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Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Fiers exchange words after HBP

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With runners on the corners and two outs in the top of the third inning of a 1-1 game, Tigers starter Mike Fiers hit Yankees DH Giancarlo Stanton on the left elbow guard with a 90 MPH fastball. Stanton wasn’t too happy about it, staring at Fiers as he walked to first base. The two exchanged words as catcher James McCann attempted to keep the two separated. Players began to trickle out of the dugouts, but it wasn’t a full-on benches-clearing incident and order was quickly restored. Fiers got out of the inning without any further damage.

Here’s a link to video showing the pitch and the ensuing disagreement.

Yankees starter Domingo German hit Nick Castellanos with a 1-1 change-up in the bottom of the first inning, which obviously wasn’t intentional. Perhaps Stanton felt like Fiers was exacting revenge two innings later, but it’s not like Fiers wants to do the Yankees a favor by loading the bases for Gleyber Torres in a 1-1 game.

Fiers was the one who hit Stanton with a fastball in 2014, causing multiple facial fractures and dental damage. Fiers, though, appeared apologetic:

Stanton may still resent Fiers for that injury. Whatever the case, Stanton got his revenge, blasting a solo home run off of Fiers in the top of the sixth to cut the Tigers’ lead to 3-2 in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader.

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.