There was a baseball league in Australia from 1989-99. It hemorrhaged cash, and was eventually bought by ex-Brewer Dave Nilsson. The league folded around then. I assume Nilsson still plays with it in his basement or something.
But now there’s a new one — also called the Australian Baseball League — that just debuted on Saturday. It’s styled more like a winter league a la Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. It has Ryan Rowland-Smith and Peter Moylan in it, so it has to be legit. There are six teams: The Adelaide Bite; the Brisbane Bandits; the Canberra Cavalry; the Melbourne Aces; the Perth Heat; and the Sydeny Blue Sox. If it’s successful in its first year they expect to expand with the Maitland Midnight Oil and the Victor Harbor Vegemite.
Or maybe not, but I have to get my daily Australia bashing in somehow.
Anyway, this time around the ABL has extensive financial backing from Major League Baseball, so it may last a bit longer. Perhaps INXS of ten years this time.
Rangers 3B/OF Joey Gallo will miss three to four weeks with a Grade 1 groin strain, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Gallo, 22, has spent the season at Triple-A Round Rock, where he’s hit a productive .254/.400/.642 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 85 plate appearances. Gallo was at times impressive in 123 plate appearances with the Rangers last year, but the club felt he needed some more work on his plate discipline, as he struck out 57 times in 123 PA at the big league level in 2015. At Triple-A this year, Gallo has drawn 17 walks and struck out 21 times.
Assuming he heals as expected from the injury, Gallo should join the Rangers at some point during the summer.
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy flirted with the cycle in Wednesday afternoon’s 13-2 drubbing of the Royals, as he went 4-for-5 with a pair of singles, a two-run double, and a solo home run. That brings his triple-slash line on the season up to .398/.449/.663. Comparatively, teammate Bryce Harper — the defending NL MVP and arguably the best player in baseball — is currently hitting .266/.372/.649.
Murphy has always been an above-average hitter, but this level of hitting is something else. Of course, he flashed it in the post-season last year when he homered in six consecutive games, helping the Mets advance past the Dodgers in the NLDS and sweep the Cubs in the NLCS.
The Nats signed Murphy to a three-year, $37.5 million contract in January. If Neil Walker, acquired from the Pirates to replace Murphy, wasn’t hitting so well, the Mets would probably be jealous. Walker is hitting .296/.330/.582 with nine home runs and 19 RBI.
It’s always fun when this happens. Cubs starter Jon Lester snagged a grounder hit back up the middle by Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli in the bottom of the second inning. The only problem was that the ball got stuck in the webbing of his glove. Rather than fight to pry the ball out, Lester just lobbed his glove over to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to get the first out of the inning.
Lester has had issues throwing baseballs to first base, so maybe it was a good thing the ball got stuck in his glove.
Lester did this last year, too, by the way.
Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez strained his right hamstring running out a ground ball in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Orioles. The club announced it has placed him on the 15-day disabled list and recalled pitcher James Pazos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Rodriguez lands on DL hitting .194/.275/.444 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 80 plate appearances.
Dustin Ackley replaced Rodriguez in Tuesday’s game, but the Yankees will likely cycle a handful of players in and out of the DH spot while Rodriguez heals.