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    DETROIT — It's a crisis, to be sure. But the sky's not falling. At least, not yet. That's the biggest takeaway from the Bally Sports kerfuffle, with the regional-sports network's parent company, Diamond Sports Group, officially filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week. The move has been a long time coming, as Diamond — which owns 19 RSNs, covering 42 teams, including the ...

      The start of the season can’t come soon enough for teams looking to keep their pitching staffs as healthy as possible. A tough spring for pitchers continued Thursday with the announcements that New York Mets star closer Edwin Díaz and Washington Nationals prospect Cade Cavalli were expected to miss the entire season.

        Shohei Ohtani pitched shutout ball into the fifth inning and sparked a four-run third with a bunt single, leading Japan over Italy 9-3 and into its fifth straight World Baseball Classic semifinal. Boston’s Masataka Yoshida homered and drove in the go-ahead run with a grounder, giving him a tournament-leading 10 RBIs.

          Michael Conforto’s once-ailing shoulder appears healthy and the veteran slugger is back to mashing baseballs. The Giants have eased the 30-year-old back on the field after he missed all of 2022 following right shoulder surgery. But even in limited at-bats in the Cactus League, he’s hit four homers, which was tied for the spring lead through Wednesday’s games. 

            Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton handed Mitch Keller the opening day assignment and a celebratory bottle of bubbly. Shelton broke the news to the 26-year-old right-hander that he'll get the nod when Pittsburgh begins the season at Cincinnati on March 30. In a video posted on the Pirates' Twitter feed, Shelton and Keller sat down in the manager's office and began discussing the right-hander's side session. Shelton asked how many pitches he threw, and then asked Keller how many he thinks he'll throw on the 30th. Keller asked what the 30th was and the manager replied, "opening day."

              BALTIMORE — The nearest baseball field to the New York Court of Appeals is a sandlot that will soon host a youth league, ages 4 to 6. But inside the Albany, N.Y., courthouse Tuesday, Big Baseball was taking place. Attorneys for two Major League Baseball franchises pleaded their cases in a dispute that has gone on for more than a decade over roughly $100 million in television revenue. The ...

              Left-hander José Quintana won't make his New York Mets debut until at least July because of a stress fracture in his rib. The Mets are relieved that the prognosis wasn't even more severe. Mets general manager Billy Eppler told reporters Tuesday that a scan revealed a lesion on the impacted rib. Quintana went to New York to visit an orthopedic tumor specialist for a biopsy and additional scans that revealed the lesion was benign.

              Two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom finally pitched in a game for the Texas Rangers, though it was on a back field against minor leaguers. The Rangers have been cautious with their prized addition since he reported tightness in his left side before the first spring training workout just less than a month ago. He struck out five of the eight batters he faced while pitching for Triple-A Round Rock. 

              The San Diego Padres are flirting with the idea of beginning the season with a six-man pitching rotation. Settling on an opening day starter may not be as easy a decision for manager Bob Melvin. With Joe Musgrove sidelined by a toe injury and Yu Darvish pitching for Japan in the World Baseball Classic, Melvin is exploring options that could include Blake Snell or Michael Wacha. Melvin is considering a six-man rotation because the Padres will begin the season with a stretch of 24 games in 25 days.

              A hit is a hit, even if it's only spring training. For Fernando Tatis Jr., it's been a long time coming. The San Diego Padres star had been 0 for 16 this spring before hitting a smash shot off the glove of Chicago White Sox shortstop Erik Gonzalez for a single in the first inning at Peoria, Arizona. The hit came against former teammate Mike Clevinger. 

              Injuries continue to pile up for the New York Yankees as they get ready to begin their AL East title defense. Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Friday that outfielder Harrison Bader has an oblique issue. The injury puts Bader’s availability for the start of the season in doubt. Plus more news from around the league on Friday.

              Mike Trout was asked to be a part of this U.S. team for the World Baseball Classic. He didn’t have to be. The 31-year-old slugger knew he wanted to join this group ever since he watched the U.S. win the WBC title in 2017. The follow-up tournament was delayed two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. opens it title defense against Britain on Saturday night. They’re a part of Pool C, which also includes Canada, Mexico and Colombia.

              Major league hitters are working with the sport's brightest minds to close the gap on a technology-driven pitching renaissance. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is among a star-studded lineup of batters who worked on their swings with Driveline Baseball during the offseason. At places like Driveline and behind closed doors in unlabeled buildings around the major leagues, the race is on.

              Retired slugger Albert Pujols believes he has a future in coaching but isn't in a hurry to get there. Pujols, who retired in October after 703 career home runs, says he's not going to put a timetable on a potential return to the game.  Plus other MLB and WBC news from Thursday.


              Content by Salem Tourism. For pickers and antiques aficionados, everything old is new again, and there’s certainly plenty of charming territory to explore in the welcoming town of Salem on the northwest outskirts of Roanoke, Virginia.

              Need gift ideas to help with the ladies in your life? This list will surely help you make the grade.

              Japanese baseball player Shohei Ohtani is arguably the game's best player anywhere. But in Japan, he's more than just a baseball player. He's an antidote for many in his native country. Japanese culture and politics seem more tenuous than a few decades ago. The economy is stagnant. The birthrate is among the world’s lowest. The rivalry with China is never from from people's minds. In this environment, the return of Ohtani to play for Japan in the World Baseball Classic is playing huge. As one fan puts it, his achievements “have had a positive influence on all Japanese people.”

              Flashy footwear is a feature of this year's World Baseball Classic. Stadium Custom Cleats has provided about 42 specially designed shoes for three dozen players. The company is owned by Alex Katz, a pitcher for Israel at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and at this year’s WBC.

              Juan Soto ran sprints in the outfield and took some big swings in batting practice during an early workout at the San Diego Padres spring training complex. It was a test on his left calf that has kept him in Arizona instead of being with the Dominican Republic team in Miami preparing for the World Baseball Classic. Soto has been dealing with calf tightness. Padres manager Bob Melvin says Soto could play in a 'B' game against Cleveland on Thursday. Melvin is hopeful that Soto can get cleared after that, and is optimistic about him being able go to Miami.

              The Atlanta Braves have reason to hope right-hander Kyle Wright, the majors' only 20-game winner last season, still has time to be ready for opening day. If Wright requires more time to prepare for the season, the Braves appear to be developing sufficient depth to fill their rotation. The 27-year-old Wright has yet to appear in a spring game after having a cortisone shot to address a right shoulder issue in January. Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder are competing for the No. 5 spot in the rotation and provide depth if Wright isn't ready for the start of the season.

              Major League Baseball's new limits on infield shifts are raising batter spirits this spring. They might be bosltering batting averages, too. Batting averages across the league are up slightly from last spring training, from .259 to .263. Left-handed hitters seem to be benefitting most, with their collected average up from .255 to .274.

              Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper said he will report to spring training on Wednesday as he continues recovering from elbow surgery and then determine when he can return full time. Plus more news from around the league on Sunday.

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