Not interested in tonight’s big college football game between LSU and Alabama? Fortunately there’s also some baseball on the tube. Some of the game’s best prospects will be on hand for tonight’s Rising Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 8 p.m. ET.
The main attraction will be 2010 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper, who has made a mockery of AFL pitching in recent days, but tonight’s game is also a showcase for the first two picks of this year’s First-Year Player Draft. The hard-throwing Gerrit Cole, who was selected first overall by the Pirates in June, will make the start for the East team while Mariners prospect left-hander Danny Hultzen gets the call for the West.
Below are your lineups for tonight. Some other names of note include Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout and Royals’ prospect outfielder Wil Myers.
Rising Stars East lineup: RF – Robbie Grossman (Pirates), CF – Mike Trout (Angels), SS – Junior Lake (Cubs), 3B – Nolan Arenado (Rockies), DH – Bryce Harper (Nationals), C – Derek Norris (Nationals), 1B – Ben Paulsen (Rockies), 2B – Brian Dozier (Twins), LF – Tim Wheeler (Rockies)
Rising Stars West lineup: CF – Kevin Mattison (Marlins), SS – Nick Franklin (Mariners), RF – Wil Myers (Royals), 3B – Mike Olt (Rangers) , DH – Michael Choice (Athletics), 1B – Joey Terdoslavich, LF (Braves) – Jaff Decker (Padres), C – Christian Bethancourt (Braves), 2B – Christian Colon (Royals)
On Friday, it was reported that free agent Hanley Ramirez was under federal and state investigation, though no one knew for what, exactly. Michele McPhee of ABC News said, “Obviously I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime. And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
The suspect was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine. But it turns out that Ramirez’s name only got mentioned because the suspect was hoping to avoid arrest. Ramirez is not actually under investigation, Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen of the Boston Globe report.
The attorney of the suspect said that his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used the former Red Sox DH’s name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.” During the traffic stop, a trooper asked permission to open a brown cardboard box found in the rear cargo area of the suspect’s jeep. The suspect said the box contained books, shipped to him by Ramirez’s mother to deliver to Ramirez in Boston. The suspect FaceTimed Ramirez to back up his story, but Ramirez said he wasn’t aware that the suspect was on his way to visit. Ramirez gave permission to the trooper to open the box. He did, and found a gift bag with two kilograms of fentanyl. The suspect was arrested on drug trafficking charges.
Ramirez, 34, hit a disappointing .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 195 plate appearances for the Red Sox before being designated for assignment on May 25 and released on June 1. The Red Sox maintain that Ramirez’s release had nothing to do with anything off-the-field.