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.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.