The Rays change the ground rules for balls hit off the Tropicana Field catwalk. Again.

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It used to be that if a ball hit the “A” or “B” catwalk in Tropicana Field, the ball was in play, and it was fair or foul depending on where it came down.  Apart from the sheer humiliation of playing in a park with catwalks that can be reached by batted balls in play, this led to a situation in which defenders had to track a ricocheting ball and baserunners and hitters had to stand around awkwardly trying to figure out what to do.

To remedy this situation, the Rays took the rare step of changing the ground rules for the place prior to the AL Division series last fall. For that series, balls that hit those two catwalks were considered dead balls.

Now they’re changing back:

Batted ball that is not judged a home run and strikes a catwalk, light or suspended object in fair territory shall be judged fair or foul in relation to where it strikes the ground or is touched by a fielder. If caught by fielder, batter is out and runners advance at own risk.

These catwalk rules are too sexy for Milan, too sexy for Milan, New York and Japaaaaan …

Don’t look at me like that. The word catwalk makes you think of that song too.  And the funniest part of it all?  Those two dudes actually have a Greatest Hits album. No, not “Greatest Hit.”  “Hits.”  Like, plural!

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.