Matt Murton on the verge of replacing Ichiro Suzuki as Japan's single-season hit king

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Two weeks ago, as former Cubs outfielder Matt Murton started closing is on Ichiro Suzuki’s single-season hit record in Japan, there was some speculation that opposing pitchers would cease giving him hittable pitches in an effort to keep him from breaking the record.
That has proven to be overblown, as yesterday Murton tied Suzuki’s record with his 210th hit of the season, and there are still three more games to play. Also of note is that Norichika Aoki has 204 hits, so with a big finish to the season he could potentially surpass Suzuki’s record as well.
I always felt that Murton deserved more of an opportunity to be an everyday player for the Cubs (and then the A’s and Rockies), so I’m very curious to see whether he opts to remain a superstar in Japan or returns to the United States in search of one last chance to play regularly.
Murton is a career .286/.352/.436 hitter and still just 28 years old, so you’d think several MLB teams would be willing to give him a shot.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.

Bumgarner: dirt bike adventure was “definitely not the most responsible decision”

MLB.com
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Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.

While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”

As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.

Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.