Bill “Moose” Skowron: 1930-2012

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Bill “Moose” Skowron, a six-time All-Star first baseman who starred for the Yankees from 1954-1962, passed away today at age 81 after a long battle with lung cancer.

Skowron hit .292 with 165 homers and an .842 OPS in 1,087 games spread over nine seasons for the Yankees before being traded to the Dodgers for Stan Williams in November of 1962.

He played another five seasons for the Dodgers, White Sox, Senators, and Angels, but hit just .257 with a .686 OPS in 571 games after leaving the Yankees.

Skowron also experienced a lot of postseason success, batting .293 with eight homers and an .845 OPS in 39 playoff games, including a long ball against his old teammates as the Dodgers swept the Yankees in the 1963 World Series.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.