Reports: Rob Manfred one vote shy of being named commissioner

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Trying to decide on a new commissioner from a list trimmed to two candidates, the owners were deadlocked after the latest ballot, CSN New England’s Sean McAdam reported. They’ve since broken into small groups and could yet have another vote today.

Before the afternoon’s vote, Tim Brosnan bowed out of the race. MLB’s Executive Vice President of Business is well respected, but he had little support behind Bud Selig’s preferred replacement, MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred. It’s now a two-man race between Manfred and Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Manfred received 22 of the 30 votes in this afternoon’s ballot, leaving him just one shy of election.

There are two outcomes at play for the rest of the day: either Manfred is named the new commish or the process gets pushed back to the next round of owners meetings. With Manfred just one vote away, one imagines Selig will pull some strings and get this wrapped up today.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman not considering demoting struggling Greg Bird

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Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.

GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”

Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.

Chris Archer threw behind Jose Bautista

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Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.

Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.

The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.