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Blue Jays release Nori Aoki

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club granted outfielder Nori Aoki his unconditional release. He had been designated for assignment on Monday.

Aoki, 35, hit for surprising power in limited action for the Jays after being acquired from the Astros at the trade deadline. In 34 plate appearances spanning 12 games, he batted .281/.294/.594 with three home runs and eight RBI.

If a contending club is interested in Aoki and wants him to be eligible for the postseason roster, he will need to be added by Thursday. Players acquired in September are not eligible for the postseason roster.

Tigers, Royals to play a regular season game in Omaha next year

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Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.

The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.

This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.