Giving Thanks

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MLB.com lists some of the many things we baseball fans have to be thankful for this fine morning:

Thanks to Nationals right-hander Craig Stammen, Orioles right fielder
Nick Markakis, Marlins club representatives and anyone else who was
spotted this past week delivering turkeys and meals to families in
need. There is only one word.

Thanks to Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez for allowing your famously
flowing locks to be cut and auctioned for charity. The proceeds
provided about $6,000 to Imerman Angels, a Chicago-based nonprofit
group that connects those battling cancer with those who have survived
it to provide inspiration.

Thanks to 2009 Roberto Clemente Award winner Derek Jeter of the Yankees and your Turn 2 Foundation for pointing so many kids in the right direction. While we’re at it, thanks for taking us along for that joy ride resulting in hit No. 2,722 to pass Lou Gehrig for No. 1 on the Yankees’ all-time list.

Thanks to everyone involved with the youth initiative that was the focus of Game 4 of the World Series. Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities presented by KPMG, along with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, continued to overcome inherent challenges in making baseball available for all kids.

There were many club-level Komen events as well, like the one on Sept. 5 at Oakland, where the A’s raised $75,690 on Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Proceeds benefited the American Cancer Society, Northern California Cancer Center and Komen. Those events are so common and worth highlighting as an example here.

Thanks for everyone who helped with the Prostate Cancer Foundation efforts on the annual Father’s Day events at the ballparks. And thanks to the late Michael Goldsmith, whose plea as a fan with Lou Gehrig’s disease inspired the initiative that led to 4♦ALS Awareness.

There are many other things listed, both charitable and merely baseball-related.  It’s worth a gander to see just how much those in and around baseball do for the community and to simply make our little lives a bit more enjoyable between April and November.

The CTB family would like to give thanks too.  When we launched this blog back in April we would have been happy if our mothers and girlfriends* read it.  It’s been nice to see the community grow these past few months and stay with us as the baseball season has turned into the hot stove season.

And it is a community: more than just we knuckleheads opining on stuff, CTB has become a place for baseball conversation, and you can’t have a conversation unless someone is talking back to you.  Sure, sometimes you yell back at us, but that’s OK. Keeps us on our toes.  The point is, we thank you for coming by each day, and we look forward to continuing to bring you all the baseball news (and rumors and gossip and vendettas and occasionally innuendo) that’s fit to print.

Thanks,

The CTB Team

*These girls are hypothetical; we’re bloggers after all.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.