A’s closer Sean Doolittle is ready to make his season debut

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that A’s closer Sean Doolittle is expected to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday after spending the first seven weeks of the season recovering from a partially torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.

Doolittle has been rehabbing in the minors for the past two weeks, including Triple-A appearances Friday and Sunday. Last season he stepped into the closer role in mid-May and had an All-Star year, saving 22 games with a 2.73 ERA and 89/8 K/BB ratio in 63 innings.

All indications are that the A’s plan to re-install Doolittle as their closer, but fill-in Tyler Clippard may keep ninth-inning duties for a while longer as they ease him back into the bullpen mix.

Police are keeping reporters away from owners at the owners meetings

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The owners meetings are going on in Arlington, Texas right now and something unusual is happening: the owners are using police to shield them from reporters seeking comment.

Chandler Rome, the Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, attempted to talk to Astros owner Jim Crane at the hotel in which the meetings are taking place. Which makes sense because, duh, Rome covers the Astros and, if you haven’t noticed, the Astros are in the news lately.

Here’s how it went:

This was confirmed by other reporters:

To be clear: this is a radically different way things have ever been handled at MLB meetings of any kind. Reporters — who are credentialed specifically for these meetings at this location, they’re not just showing up — approach the GMs or the owners or whoever as they walk in the public parts of the hotel in which they’re held or in the areas designated for press conferences. It’s not contentious. Usually the figures of interest will stop and talk a bit then move on. If they don’t want to talk they just keep walking, often offering apologies or an excuse about being late for something and say they’ll be available later. It’s chill as far as reporters vs. the powerful tend to go.

But apparently not today. Not at the owners meetings. Now police — who are apparently off duty on contract security, but armed and in full official uniform — are shielding The Lords of Baseball from scrutiny.

We live in interesting times.