Nike parts ways with Ryan Braun

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Darren Rovell of ESPN is reporting that Nike has severed ties with Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. Braun, one of a handful of players implicated in the ongoing Biogenesis scandal, is currently serving a season-ending 65-game suspension. Rovell lists other sponsors to have parted ways with Braun, including Kwik Trip, Wilson, and Muscle Milk.

Prior to his suspension, Braun had been battling a right hand injury, limiting him to just eight games in June and four games in July. His 2013 ends with a .298/.372/.498 slash line.

Other players involved with the Biogenesis scandal are being given a 6 PM ET deadline Sunday to settle, according to Ken Davidoff. We are expected to hear the results on Monday.

Austin Romine gets the start at catcher in ALCS Game 4

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Austin Romine is starting at catcher and batting ninth for the Yankees in today’s ALCS Game 4 versus the Astros.
Gary Sanchez is still in the lineup, but he’s the DH. That means Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Matt Holliday are all on the bench.

Sanchez was lambasted for not holding on to the relay throw in Game 2, allowing Jose Altuve to score the winning run despite getting beat to the plate by the ball by several feet. That, combined with earlier passed balls, led some in the press to lobby for Romine to get the call behind the plate. Those calls tended to ignore the fact that Romine can’t hit a lick and that he is inferior to Sanchez when it comes to gunning down runners. Maybe a ball doesn’t skip by Romine that would have eluded Sanchez, but if I’m Jose Altuve or Alex Bregman or one of the speedier Astros, I’m running wild on Romine any time I get on base today.

The offensive knock is not quite as big a deal at the moment as it normally would be. Sanchez is in an 0-for-16 slump, but Romine isn’t replacing his bat he’s replacing either Ellsbury, Headley or Holliday. None of those guys are hitting at all, so I don’t suppose this is that big of a deal. Discuss amongst yourselves if you’d rather have a guy who is as cold as ice in the lineup who might hit versus a guy you can be pretty sure isn’t gonna hit regardless.

Either way, it’s a different look for the Yankees in Game 4.