Bill Baer

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws to the plate during the first inning of a preseason baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Thursday, March 31, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Andrew Heaney has “plateaued” in his rehab

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Angels starter Andrew Heaney felt tightness and tenderness in his left forearm when he was trying to throw from 50-60 feet, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports. Manager Mike Scioscia described the lefty as having reached a plateau.

Heaney was placed on the disabled list on April 6 with a left flexor strain, a day after he gave up four runs in six innings to the Cubs in his season debut.

Nick Tropeano took Heaney’s spot in the rotation and has pitched quite well in two starts thus far. The right-hander has allowed just one run on 11 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings. As long as Heaney is sidelined, the Angels will keep trotting Tropeano out there.

Joe Kelly exits Tuesday’s start with an apparent injury

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Joe Kelly works against the Minnesota Twins in the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game, Tuesday, March 29, 2016, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Update #2 (10:52 PM EST): Kelly has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, per Britton.

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Update (8:31 PM EST): Kelly has been diagnosed with an impingement in his right shoulder, per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

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Red Sox starter Joe Kelly lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday’s start against the Rays. The right-hander walked two and struck out one before departing with what appeared to be a back or a shoulder issue, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. Bradford also notes that Kelly topped out at only 93 MPH and threw from a higher arm angle than usual.

Heath Hembree relieved Kelly and finished the first inning with no further issue. The Red Sox should provide an update on Kelly’s status shortly and we’ll pass word along to you once that happens.

Over his first two starts to begin the 2016 season, Kelly yielded nine earned runs on 14 hits and eight walks with 10 strikeouts over eight innings. This comes after a dismal 2015 campaign with the Red Sox during which he had a 4.82 ERA over 25 starts.

Curt Schilling writes blog post doubling down on anti-transgender post

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 03: Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling #38 throws out the first pitch after being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins during the game on August 3, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
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On Tuesday afternoon, Craig wrote about a disgusting anti-transgender post former major leaguer Curt Schilling made on Facebook. Craig, as usual, correctly pointed out the many ways in which Schilling’s comment was wrong.

Schilling then wrote a blog post in which he doubled down on his Facebook post. He called it, “The hunt to be offended…” He said, “If you get offended by ANYTHING in this post, that’s your fault, all yours.” Schilling then adds, “I don’t represent anyone but myself here, on facebook, on twitter, anywhere,” which is just not correct, especially given how ESPN has reacted to his myriad faux pas.

Schilling addressed the controversy from last August in which he compared Muslims to Nazis. He tried to justify it by saying he used the term “Muslim extremist” as opposed to just Muslim. Then, about today’s furor over his latest Facebook post, he wrote, “This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious. I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of mens and womens restrooms, period.”

He goes on, “YOU’RE the ones making it the issue. I don’t care, if you ask me about any of the topics it’s likely (much to the chagrin of many) I’ll answer with my opinion.”

It reads like a teenager trying to argue his way out of getting grounded by his or her parents. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how ESPN responds to this.

Former Cubs pitcher Milt Pappas dies at age 76

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CHICAGO (AP) Milt Pappas, who won 209 games during his 17-year career with the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs, has died. He was 76.

His widow, Judi Pappas, said Pappas died Tuesday morning of natural causes at his home in the northern Illinois community of Beecher.

The 6-foot-3 right-hander was part of the Baby Birds staff in Baltimore in 1964, a young rotation with great promise. He was an All-Star by 1962 and started the Midsummer Classic in 1965, months before he and two other players were dealt to Cincinnati for future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson in one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history. He was sent to Atlanta two years later and to Chicago in 1970.

His best year with the Cubs was in 1972. Pappas went 17-7 and came within one disputed pitch of throwing a perfect game when he walked a San Diego batter with two outs in the bottom of the ninth before finishing with a no-hitter. He disputed the calls by umpire Bruce Froemming for years.

C.J. Nitkowski doesn’t like fans who use cell phones at games

28 May 2001:  C.J. Nitkowski #27 of the Detroit Tigers gets ready to pitch during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Indians 12-6.Mandatory Credit: Tom Pigeon  /Allsport
Tom Pigeon/Allsport
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Former major leaguer C.J. Nitkowski, presently of various media venues including MLB Network Radio, posted an image on Twitter on Monday night where he highlighted an ostensibly female fan looking down at her cell phone while White Sox shortstop Jimmy Rollins hits a double. Nitkowski commented, “Your parents paid a lot of money for that seat…”

Unsurprisingly, Nitkowski got a lot of heat for the comment, including from ESPN’s Keith Law, who felt the former pitcher’s comment had tinges of sexism. Nitkowski wrote a personal blog responding to Law specifically. I’ll abstain from passing judgment on that specific matter, but Nitkowski does conveniently ignore the man a couple rows back whose face is also buried in a cell phone.

Nitkowski’s criticism of the fan makes a lot of assumptions from a still image — one split-second of a three and a half hour game. It really comes from the recent netting arguments, on which one side argues that fans struck by foul balls should be paying attention, rather than using cell phones and engaging in other distractions.

How is Nitkowski so sure the girl didn’t pay for her own ticket? Why does he default to this assumption?

Why does he assume that looking down at a cell phone means one is, generally, not paying attention? Could she not have been looking up game-related information with the MLB.com app, or looking up scores of other games?

Why is looking down at a cell phone frowned upon, especially with expanded netting now protecting a higher portion of those attending? What if the girl did get those tickets from her parents, and she was texting them to say thank you and explain how great the seats are? What if she got an unexpected but important work-related email? What if she was waiting for an update for a relative who had been admitted to the hospital? What if someone randomly texted her to say hi? Nitkowski doesn’t know why the girl was using her cell phone at all.

Why do we expect that fans should always, 100 percent, be paying attention to the on-field action? Baseball is much slower and has much more down time than other sports. It’s natural for one’s mind to wander aimlessly, or for one’s attention to be directed elsewhere. The teams themselves are guilty of this, as their giant video boards flash brightly, mascots prance around, and fans are regularly prompted to use their cell phone for one reason or another.

I shared Nitkowski’s comment and the surrounding context with my girlfriend, who only watches baseball when she’s with me and knows just the basics about the sport. She said she went to a Phillies game once and read a book through the entire game. Why did she go, then? She wanted to spend time with her father. Not everyone who attends a baseball game actually likes baseball; sometimes, they just like being with friends and family. Her seat was paid for with hard-earned money, so she can read a book, play Candy Crush, or knit a sweater if she wants to, all while ignoring the game. If Nitkowski wants to delegitimize that, he is only alienating fans from a sport that is already having trouble capturing the attention of millennials.