Yankees manager Girardi pleads his case with second base umpire DeMuth as he challenges a solo home run by Royals' Butler during their MLB American League baseball game in Kansas City

Yankees will “try to fight” decision about postponed doubleheader

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As Drew mentioned, it was announced last night that Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader between the Yankees and Orioles was postponed due to the pending arrival of Hurricane Irene. One of the games will be made up in a split-doubleheader Sunday while the other will be made as a night game on September 8.

Of course, the Yankees tried earlier this week to schedule a doubleheader for Friday, but the Orioles refused. And Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that they are still peeved about the situation.

“I don’t understand why we didn’t play a split doubleheader today,” an agitated Girardi said. “They changed things all over the country. They did it in Philadelphia, in Boston, in Florida, football’s been canceled. I mean, how long’s this forecast been out? Everyone knew it was going to rain like cats and dogs on Saturday. And now to take away our only off day? It makes zero sense. Someone’s got to step up.”

“We didn’t agree to play Sept. 8,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re going to fight it. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun lays out the scenario for the Baltimore side, writing among other things that the Orioles didn’t want to lose a home night gate against the Yankees. He also posits that the Orioles were coming off an 11-day, 10-game roadtrip and were still reeling as an organization following the death of Mike Flanagan.

I’m not really sure what the Yankees could accomplish by fighting this thing. It’s possible they could schedule a last-minute doubleheader for Monday or consider skipping the September 8 game altogether, but when the Yankees are basically a lock to make the playoffs, it’s tough to get too worked up about it.

Johnny Monell signs with KBO’s KT Wiz

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 06:  Johnny Monell #19 of the New York Mets runs back to the dugout after he scored in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 6, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Former Mets catcher Johnny Monell signed a contract with the KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a report by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 30-year-old originally struck a deal with the NC Dinos on Thursday, but the deal appeared to fall through at the last minute, according to Cotillo’s unnamed source.

Monell last surfaced for the Mets during their 2015 run, batting a dismal .167/.231/.208 with two extra bases in 52 PA before the club DFA’d him to clear space for Bartolo Colon. While he’s had difficulty sticking at the major league level, he’s found a higher degree of success in the minor league circuit and holds a career .271 average over a decade of minor league play. He played exclusively in Triple-A Las Vegas during the 2016 season, slashing .276/.336/.470 with 19 home runs and a career-high 75 RBI in 461 PA.

The veteran backstop appears to be the second MLB player to join the KT Wiz roster this offseason, as right-hander Donn Roach also signed with the club last month on a one-year, $850,000 deal.

Phil Bickford suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10:  Phil Bickford of the U.S. Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.

Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.

Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.

Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):

We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.