Cory Lidle statue vandalized in California

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A statue of former major league pitcher Cory Lidle was toppled by thieves late last week outside Big League Dream Park in West Covina, California. Three bronze plaques — valued at $6,000 — were stolen, and the statue itself was filled with drill holes.

“The vandalism to the Cory Lidle statue is a deplorable act by some despicable human beings,” West Covina City Mayor Steve Herfert told CBS Los Angeles. “To damage a statue memorializing the life of Cory Lidle is very personal to all of our residents. Cory’s life represents the hopes and dreams of every baseball player and kind person in our City.”

No suspects had been identified by West Covina Police as of Sunday morning.

Lidle, a native of Hollywood, California, died in 2006 when a plane he was piloting crashed into a high-rise on the east side of Manhattan. The right-hander made 277 career appearances at the major league level.

Rays to start relievers in all three games of weekend series with Orioles

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays will start a reliever in each of the three games of the club’s weekend series at home against the Orioles. Sergio Romo will start Friday, Ryne Stanek will start Saturday, and Romo will start again Sunday. The Orioles’ starters are TBA at the moment.

This continues the trend that drew attention last weekend, resulting in Angels third baseman calling the strategy “bad for baseball.” I wrote about the potential labor impacts of this strategy as well. The Rays did it against the Angels because they had a right-hander-heavy top of the lineup and didn’t want lefty Ryan Yarbrough to have to face that top of the lineup three times.

The O’s have a righty-heavy top of the lineup as well, as various combinations of Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop have batted 1-2-3-4 for most of the season. Romo has limited right-handers to a .702 OPS this season.