Link-O-Rama: The man who couldn't drive in a run

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* Rookie outfielder Sam Fuld has been very productive in 61 games with the Cubs, hitting .302 with a .417 on-base percentage, six extra-base hits, and 16 runs in 103 plate appearances, but is still looking for his first career RBI.
Fuld has 26 hits, including five with runners in scoring position, but amazingly none of them have plated a run. No one in baseball history has finished a season with 20 or more hits and zero RBIs.
* Seattle has gone from 61 wins last season to 81 wins (and counting) this season, and Dave Cameron of Fan Graphs suggests that having the best defensive team of the decade is largely responsible.
* Rick Porcello threw a career-high 111 pitches in Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader, holding the Twins to one run in 6.1 innings. Rather than have him make one more start this weekend the Tigers are leaning toward shutting down the 20-year-old rookie, which would leave him at 14-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 165 innings.
* In other Tigers rotation news, Jarrod Washburn has been rehabbing his injured knee and hopes to be ready for game action in 2-4 weeks. Of course, even if the Tigers are still playing by then it’s unlikely that they’ll want to trust Washburn and his 7.33 ERA in an ALCS or World Series game.
* Facing felony charges in Texas for allegedly hitting and choking his wife last week, former Twins and Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch turned himself into police yesterday and was later released on $10,000 bond.

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. The DOJ 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,” an 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 to 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.