Judge grants preliminary injunction in the MASN-Nationals-Orioles dispute

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Two weeks ago MASN and the Orioles went to court to (a) get out from under an MLB arbitration ruling requiring them to pay the Nationals a dramatically greater amount of money; and (b) get an injunction preventing the Nationals from dropping out of their broadcast deal with MASN and seek other broadcast arrangements while the dispute is hammered out. They just won on part of that.

There was an oral argument on the matter today and the judge hearing the case has entered a preliminary injunction which freezes the status quo pending the outcome of the case. That means the Nats are still going to be subject to their MASN deal and the dispute between them on one said and MASN/the Orioles on the other, will proceed in court. Or in negotiations, but those haven’t worked out too well so far.

Worth noting that part of the standard to obtain a preliminary injunction is to demonstrate that you have a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of the dispute. So, at the very least, the Orioles and MASN convinced the judge that, yes, they could win a trial in the future which seeks to throw out the arbitration ruling entered under MLB’s auspices which favored the Nats.

There will likely be a long time to go before this is all resolved, but in the meantime, nothing will change with the way we as fans see Nationals games.

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.