The Phillies have a team meeting to put an end to hijinks, shenanigans and tomfoolery

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The Phillies took two of three from the first place Braves over the weekend, but Saturday’s loss was a rout and Ruben Amaro did not take at all well to the Phillies smiling and joking around during said rout. Todd Zolecki from MLB.com reports:

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday the team needs to play well before the All-Star break or there could be changes to the 25-man roster. So when the front office watched players giddily shower Jonathan Pettibone with sunflower seeds and place a batting helmet and paper cup (with gum as an adhesive) atop his head Saturday during a FOX in-game interview in a 13-4 loss to Atlanta, it did not sit well.

It sparked Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel to call a team meeting before Sunday’s game.

When a team is struggling and pressing managers and front office types tell them they need to loosen up and have fun out there. When they loosen up and have fun they get a talking-to. Gee whiz.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.