Manny Ramirez's return gets upstaged by Roger Clemens

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Dodgers manager Joe Torre already took a little bit of the fun out of Manny Ramirez’s return to Boston by announcing on Thursday that he would be the designated hitter during the series. And after all the hype and anticipation, Ramirez received what could best be described as a mixed reaction from the Boston crowd before he flew out to lead off the top of the second inning.

Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe brings word that a Manny tribute video shown during the game received only “tepid applause” from the crowd. So much for nostalgia.

In truth, most of the buzz before the game transitioned to a report by Peter Abraham of the Boston
Globe that claimed that not only would Roger Clemens be attending Friday’s
game, he
would be sitting in the “Monster Seats
.” It sounded like a silly rumor at first, but Clemens actually did it.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com provides us with the photo evidence. Ian Browne of MLB,com writes that reporters approached Clemens, however he declined comment.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.