Props to ESPN: Red Sox-Tigers tilt to be shown tonight

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When the Tigers opted to schedule a split-doubleheader with the Red Sox on Sunday following Saturday’s rainout, they left the second game to fall under MLB’s blackout rules.  ESPN has exclusive coverage of Sunday night games, and since they were showing Atlanta-Cincinnati, no one was going to get to see what figured to be a pretty outstanding Josh Beckett-Justin Verlander matchup.

ESPN, though, has given both FOX Sports Detroit and NESN permission to air the game.  We imagine there was some cash involved in the deal, but who cares?  ESPN deserves plenty of credit for giving fans the choice to switch broadcasts tonight.

Bradley Zimmer to miss 8-12 months after shoulder surgery

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Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer is out for the year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, the team announced Saturday. The projected recovery timetable spans anywhere from 8-12 months, which puts Zimmer’s return in the second half of the 2019 season, assuming that all goes well.

Zimmer, 25, had not made an appearance for the Indians since June 3. He racked up a cumulative nine weeks on the major- and minor-league disabled lists this season and will have finished his year with a .226/.281/.330 batting line, seven extra-base hits, and four stolen bases in 114 plate appearances.

The outfielder reportedly sustained his season-ending injury during a workout in Triple-A Columbus, where Cleveland.com’s Joe Noga says Zimmer began feeling discomfort in his shoulder after completing a set of one-handed throwing drills. Comments from club manager Terry Francona suggest that the Indians have every reason to believe that he’ll make a full recovery by next summer, though it’s not yet clear whether or not he’ll need additional time to readjust to a full workload when he takes the field again.