Rangers lower flags at Ballpark in Shannon Stone’s memory

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The Rangers will play their scheduled game Friday against the Athletics, but only after lowering the flags at Rangers Ballpark and observing a moment of silence in memory of Shannon Stone, the firefighter who died after falling over a railing during Thursday night’s game.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan is expected to discuss the matter at a news conference this afternoon.

Some have suggested the Rangers postpone tonight’s game, but it’s hard to see how that would do Stone’s family any good.  It would just inconvenience and disappoint the 35,000-40,000 fans set to attend the contest.

There hasn’t been any word yet on whether Josh Hamilton will play tonight.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.