MLB finds 'no evidence' of Rivera 'spitball'

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As a follow-up to Craig’s article this morning, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that MLB “found no evidence that Mariano Rivera spit on the ball” after reviewing video and photos from Game 3 of the ALCS.
Craig already covered just about everything involved in this “story” but my take is that it’s unclear from the video if Rivera was spitting on the baseball or simply near the baseball.
In either case he made zero effort to hide what he was doing, which would obviously be pretty odd if he was, you know, actually attempting to cheat.
Sherman notes that “Rivera is a player who spits constantly while in action” and has never been accused of doctoring a baseball in the past.
In other words, hopefully we’re done with this whole thing, because it’s pretty silly and not nearly as amusing as the last time a star player from New York was accused of spitting. “That is one magic loogy.”
Roger McDowell was unavailable for comment.

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.