Ned Yost wants his pitchers hacking

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The Royals are beginning a stretch of 15 straight interleague games tonight, and Ned Yost has a message for his pitchers, who now have to bat: get your money’s worth:

“When we play in National League I’ve got one
rule for our pitchers: Never try to beat out an infield hit. But two, if
you can swing it, swing it. I don’t want them up there trying to hit
little base hits to right field . . . take
your best swing. Go ahead and try to hit a double. Try to hit the ball
off the wall. We’ve got some athletes here.”

The National League partisan in me wants to see Royals’ pitchers rake like crazy for the next two weeks. The realist in me believes that free-swinging American League pitchers may do more to hasten the NL’s adoption of the DH than anything Charlie O. Finley could ever muster.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”