MLB issues statement condemning Arizona Senate Bill 1062

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It’s pretty rare that Major League Baseball will go out of its way to comment on a political issue, but the league’s public relations arm just sent out the following statement on Twitter, condemning Arizona Senate Bill 1062 which would give Arizonans the right to restrict services to people based on religious beliefs. The controversial bill is meant to specifically target the rights of the LGBT community.

“As the sport of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs stand united behind the principles of respect, inclusion and acceptance.  Those values are fundamental to our game’s diverse players, employees and fans.  We welcome individuals of different sexual orientations, races, religions, genders and national origins.

MLB has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, as reflected by our collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association.  Accordingly, MLB will neither support nor tolerate any words, attitudes or actions that imperil the inclusive communities that we have strived to foster within our game.”

Arizona Senate Bill 1062 is on the desk of Governor Jan Brewer, waiting to either be signed or vetoed.

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UPDATE, 7:50 p.m. ET: According to Yvonne Wingett-Sanchez of the Arizona Republic, Brewer announced Wednesday evening at the Arizona state capitol building that she has officially vetoed Senate Bill 1062.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.