Jason Frasor wins closer gig in Toronto

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jason frasor headshot blue jays.jpgOne of the spring’s great dramas has finally reached its resolution, reports Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Drumroll, everyone:

“Jason Frasor was my closer last year and he hasn’t done anything to
lose the job,” manager Cito Gaston said Friday afternoon
.

So, that’s that. Frasor was duking it out with Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg for the job this spring. The 32-year-old Frasor was 11-for-14 in save opportunities last season and notched 17 saves for the Blue Jays way back in 2004. Be sure to grab him in your fantasy leagues, people.

Interestingly, Elliott notes that Downs and Gregg are both still candidates to be traded. Although Gregg was signed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract in February, he can still be traded if he gives his permission. The Twins, who are currently seeking a replacement for Joe Nathan, had a scout in attendance during Friday’s game, according to Elliott.

With that out of the way, here’s my favorite tidbit from Elliott’s piece. Frasor said that he has a large container filled with signed baseballs over the years, ranging from Dave Stieb to Nolan Ryan. But he has a rather strict criteria for who gets to stay in the container. 

“Anyone accused of cheating like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte I’ve
taken out of the container,” Frasor said. “I gave them to my dog, Kosmo,
to chew on.”

And with that, we have an early favorite for “Quote of the Day.” 

Red Sox analyst Remy struck by monitor as wind causes havoc

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BOSTON — Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy was hit in the head by a falling TV monitor as swirling winds caused havoc during the first inning at Fenway Park.

Remy was sent home from Boston’s game Saturday night against the Minnesota Twins but is expected back Sunday. Former player Steve Lyons, also an analyst during some games, came in for Remy.

The strong winds made for an interesting first.

Minnesota’s Robbie Grossman hit a fly that appeared headed for center, but a gust blew it to right, sending right fielder Michael Martinez twisting as the ball fell for a triple.

There were a handful of stoppages as dirt and litter swirled around the field. Batters stepped out to wipe their eyes and Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez headed to the dugout to have a trainer help him clear his left eye.

White Sox ace Chris Sale scratched for ‘clubhouse incident’

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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale was scratched from his start against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night after he was involved in what the team said was a “non-physical clubhouse incident.”

Sale, who was to attempt to become the majors’ first 15-game winner, was sent home from the park.

“The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed.”

The White Sox clubhouse was open to reporters for only 20 minutes before it was closed for a team meeting before the game. Manager Robin Ventura did not discuss the incident later in his pregame availability.

Right-hander Matt Albers started in Sale’s place and the White Sox planned to use multiple relievers. The crowd booed when Albers was announced as the starter as the teams warmed up.

Sale had been shown as the starter on the scoreboard until about 15 minutes before the scheduled first pitch, which was delayed 10 minutes by rain.

With the White Sox fading from playoff contention, Sale’s name has been mentioned as a possible trade target for contending teams.

The left-hander, 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA, has been outspoken in the past.

Sale was openly critical of team president Ken Williams during spring training when he said the son of teammate Adam LaRoche would no longer be allowed in the clubhouse. LaRoche retired as a result, and Sale hung LaRoche’s jersey in his locker.

The 27-year-old Sale has said he’d like to stay in Chicago. He was the 13th overall pick out of Florida Gulf Coast in 2010 and has been selected as an All-Star five times. He started for the American League in this month’s All-Star Game.

Sale, who is 71-43 in his career, entered the day leading the majors with 133 innings pitched and three complete games.

In his last outing Monday, Sale allowed one hit over eight shutout innings before closer David Robertson gave up four runs in the ninth in Chicago’s loss to Seattle.

The White Sox, who started 23-10, had dropped eight of nine games before Saturday and sat in fourth place in the AL Central, creating speculation that Sale and fellow lefty Jose Quintana could be dealt.

Hahn said Thursday the White Sox were “mired in mediocrity” and hinted at possible big roster changes.

Tigers GM Al Avila said before the game that many teams were looking for starting pitching.

“Yet there are not as many good starting pitchers available,” Avila said. “And the guys that may come available are going to come at a steep price.