Dallas Braden leaves Yankees game early with cramps

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Well, at least this won’t give Yankees fans any reason to mock the brash young lad for his lack of manliness or toughness or whatnot:

Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden has left his latest start because of heat-related cramps. Braden
bent over after a pitch in the sixth inning Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
He was checked by a trainer and slowly walked off the field.

Guess he had to get off CC Sabathia’s mound.

A shame too, because it was a heck of a pitchers duel going on at the time, with the Yankees up 1-0.  The game just ended with the Yankees winning 5-0.  Braden did get in a plunking of Derek Jeter right before he cramped up, however, so he got some evil points in for the New York crowd.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.