Unsatisfied with its current share of World Baseball Classic revenues, two-time champion Japan is threatening to sit out the 2013 event, Reuters reports.
“We are not saying we don’t want to take part,” stated union president Takahiro Arai. “But we will not be able to compete under the current conditions, which are unfair.”
Japan won both the inaugural 2006 and the 2009 World Baseball Classics, but the players took home only 13 percent of the revenue generated from the last tournament. MLB and its players received 66 percent of the revenue, so there’d clearly seem to be some room for negotiation here.
Japan’s club owners are also looking for a better deal with MLB.
The 2013 tournament is expected to expand from 16 teams to 28 teams, with new additions like Great Britain, France, Brazil and New Zealand. There will be a play-in round in Fall 2012 in which 16 teams will compete for four spots. The four winners will join the 12 automatic qualifiers — the U.S., Japan, the Dominican Republic and others — in a tournament set for March 2013.
The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.
The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.
Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.
Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.
Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.