MLB In Full Bloom - Should Manny Machado Be Suspended? - 6/9/2014

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Manny Machado will turn 22 years old a month from now and he is one of the brightest rising stars in baseball. But age is no excuse for his bush league move in Sunday's 11-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics in which he clearly intended to throw his bat at Oakland pitcher Fernado Abad. The bat ended up flying down the third-base line instead of toward the pitcher's mound, though Machado claimed the bat slipped out of his hands. No one is buying that story and Machado should be suspended for at least five games. Machado's bat throwing was the culmination of a series of events that began Friday night, when Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson tagged out Machado on a ground ball with two outs in the third inning, leading to a benches-clearing incident when Machado took exception to the play. Normally, a third baseman would throw to first on that play, and the tag appeared to catch Machado off-balance and he flung his helmet to the ground as he fell and had words with Donaldson. But Donaldson didn't do anything wrong and he obviously has the right to tag Machado. It's time for Adam Jones or Chris Davis to sit down with Machado and have some "guy time" and tell the young third baseman that there are better ways to handle these situations in the future.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Jon Singleton went 2-for-6 with a grand slam as the Astros pounded the Twins 14-5 on Sunday. Singleton's ninth inning blast was the second grand slam of the game for the Astros, following Chris Carter's shot in the seventh. This was Singleton's second home run in six games since being recalled, with all six of his runs batted in coming on homers.
  • Paul Goldschmidt went 1-for-2 with a home run and a stolen base as the Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 6-5 on Sunday. Goldschmidt's homer has still not yet landed that he off Braves reliever David Hale in the seventh inning. Goldschmidt has a .303 BA with 12 home runs and he ranks among the league leaders in most every offensive category in what's turning out to be another big year.
  • Jordan Zimmermann struck out 12 Padres hitters in a two-hit shutout on Sunday afternoon in San Diego. It was Zimmermann's second straight scoreless outing, but Sunday's effort was on another level. The Padres didn't get a hit until the sixth inning, and Zimmermann didn't walk a batter on the afternoon. He's now got a 5-2 record and 3.17 ERA in 13 starts and will face the Cardinals in his next start.
  • Mitch Moreland (ankle) will undergo surgery on his left ankle this Wednesday. It's yet another major hit for the Rangers, who will lose their second first baseman in a month for an extended period of time. Moreland could miss up to three months following the surgery, which would put him in line for an early-September activation, provided his rehab goes as planned. Donnie Murphy will get the start at first base Sunday, and could be headed for more playing time.
  • Starling Marte went 0-for-3 with his 14th stolen base Sunday in his first start since Monday. Marte is batting .100 (5-for-50) since May 22. If Marte continues to struggle, he'll continue to lose playing time and could potentially suffer a demotion to Triple-A.
  • The San Francisco Giants completed their fourth sweep of the season on Sunday after they swept a three game series from the New York Mets. The Giants have now won 14 of 17 games to build baseball's best record at 42-21, and they own a 9 1/2 game lead over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. Even the World Series team of 2012 and 2010 were never on a roll like this team this year.
  • Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday -- the 837th player taken. Manziel had multiple Division I offers to play baseball. He was a legitimate shortstop and clearly could have played in college. The Padres have until July 15th, but Manziel says he is 100% focused on playing quarterback for the Browns. All of you that are hoping to see Johnny Baseball probably won't get that chance anytime soon.

MLB In Full Bloom - Brady Aiken Selected First By Astros - 6/6/2014

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The 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft began last night and he Houston Astros had the No. 1 pick again. This time the Astros selected a pitcher polished beyond his years. California high school left-hander Brady Aiken was the first selection in the Major League Baseball draft Thursday night. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said that Aiken is the most advanced high school pitcher he has ever seen in his entire career and has great command. He hits 95 mph with the fastball with an above average curveball. In this past season, he was 7-0 with a 1.06 ERA. He has committed to UCLA, which is his bargaining chip. If the Astros don't meet the asking price from Aiken, he certainly could be a Bruin. Aiken, of course, has a long road ahead of him to reach the Major Leagues, but the Astros are confident he'll be a big part of their rotation in the future.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Adam Jones went 2-for-4 with a two-run double and a solo home run in Thursday's loss to the Rangers. Adams brought in two with a double in the fifth inning, then blasted his 12th home run of the season in the eighth inning to bring the Orioles within two runs. He has rebounded nicely from a slow start to the season and has a .299 BA with 36 RBI.
  • Marcell Ozuna went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI in Thursday's win over the Rays. Ozuna singled in runs in the fourth and sixth innings and then belted a two-run bomb in the ninth to extend the Marlins' lead. Ozuna now has 11 home runs this season, with five of those homers coming over his last 14 contests. He's hitting .274 this season.
  • Jordan Lyles (hand) was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a fracture in his left hand on Wednesday. On Thursday, Lyles met with a hand specialist and he will not need surgery, but is still expected to be sidelined for a while with this injury. Lyles will be evaluated in a week and the Rockies will take it from there.
  • Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-5 with a solo home run in Thursday's win over the Rockies. Goldschmidt hit his 11th home run in the fifth inning off of Juan Nicasio. Goldschmidt was the runner up in NL MVP vote last season and is having another productive season with a .307 BA with 44 RBI.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays have now won five straight games and 17 of their past 20. After finishing a sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Thursday to move to 37-24, the Blue Jays have a 5.5 game league in the American League East over the Baltimore Orioles. The Jays have hit 87 home runs, which ranks first in all of baseball and they also lead the majors in runs scored and RBIs.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays have lost ten games in a row after being swept by the Miami Marlins on Thursday afternoon. The Rays own the majors worst record at 23-38 and are 14 games behind AL East-leading Toronto. The Rays trail the Blue Jays by 14 games.
  • Don Zimmer passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83 in a Tampa bay hospital. Zimmer had been in a rehabilitation center since having seven hours of heart surgery in mid-April. Zimmer was not in baseball forever, but it seemed that way.  For 66 years, Zimmer was the most popular presence at ballparks all over the game. He started out as a minor league infielder in 1949 and earned the nickname "Popeye" after he started hitting powerful home runs. After his playing days were behind him, Zimmer managed with several team including the Chicago Cubs. We lost a true lifer this week.

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