MLB claims McCourt was still trying to loot the team as recently as April

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Major League Baseball filed a response to Frank McCourt’s motion from yesterday, claiming that McCourt is engaging in “harassment” and that his claims for various documents related to how Major League Baseball treated other teams with liquidity issues as irrelevant and frivolous.

Overall, the league is clearly trying to keep Frank McCourt’s financial irresponsibility as the central issue in this case, reiterating how the Dodgers’ problems are all of his doing.  And they offered a new little tidbit: that even though the Dodgers’ financial crunch was readily apparent by early this year, McCourt tried to take another $20 million out of the team. Which wouldn’t shock me a bit, actually, because that’s just how Frank rolls.

I would expect this kind of back and forth to continue between now and July 20th, when the next hearing is scheduled. I would also expect that, by then, we’ll know the cut of the judge’s jib too.

If he indulges McCourt’s apparently massive discovery requests, we’ll likely have an ugly and protracted bit of litigation on our hands, because McCourt and his lawyers could likely find all kinds of ways to gum this up into a document-intensive case if given the latitude. If, on the other hand, he smacks McCourt’s motion down, it will be a sign that he’s not too crazy about his claims of unfair and disparate treatment by Bud Selig, which could bode ill for McCourt’s future as the Dodgers’ owner.

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.