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Colby Rasmus decides to “step away” from baseball

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Rays outfielder Colby Rasmus has decided to “step away” from baseball and is not expected to return this season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Rays placed him on the restricted list.

Rasmus, 30, has had a tough year. Last offseason, he underwent surgery to repair his left hip labrum and his core muscle. The hip continued to bother him throughout spring training and he began the season on the disabled list. He made his debut on May 2 and hit .281/.318/.579 in 129 plate appearances before going back on the DL June 23. Rasmus wasn’t ready to return when the minimum 10 days were up and now that the second half of the season is about to begin, it sounds like he still isn’t ready — perhaps mentally as well as physically.

The Rays issued a statement:

Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, and Didi Gregorius say teams should expand protective netting

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Earlier, a young fan was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to be carried out before being taken to a hospital. Fortunately, it seems that the fan is okay.

As usual, when a scary incident such as today’s occurs, players come out in full support of expanding the protective netting at ballparks. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as well as Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier and shortstop Didi Gregorius all said as much after Wednesday afternoon’s game.

Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis has also been a very vocal proponent of increased netting. For the most part, the players are pretty much all in agreement about the subject. It’s only a vocal minority of fans who seem to think that their ability to snag a random souvenir or have an unimpeded view supersedes the safety of their neighbors.

Video: Giancarlo Stanton hits a laser for his 56th home run

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Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continued his march towards 60 home runs, hitting No. 56 in Wednesday afternoon’s win against the Mets. The Marlins, leading 7-2 prior to Stanton’s two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, didn’t need the extra run support but welcomed it all the same. Mets reliever Erik Goeddel tossed a 1-1, 78 MPH curve that caught too much of the plate.

After Wednesday’s action, Stanton is batting .279/.378/.634 with 120 RBI and 116 runs scored along with the 56 dingers in 646 plate appearances. The last player to hit at least 56 home runs in a season was Ryan Howard (58) in 2006. Stanton’s is the 19th player-season of at least 56 homers.