in the ninth inning to force extras and erupted for five runs in the 12th for a 7-2 win.
Los Angeles Angels (Game 7, 2002 World Series)
Long live the days of the thunder sticks and the rally monkey. Well, maybe not. But the 2002 World Series between the then-Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants was certainly one of the most exciting in recent memory. The Angels trailed the series 3-2, but evened things with a stunning Game 6 comeback. Then in Game 7, a three-run third inning highlighted the club's 4-1 victory and got the party started.
Los Angeles Dodgers (Game 1, 1988 World Series)
Another club with a storied past and special tradition. Yet one memory that still seems to stand tall above the rest in Dodgers history was their 5-4, comeback victory over the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1998 Series. Obviously, that came via Kirk Gibson's memorable two-run homer off Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley in the ninth inning. A hobbled, pain-stricken Gibson could barely get around the bases after knocking the ball into the right-field stands on that October night at Chavez Ravine, but it never felt so good for the slugger and Dodgers fans.
Miami Marlins (Game 7, 1997 World Series)
Edgar Renteria has been part of a few significant World Series moments over the years. Likely none was bigger than this his World Series-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning of the Marlins' 3-2 victory in Game 7 over the Cleveland Indians in '97. It came just five seasons into the franchise's MLB existence — and can be viewed for all Marlins fans to remember.
Minnesota Twins (Game 7, 1991 World Series)
It's been nearly 30 years, but it's still hard to forget Jack Morris' dominant performance against the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the '91 World Series. Aside from Don Larsen's perfect game for the New York Yankees in 1956, Morris' 10-inning, eight-strikeout gem that helped the Twins to a 1-0 victory for their second such title in five seasons might be the next best pitching performance in World Series history. Of course, Gene Larkin's game-winning single in the 10th was pretty cool too.
New York Mets (Game 6, 1986 World Series)
When baseball fans of a certain age, regardless of fan base, hear the phrase "Game 6," it does not often need an explanation. We're talking Red Sox-Mets, Shea Stadium. Boston on the verge of ending the "Curse of the Bambino" and the Mets needing another "miracle" of sorts to keep that from happening. Well, they did it with that memorable three-run 10th inning to win 6-5 and force a Game 7. Enjoy it all right here.
New York Yankees (Game 7, 2003 ALCS)
For Yankees fans, the next best thing to winning a World Series is likely breaking the hearts of the fans of the rival Boston Red Sox. That was certainly the case in 2003 when Aaron Boone, currently New York's manager, lifted that high, deep walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Yankees a 6-5, ALCS-clinching victory over the Red Sox in Game 7. Of course, Boston got its revenge a year later, but New York fans can still look back with fondness to perhaps the most memorable moment from the 2003 season.
Oakland Athletics (big-time comeback, 2018)
Back on July 24, 2018, the A's trailed the Texas Rangers 10-2 after six innings in suburban Dallas. However, Oakland was not ready to roll over on the road. The A's scored three times in the seventh and four in the eighth. After forcing extra innings, Oakland broke out for three runs in the 10th and pulled out a stunning 13-10 win over the Rangers.
Philadelphia Phillies (Game 6, 1980 World Series)
Who can forget Phillies closer Tug McGraw jumping in the air following the final out of his team's 4-1, World Series-clinching victory over Kansas City in Game 6 back in 1980? It was the franchise's first World Series title, and while it took almost 30 years for the club to win another one, this is a fun moment to relive for Phillies' fans of any age.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Game 7, 1971 World Series)
Pittsburgh's Steve Blass was the author of one of the most dominant individual performances in World Series. That came in Game 7, when the right-hander allowed one run and four hits during a complete-game gem to help the Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1. Roberto Clemente's fourth-inning homer opened the scoring and added to his storied legacy.
San Diego Padres (Game 5, 1984 NLCS)
Down 2-0 to the favored Chicago Cubs in the '84 NLCS, San Diego clawed its way back to stun the Lovable Losers and reach the franchise's first World Series. In all its glory, Padres fans can watch as their team overcome an early 3-0 hole in the decisive Game 5 vs. Chicago. The hosts' four-run seventh might go down as the greatest half-inning in Padres history.
San Francisco Giants (Game 5, 2010 World Series)
The Giants every-other-year run of three World Series title began in 2010. They clinched their first title during that span on Nov. 1, 2010. Tim Lincecum fanned 10 in eight strong innings and Edgar Renteria's two-run homer highlighted a three-run seventh for San Francisco, which beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Game 5 to secure the franchise's first title since 1954 — when still based in New York.
Seattle Mariners (Game 5, 1995 ALDS)
Many believe that the Mariners' 6-5, 11-inning victory over the New York Yankees on Oct. 8, 1995, was the moment baseball officially was saved in the city of Seattle. Needing support and funding for a new stadium, the future of baseball in the city was uncertain. However, the Mariners solidified their place in Seattle the moment Edgar Martinez doubled home Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. with the tying and series-clinching run to conclude what's arguably the greatest game in franchise history.
St. Louis Cardinals (Game 6, 2011 World Series)
The annals of St. Louis Cardinals baseball is loaded with special memories and unforgettable moments. One of the more recent ones came during the bottom of the 11th inning in the sixth game of the 2011 World Series. Facing elimination, the Cardinals rallied to pull off a wild 10-9 victory over Texas on David Freese's walk-off solo homer. One night later, St. Louis would win its 11th and most recent World Series title.
Tampa Bay Rays (Game 7, 2008 ALCS)
Kind of hard to believe it's been 12 years since the Rays made their run to the World Series. The longtime MLB doormats turned the corner as a franchise by reaching the Fall Classic in 2008. Tampa got there with a 3-1 home victory over Boston in Game 7 of the ALCS. Thanks in large part to ace David Price's brilliant four-out save. Rays fans continue to long for the day they can return to the World Series.
Texas Rangers (Game 6, 2010 ALCS)
The Rangers secured their first trip to the World Series with a 6-1 win over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS in 2010. Colby Lewis threw eight strong innings while Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz combined for five RBIs as the Rangers punched their ticket to what would be their first of two straight World Series appearances. However, Texas is still chasing that elusive first championship.
Toronto Blue Jays (Game 6, 1993 World Series)
Joe Carter's walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in the World Series-clinching Game 6, 8-6 win over Philadelphia is still the greatest moment in Blue Jays' history. Carter's joyous romp around the bases is rather unforgettable and one of the great sights in baseball history. Unfortunately for Toronto, the club has been to the playoffs just two times since and still awaiting a return to the Fall Classic.
Washington Nationals (Game 7, 2019 World Series)
At some point, the Nationals will get the chance to defend their World Series championship. In the meantime, Washington fans can relive those lasting memories from its comeback 6-2 victory at Houston in Game 7. Down 2-0, the Nationals scored all their runs over the final three innings to the bring the franchise its first World Series title.
Gallery: What are the odds your MLB team wins the World Series? (SMG)
Who should replace Jordan Hicks as closer for Cardinals? .
With Jordan Hicks sitting out the 2020 season, the Cardinals need a new closer. Luckily for them, they aren't short on options.With Hicks missing the 2020 MLB season because of his pre-existing condition, who should close games for the St.