Hanley Ramirez scratched from Friday’s lineup after being hit in nose during BP

1 Comment

The Marlins were given quite the scare this afternoon, as Hanley Ramirez was hit in the nose by a batted ball which bounced off a batting cage screen in the cage at Tropicana Field.

Ramirez was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Rays as a result of the incident, but Marlins’ manager Ozzie Guillen told Coley Harvey of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the injury doesn’t appear to be serious.

“He’s kind of dizzy right now,” Guillen said of Ramirez about two hours before Friday’s first pitch. “He should be ready (Saturday). The trainers don’t think it’s anything big, but they want to wait for the doctor to see how it is.”

Donovan Solano made the start at the hot corner tonight, but Greg Dobbs is also an option to fill in if Ramirez needs to miss a few days.

After being limited to just 92 games in 2011 due to a shoulder injury which eventually required surgery, Ramirez is hitting .259/.336/.461 with 11 home runs, 37 RBI, 10 stolen bases and a .797 OPS through through 63 games this season. He’s grounded into 10 double plays, which is tied with Cubs’ outfielder Alfonso Soriano for the National League lead.

DOJ settles antirust lawsuit against cable companies who don’t carry Dodgers games

Getty Images
1 Comment

Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.

Now that lawsuit is over. The DOJ settled with AT&T last night.

The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” an AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.

When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.

As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.

An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not to file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
5 Comments

Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.