Quick hits: Bruce leaves with wrist injury

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– Jay Bruce fractured his right wrist
attempting to make a sliding catch in the first inning of Saturday’s
game against the Mets. He is scheduled to return to Cincinnati for an
MRI on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder is batting just .207 this
season, but he does have 18 homers and 41 RBI. Chris Dickerson figures
to get most of the playing time in his absence, however the Reds will
likely call up former-first round pick Drew Stubbs to take his place on
the roster. Stubbs is batting .279/.374/.371 with two homers, 25 RBI
and 33 stolen bases for Triple-A Louisville. And with 358 at-bats under
his belt at the Triple-A level, he’s more ready than the hot-hitting
Chris Heisey.

– Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times
thinks the Dodgers should go full-tilt after Roy Halladay. He
recommends including native Canadian Russell Martin in the deal, as
well as prospects Devaris Gordon (son of Tom Gordon) and Josh Lindblom.
While the proposed trade seems far-fetched, know that the Dodgers sent two scouts
to see Halladay pitch on Thursday night in Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays
would probably want one of either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw
in a possible deal.

– Jonathon Broxton, still bothered by a sore big toe on his right foot, will skip the All-Star game.
In his first full-season as closer, Broxton has compiled a 3.10 ERA,
0.93 WHIP and .149 BAA. He is 20-for-22 in save opportunities. As for a
replacement, Mark Bowman of MLB.com thinks it should be Rafael Soriano.

– John Smoltz notched his first win since last April 17 as
the Red Sox topped the Royals 15-9 on Saturday night. The 42-year-old
allowed just one run on four hits over five innings, striking out seven
and walking one. David Ortiz had his 1000th hit as a member of the Red
Sox — a fourth-inning two-run home run. Note that 10 of Ortiz’s 12
homers have come at Fenway Park.

– Matt Cain left Saturday’s start against the Padres after getting hit in the elbow by a line drive in the second inning. X-Rays showed a contusion, but no break. At 10-2 with a 2.38 ERA, Cain earned his first All-Star nod, but he is now doubtful for the game.

DOJ settles antirust lawsuit against cable companies who don’t carry Dodgers games

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Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.

Now that lawsuit is over. DOJ has settled with AT&T last night.

The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” and AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.

When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.

As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.

An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.