Chris Perez resumes closing for Indians, avoids talking to reporters about pot arrest

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Chris Perez came off the disabled list yesterday after missing a month with a strained shoulder and manager Terry Francona wasted no time announcing that he’ll immediately resume closing for the Indians.

Perez struggled quite a bit before being shut down with the injury and fill-in Vinnie Pestano converted all five saves opportunities in his absence while posting a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings.

Also of note regarding Perez’s return from the DL, via Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Before the game, Perez told a team official that he would talk to reporters, but only if two reporters were excluded from the interview. It did not appear Perez talked to reporters before the game.

While he was on the shelf Perez and his wife were arrested for allegedly having marijuana delivered to their house under their dog’s name, which is no doubt why Perez is trying to dictate the terms of his media engagement. Maybe all the Indians beat writers ought to ask to interview Perez’s dog.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.