Nolan Ryan: "it might not happen"

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It’s one thing when sports business reporters and bloggers and other assorted riffraff suggest that team Greenberg/Ryan’s bid for the Rangers is in trouble, but it’s another thing altogether when Nolan Ryan himself says it.  Here’s ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth’s Richard Durrett:

Team President president Nolan Ryan acknowledged Thursday that his group, which
includes Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg, might not end up owning
the team. He added that he wasn’t sure what he might do after this
season should Houston businessman Jim Crane, who is trying to get back
in the bidding, ends up owning the team.

“It’s a good possibility that it might not happen,” Ryan said about
owning the team.

Ryan’s pessimism comes as a hearing scheduled for today was canceled and bickering continues over the process by which the team is to be auctioned.  Initially the process seemed pretty slanted towards Greenberg and Ryan — Major League Baseball got veto power over the winner — but now that’s not at all clear, either because the process will be different, baseball is getting cooler with the notion of Crane owning the team or both.

The unmitigated disaster continues. But hey, at least the Rangers themselves are playing some pretty fantastic baseball this year.

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.