The Red Sox number-retirement policy is a joke

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The Red Sox are going to retire Jim Rice’s number. Fair enough. He fits the criteria the Sox have articulated for the honor: (1) Election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and (2) at least 10 years played with the Red Sox.

Can someone then tell me why Wade Boggs doesn’t have his number
retired? He had 11 seasons with the Sox, made the Hall of Fame, and was
a heck of a lot better player than Jim Rice ever was. The only answer
anyone has ever given me is that they have an unwritten rule that you
had to have finished your career with Boston as well. If that’s the
case then, it’s (a) been broken already with Carlton Fisk; and (b) it’s
patently stupid. If the Yankees had such a rule Melky Cabrera could
wear Babe Ruth’s number three given that he ended his career with the
Braves. If the Braves had it, Dale Murphy never would have been able to
wear his number 3 — Ruth had it, natch — and Jeff Francoeur would
have been able to sport Hank Aaron’s 44. I don’t think we’d need to
worry about anyone wearing Francoeur’s number for obvious reasons.

In light of all of that I can only assume that the Red Sox haven’t
retired Boggs’ number out of spite because he went and got a ring with
the Yankees. Which I suppose would be a good reason if Babe Ruth hadn’t
won a title with the Sox before he came to New York.

Man the whole Yankees-Sox thing is idiotic.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.