It took a while, but Major League Baseball has finally resolved Giants reliever Hunter Strickland‘s appeal of his six-game suspension: it’s still six games. MLB decided not to reduce Strickland’s punishment, which he’ll begin serving tonight, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports.
On May 29, Strickland intentionally hit Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in the hip with a 98 MPH fastball, exacting revenge for playoff home runs Harper hit against Strickland in 2014. Harper wasn’t happy, so he went towards Strickland and the two fought briefly as the benches and bullpens emptied onto the field. Harper was suspended four games, which was eventually reduced to three games.
Strickland, 28, will take the rest of the week off carrying a 2.08 ERA and a 26/13 K/BB ratio in 26 innings.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.