Can't afford tickets? Indians might give you some for free

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We all know things are rough out there. A lot of people are out of jobs, struggling to make ends meet.

The Cleveland Indians are trying to help, offering fans the ability to win 12-game ticket packages through an essay contest.

But for those feeling a bit strapped on the cash front in these tough economic times, the Indians are offering the opportunity to win free tickets as part of their 12-Pack Essay Contest. Twenty-five applicants will be awarded four Pepsi 12-Pack ticket packages based on their response to the following:

In 500 words or less, please explain your current economic circumstance and what winning an Indians 12-Pack would mean to you during the 2010 season. Please incorporate your passion as a Cleveland Indians fan and love for baseball in your response.

It’s a cool idea, and certainly a generous offer to give away four 12-game ticket packages to 25 winners. In addition, everyone who applies will receive a voucher for four free seats to a game in April or May (not counting Opening Day).

I would think this contest has plenty of potential to be awkward, however. I’m not sure how eager I would be to outline my financial woes – in as convincing terms as possible – in a 500-word essay contest. Not sure how eager I’d be to judge the essays either.

But as depressing as this contest might be, I have to give the Indians credit for the gesture. When times are tough, it might be nice to take in a ballgame on the house. Plus, if you’re really strapped, you could always scalp your tickets.

(Thanks to The Sporting Blog)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.