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Pittsburgh Pirates Step Up To The Plate For Puerto Rico

The Pittsburgh Pirates were very upset by the devastating Hurricane Marie that rocked the island of Puerto Rico so they decided to help.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates were very upset by the devastating Hurricane Marie that rocked the island of Puerto Rico so they decided to help. The Pirates organized a two-day drive at their stadium, PNC Park earlier this week to help and collect essentials that the island of Puerto Rico so desperately needs. They collected food, water, diapers, wipes and many other things that are in short supply after the hurricane.

The Pittsburgh Pirates might seem like an unlikely group to come together to collect supplies but they did it to honor the legendary Pirate, Roberto Clemente who is a Hall of Famer. Roberto Clemente was born on the island of Puerto Rico and he devoted his life to various humanitarian efforts. Since he was such a kind and giving soul, the Pirates organization decided to honor him in the best way possible, by giving to his home island.
At the end of the two-day drive, the baseball team was able to acquire an astonishing 500,000 pounds of supplies that were sent on two planes and just recently touched down to help the desperate Puerto Rican people.

Local businesses and foundations donated some of the supplies but the fans came out in astounding numbers to donate around 85% of the supplies that the Pirates received. It’s beautiful to see an entire city rally around their baseball team to help a bunch of people in need. Pittsburgh may be pretty far away from Puerto Rico but the people close to the baseball team past and present are very close.

 

The coach of the Pirates, Joey Cora, is a Puerto Rico native as well and he had an amazing discovery as a result of this impressive charity-drive. “We didn’t know there were so many Puerto Ricans here in Pittsburgh,” Cora said. “When they came through that line donating stuff, and telling you that they haven’t been able to communicate with anybody in Puerto Rico, they’re just donating stuff whether or not it’s going to get to their parents or their families.”

Pirates owner, Bob Nutting said “This effort really was inspired by the legacy of Roberto Clemente, and the fact that so many people from his home country are in desperate need of help, I hope he would be proud to see his Pirates organization and the people of Pittsburgh rally together in the relief effort.”

 

The Pirates are not just stopping at 500,000 lbs. of supplies sent on two planes, they are also sending $250,000 of cash donations to the cities that have been destroyed by Hurricane Maria, Cayey, and Caguas. It’s beautiful to see so many people give help to others in need and that is part of what makes this country such a fantastic place to live. I think Roberto Clemente would be very proud of his team and also very thankful for the help they are sending to his native island of Puerto Rico.

 

Baseball

Robinson Cano Suspended 80 Games For PEDs

It was announced on Tuesday that Seattle Mariners slugger Robinson Cano would be suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the banned substance diuretic furosemide. 

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It was announced on Tuesday that Seattle Mariners slugger Robinson Cano would be suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the banned substance diuretic furosemide. Cano accepted the suspension and it began on Wednesday of this week. It was a crushing blow the Mariners playoff hopes and may permanently tarnish Cano’s reputation as one of the greats of his generation.

Cano said in a statement released through the MLB Players Association, “Recently I learned that I tested positive for a substance called Furosemide, which is not a performance-enhancing substance.” He went on to say, “For more than 15 years, playing professional baseball has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life. I would never do anything to cheat the rules of the game that I love, and after undergoing dozens of drug tests over more than a decade, I have never tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the simple reason that I have never taken once.”

Cano was hit by a pitch in the Mariners’ game against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday and actually fractured the fifth metacarpal in his right hand. He had surgery on Tuesday and was already on the disabled list. The MLB said his time on the DL will count toward his 80 game suspension, which is a small silver lining for Cano. But he will also lose $11.85 million in salary for the time missed. Which is most certainly the opposite of a silver lining.

Cano is in his fifth season with Seattle but spent the first nine seasons of his career as a member of the New York Yankees. And he’s been a star for nearly all 14 of them. Over his career, he’s hit 305 homers, has 1,206 RBIs and has a lifetime batting average of .304. Those numbers and, more specifically, where they’ll likely be by the time he’s done had many thinking he was a lock for the Hall of Fame. But now, after this, it’s anything but a lock. The powers that be have been extremely harsh when it comes to considering players that have used banned substances for the Hall.

Cano said that he received the furosemide from a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic, his home country, because, at least as he understood, it’s used for “various medical conditions.” “While I did not realize at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful,” Cano said in his statement. Unfortunately, this likely will not be good enough for Hall of Fame voters. And no matter how accidentally this all may have been, Cano’s legacy might very well be permanently tarnished.

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Cincinatti Reds Fire Manager Bryan Price

This Cincinnati Reds announced today that they have fired longtime manager Bryan Price due to their 3-15 start.

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This Cincinnati Reds announced today that they have fired longtime manager Bryan Price. This would have been his fifth season with the team, but thanks to their abysmal 3-15 start the powers that be had had enough. Pitching coach Mack Jenkins was also fired and bench coach Jim Riggleman will take over managerial duties in the meantime. Also, Triple-A manager Pat Kelly will be brought up as bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin will be added to the big league staff as well.

In a statement released by the team, general manager Dick Williams said, “At this time, we felt a change needed to happen in order to begin the process of getting this team back on the right track. We realize it is early in the season but feel it is important to be proactive. In addition to these staff changes, we will continue to examine all aspects of baseball operations to ensure we are doing everything we can to improve.”

The firings come after the Reds were shutout in back to back games by the Milwaukee Brewers, something that hasn’t happened since 2015. They’re also about to start a three-game series against the always tough St. Louis Cardinals. So since things looked to get a lot worse before the got better, we can’t blame the Reds for pulling the trigger when they did.

Over his 4 seasons and change as the Reds manager, Price had a record of 279-387. Hardly a number to be proud of. He never finished a season with a winning record and, even more shockingly, the team finished at the bottom of the NL Central with at least 94 losses in each of the past three seasons. When you lay it all out it’s amazing he lasted this long.

In all fairness to Price, this season has already been riddled with injuries. Their big off-season contract given to third baseman Eugenio Suarez has yet to pay dividends as he broke his thumb on April 8th and is out indefinitely. Also their ace pitcher,  Anthony DeSclafani is out indefinitely as well with a strained oblique muscle. Right fielder Scott Schebler and lefty pitcher Brandon Finnegan are out as well.

The Reds have seen a slow and painful fall into obscurity since the departure of successful manager Dusty Baker. And, at least for now, it looks like will be a while before they’re able to get back to that level of success. Here’s hoping Reds fans are unlike almost any other fanbase are actually able to do the impossible… be patient.

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Shohei Ohtani Is Living Up To The Hype… So Far

Shohei Ohtani has quickly begun showing signs of stardom through just the first 11 games of his Major League Baseball career.

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Shohei Ohtani was one of the biggest stories during the most recent MLB offseason. Where would he sign? Would he just be a pitcher? Would he be able to hit Major League pitchers? And where would he sign?! Well, that first (and last) question was answered quickly when he struck a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But until the beginning of this season, those other questions remained unanswered. He has quickly started to answer them.

Now, Ohtani is definitely not the first Japanese baseball sensation to make the jump to the MLB. Players like Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and Yu Darvish are among the most prolific Japanese players that have made the move. And there are many others. But there was something else about Ohtani. Something exciting and rarely seen. He was a dominant pitcher, sure. We’ve seen that before. But the things he could do at the plate were what made him so much more exciting than the Japanese stars that came before him.

But, again, the question remained: could he hang in the MLB. Well, we’re only 11 games into the 2018 season, but it looks he can, indeed, hang. The bigger question mark was always; would he be able to hit Major League pitchers? And the answer, so far, is a definitive yes. He is hitting .389 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs. And his 3 home runs came in three consecutive games. Then there was his second start as a pitcher against the Oakland Athletics this past Sunday.

Ohtani shined just about as bright as anyone could shine in their second career start. He pitched 7 shutout innings with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 12 strikeouts. So, just to makes sure we’re all on the same page, if it wasn’t for those two batters that accounted for the hit and the walk, he nearly pitched a perfect game. To come out and do that in just your second game, with all the pressure and hype that was thrust on him, is truly incredible.

It’s still a little too early to proclaim him a superstar. But things are definitely looking good for him and the Angels. In fact, if he keeps playing like this, he might just be on his way to the Hall of Fame. Only time will tell.

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