Rusney Castillo’s first day in America featured Jay Z and Beyoncé

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Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston has a lengthy story about the Red Sox’s new $72 million outfielder Rusney Castillo, including this tidbit about how the Cuban defector spent his first day in the United States back in June:

[Castillo] came to the U.S. with his wife and 5-year-old daughter on June 25, the same day Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce brought their “On the Run” tour to a sold-out Sun Life Stadium in Miami. Castillo spent his first night in the U.S. at the concert.

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is the founder of the entertainment company Roc Nation, LLC; Roc Nation Sports is its sports management division, with Castillo joining Robinson Cano of the Mariners, CC Sabathia of the Yankees, Kevin Durant of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Celtics draftee James Young and the WNBA’s Skylar Diggins among its first clients.

“[Castillo] landed and went right to the show,” Perez said by telephone Wednesday night. “That was the first time Jay-Z laid eyes on him. Jay-Z welcomed him to the States.”

And then a couple months later he got $72 million. What a country.

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.