MLB suspends Brandon Workman, but not David Price, after Red Sox-Rays plunkings

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MLB has suspended Red Sox right-hander Brandon Workman six games for throwing a pitch at Rays third baseman Evan Longoria on Friday.

Workman didn’t actually hit Longoria, as the pitch instead went behind him, but both teams had already been warned after David Price hit David Ortiz with a pitch earlier in the game. Workman claimed afterward that “the ball was slick and it slipped out of my hand.”

Also noteworthy: Price was not suspended for actually hitting Ortiz with a pitch, presumably because there had yet to be a warning issued. It’s also possible that MLB determined Price didn’t act on purpose, although Price’s comments afterward certainly suggested he had.

Workman is scheduled to start for the Red Sox tomorrow, so it would probably make sense for him to appeal the suspension, if only temporarily, so that he could pitch that game before sitting out.

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.