Neck injury could force Casey Blake into retirement

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Casey Blake’s latest injury is a pinched nerve in his neck, which has caused him to miss four straight games, and the 37-year-old is thinking ahead to how it could impact his health long after retiring from baseball.

“Obviously, this neck thing is pretty serious,” Blake told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. “I want to be able to move my neck when I’m 50.

Blake has played just 58 of 126 games this season, posting a career-worst .704 OPS and spending three different stints on the disabled list.

He’ll be a free agent this offseason once the Dodgers decline their $6 million team option and Hernandez reports that Blake may be reconsidering retirement after previously saying he planned to play somewhere in 2012 because “doctors have warned him that his condition could worsen if he continues to play.”

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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