Ian Kinsler hoping to rejoin Rangers next week

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Ian Kinsler is expected to test his high-ankle sprain by doing some running today and if all goes well should be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week. Kinsler has been sidelined since injuring his ankle in the middle of spring training, but the Rangers have gotten surprisingly good production at second base in his absence, with Joaquin Arias going 13-for-32 (.406) in eight starts.
That’s not sustainable, of course, particularly since Arias has yet to draw a walk, has managed just one extra-base hit, and carries a career .674 OPS in 349 games at Triple-A. In other words, the Rangers have been fortunate to get a nice fluke performance from Kinsler’s primary fill-in, but getting the All-Star second baseman back as soon as possible is key and it sounds like he could be ready to come off the disabled list as soon as next week.
“We don’t want him station-to-station,” manager Ron Washington told Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News. “We want Kinsler. We want him to be able to come here and put his stamp on us by doing everything that he does. And if he can run, he’s ready to go. We’ll find out Tuesday if this all this work is beneficial. If all goes well, we’ll try to get him out of here.”
Kinsler debuted in 2006 and has hit .279/.350/.477 with an average of 21 homers and 23 steals per season, with his .827 OPS during that four-year span ranking fifth among all second basemen behind only Chase Utley (.931), Dustin Pedroia (.832), Robinson Cano (.831), and Dan Uggla (.830).

Umpires Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 12:  Home plate umpire Bob Davidson yells at bench coach Jeff Banister #17 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after tossing him from the game against the New York Mets during the game on June 12, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that umpires Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired.

Davidson, 64, was known as “Balkin’ Bob” for his tendency to call pitchers for balks. Davidson has also made a name for himself picking fights with players and managers, as well as unnecessarily escalating situations.

Hirschbeck, 62, didn’t quite have the reputation Davidson had, but he had a couple of notable incidents on his profile as well. Last year, when ejecting Twins slugger Miguel Sano, Hirschbeck said, “Get the [expletive] out of here.” In 2013, he threw a drum of oil on a fire that very easily could’ve been snuffed out with Bryce Harper.

Joyce, 61, was a well-liked and well-respected umpire who will go down in history for one mistake. On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. Indians second baseman Jason Donald hit a weak grounder about halfway between first and second base. Miguel Cabrera went to his right to field it and flipped to Galarraga covering first base. It was a close call, but Joyce incorrectly ruled Donald safe, ruining Galarraga’s perfect game. To both Joyce’s and Galarraga’s credit, both handled the mistake with the utmost class.

Craig also wrote in detail about Joyce a few years ago. It’s worth a re-read.

Tim Welke, 59, actually announced his retirement last year, but I guess it wasn’t made official until recently. He underwent a left knee replacement procedure in January last year and then had his right knee replaced five months later.

Report: Facebook and MLB in discussions to stream one game per week

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21:  Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerber gives his speach during the presentation of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge on February 21, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. The annual Mobile World Congress will start tomorrow and will host some of the world's largst communication companies, with many unveiling their last phones and gadgets.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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CNBC, citing Reuters, reports that Facebook and Major League Baseball are in discussions to stream one game per week.

Streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous as it’s a more convenient way for people to access media they like. MLB Advanced Media, which handles MLB’s streaming service, is worth several billions of dollars. Last year, Disney paid $1 billion to purchase a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the independent company MLBAM launched for its streaming.

Millennials and “Generation Z,” in particular, are driving the streaming trend. Forbes, citing the Digital Democracy Survey in 2015, reported that 56 percent of millennials’ media consumption was done via computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming device. Those 30 years and older rely on television to watch film and TV shows at a clip higher than 80 percent.

Twitter is already in the sports streaming arena. It streams MLB, NFL, and NHL games as well as the PGA Tour.