Quick hits: Wang departs early

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– Chien-Ming Wang left Saturday’s start against the Blue Jays due to a sprained right shoulder.
While his line didn’t show it, Wang was in the midst of his best start
of the season, inducing 10 groundballs and throwing 45 of 66 pitches
for strikes. He is scheduled for an MRI later today.

Update: Wang is headed for the disabled list.

– Adam Dunn launched the 300th home run of his career in a comeback win over the Braves on Saturday afternoon. The slugger has 22 homers in 275 at-bats this season.

– The Rangers have promoted 22-year-old prospect Justin Smoak to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 2008 first-round pick was batting .328 with six homers and 28 RBI with Double-A Frisco. With Chris Davis continuing to struggle, Smoak could be on the fast track to the majors.

Oliver Perez will replace Tim Redding
in the Mets rotation. The erratic lefty threw just 46 of his 92 pitches
for strikes in a Friday rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo, but the Mets
hope he can deliver better results than the 6.99 ERA that Redding has
put up.

– Manny Ramirez homered in his first at-bat
on Saturday against the Padres — in his second game back from serving
a 50-game suspension. Speaking of performance-enhancing drugs, Rafael
Palmeiro continues to deny knowingly taking them. Meanwhile, Roger Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin revealed that the pitcher is not among the 104 players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.