Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees

Everyone complains about the weather, but …

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Actually, I could understand it better if it was the weather that was being complained about.  In Mike Vaccaro’s column, however, there is this vague sense that all of the rain on the east coast — or at least the inconvenience it caused — was somehow Major League Baseball’s fault.  That’s underscored by the headline — which Vaccaro likely did not write — which reads “Baseball really soaks fans this time.”

The stories from the fans who stuck out last night’s Yankees-Orioles game are interesting enough (note to Freddie Palmeiri: you either should have gone home with your girlfriend or else you should dump your girlfriend). But the “boy, they got you over a barrel” stuff in the piece is kind of misplaced in my view. Yes, the game was late and inconvenient and uncomfortable, and no, the Yankees did not stop selling merchandise and concessions to the people who stuck it out, but what’s the alternative?  Cancel a game that, however crappy the conditions, ended up being able to be played?  Screw with an already compacted schedule even more?

Now, don’t get me wrong: there is a bit of history in baseball — and I hear the Yankees have done this a lot on the past — of waiting and waiting and waiting to call games in order to collect as much parking and concession money as they can, even if they knew the game was going to be called.  They did this to me at a spring training game in Tampa in 2010, and all the Yankees fans there knew what as goin’ on.

But that’s not what went down last night. And I’m not sure the Yankees or Major League Baseball could do anything other than simply play the game if it was able to be played. Which it was.  Rain happens. Part of the deal, ya know?

Sonny Gray was denied insurance coverage for the World Baseball Classic

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22:  Pitcher Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during photo day at HoHoKam Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after failing to meet the necessary criteria for insurance coverage. He missed 70 days on the disabled list with forearm tightness and a back strain in 2016.

According to Oakland GM David Forst, Major League Baseball tried to persuade the insurance carrier to waive the requirements for Gray to pitch for Team USA, but the request was ultimately refused. Without coverage, Gray will be unable to participate in the competition, though Forst adds that the 27-year-old is still in perfect health as Opening Day approaches and should benefit from a slower spring training schedule without the added commitment on his plate.

Injuries complicated a down year for Gray, who pitched to a career-worst 5.69 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 rate through 117 innings in 2016. His 1.4 HR/9 and 17.8% HR/FB rates suggested that he felt the effects of the home run spike more than most, capping a disappointing follow-up to his All-Star campaign during 2015.

While Gray works up to a healthy and productive start to the 2017 season, the Athletics will still see two players on WBC rosters next month: right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, who is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and fellow righty John Axford, for Team Canada.

Report: Josh Hamilton likely to undergo another knee surgery

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled for another knee exam on Monday, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hamilton left camp last week after feeling some pain in his left knee and received a PRP injection to alleviate the symptoms. Wilson notes that both Dr. Walt Lowe and Rangers’ assistant general manager Mike Daly noticed little improvement in the days following the injection.

More drastic measures could be necessary if the 35-year-old intends to return to the field this year. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan adds that the Rangers are considering arthroscopic surgery for Hamilton, which would set him back at least 4-6 weeks and eliminate any real chance of his making the Opening Day roster in April. Until they see the results of the surgery, however, the Rangers won’t rule out Hamilton’s potential return to the big leagues in 2017.

Hamilton is looking at his third major procedure since the end of the 2015 season. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. Should he make a full recovery this season, he figures to see some time at first base/DH or the corner outfield.