Tyler Naquin
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Video: Tyler Naquin suffers torn ACL after making an incredible catch

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Friday’s game ended in impressive and terrible fashion for Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin, who was carted off the field with a knee sprain just moments after making a last-second grab at the wall. Naquin’s moment arrived in the fifth inning when, with two outs and a runner on first, Joey Wendle skied a ball out to the left field corner. The fleet-footed left fielder sprinted over to the corner to make the play and crashed into the wall at full speed, tumbling backwards onto the warning track as the catch was confirmed.

It was immediately clear that something was wrong. Naquin grimaced and clutched his leg, writhing in obvious pain until the Indians’ staff reached him with a medical cart. Unable to put any weight on his leg, he was carted off the field and replaced by Greg Allen for the remaining four innings.

Following the conclusion of the Indians’ 4-0 loss to the Rays, the club confirmed that Naquin had sustained a right knee sprain in the collision. How much time he’ll miss is still unknown, though it’s of some relief that the injury doesn’t appear to be more severe.

After exiting Friday’s game, Naquin holds a .288/.325/.467 batting line with 10 home runs and 34 RBI through 294 plate appearances in 2019. He went 1-for-2 with a double against the Rays.

Update: On Saturday, the Indians revealed Naquin suffered a torn ACL while making the play. He won’t play again in 2019, and it’s unclear what his timetable will look like in 2020.

Minor League Baseball accuses MLB of making misleading statements

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Yesterday several members of Congress, calling themselves the “Save Minor League Baseball Task Force,” introduced a resolution saying that Major League Baseball should drop its plan to eliminate the minor league clubs and, rather, maintain the current minor league structure. In response, Major League Baseball issued a statement accusing Minor League Baseball of refusing to negotiate and imploring Congress to prod Minor League Baseball back to the bargaining table.

Only one problem with that: According to Minor League Baseball, it has been at the table. And, in a new statement today, claims that MLB is making knowingly false statements about all of that:

“Minor League Baseball was encouraged by the dialogue in a recent meeting between representatives of Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball and a commitment by both sides to engage further on February 20. However, Major League Baseball’s claims that Minor League Baseball is not participating in these negotiations in a constructive and productive manner is false. Minor League Baseball has provided Major League Baseball with numerous substantive proposals that would improve the working conditions for Minor League Baseball players by working with MLB to ensure adequate facilities and reasonable travel. Unfortunately, Major League Baseball continues to misrepresent our positions with misleading information in public statements that are not conducive to good faith negotiations.”

I suppose Rob Manfred’s next statement is either going to double down or, alternatively, he’s going to say “wait, you were at the airport Marriott? We thought the meeting was at the downtown Marriott! Oh, so you were at the table. Our bad!”

Minor League Baseball is not merely offering dueling statements, however. A few minutes ago it released a letter it had sent to Rob Manfred six days ago, the entirely of which can be read here.

In the letter, the Minor League Baseball Negotiating Committee said it, “is singularly focused on working with MLB to reach an agreement that will best ensure that baseball remains the National Pastime in communities large and small throughout our
country,” and that to that end it seeks to “set forth with clarity in a letter to you the position of MiLB on the key issues that we must resolve in these negotiations.”

From there the letter goes through the various issues Major League Baseball has put on the table, including the status of the full season and short season leagues and implores MLB not to, as proposed, eliminate the Appalachian League. It blasts MLB’s concept of “The Dream League” — the bucket into which MLB proposed to throw all newly-unaffiliated clubs — as a “seriously flawed concept,” and strongly counters the talking point Major League Baseball has offered about how it allegedly “subsidizes” the minor leagues.

You should read the whole letter. And Rob Manfred should probably stop issuing statements that, it would appear, are easily countered.