Jose Bautista leaves game after aggravating wrist injury, placed back on disabled list

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From Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com comes word that Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was pulled from Saturday night’s game against the Orioles after experiencing more discomfort in his left wrist.

Yes, the same wrist that forced him to the disabled list on July 17 and kept him there until August 24.

The Blue Jays will reevaluate Bautista after the game and again on Sunday morning before deciding whether he needs to be placed back on the shelf.

The 31-year-old drew a walk and scored a run before making his premature departure. He’s batting .241/.358/.527 with 27 home runs and 65 RBI through 399 plate appearances this season for Toronto.

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UPDATE, 10:55 PM: Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that “Joey Bats” has been placed back on the 15-day disabled list. He is obviously in danger of being shut down for the remainder of the 2012 season.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”