Scenes from the Winter Meetings: Elephants? OK, elephants.

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It’s been a strange first day of the Winter Meetings for me. The Hilton Anatole here in Dallas is larger than some European countries, and getting from place to another is a major undertaking. There’s also stuff like this all over the place:

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There’s a matching elephant just out of the frame on the left.  I don’t know either. It goes with the giant atrium. Everything is bigger in Texas.

Also, this morning was on a panel for the Sports Management World Wide Career Conference. Joining me was ESPN’s Jayson Stark and Biz of Baseball’s Maury Brown. Here’s us. We’re cute.  The topic: the new collective bargaining agreement and its implications.

Stark noted a couple of times that this or that issue wasn’t totally settled yet even though the agreement is done.  It sort of dawned on me as he was talking that there are many, many such things and that in a lot of ways this CBA is literally half-baked.  It’s almost as if the union and the league are so comfortable with each other and have such a clear mandate from their constituencies (i.e. the owners and players) that they sort of took a “don’t worry, we’ll figure it out” approach.  It’s just worrisome.

There haven’t been any signings or deals since the Reyes thing last night, but much continues to go on down here. Several managers are going to walk in here in a little while and let us ask them questions. As per tradition, I plan on asking them if they would like Hideki Matsui in their lineup.

More later.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

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It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.