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Dodgers offer a pointed ‘no comment’ in the wake of the Astros’ punishment

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Ever since the sign-stealing stuff first came up, people have talked about those who were victimized by it. The opposing pitchers who unwittingly threw pitches that the hitters knew were coming. The teams the Astros beat who, we know now, were subject to an unfair disadvantage. Bill talked a good deal about that yesterday.

Given that both the 2017 Astros and the 2018 Red Sox have been implicated in the scandal, one’s thoughts naturally turn to the 2017-18 Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost the 2017 and 2018 World Series to the Astros and Red Sox, respectively. It’s one thing to think about dropping a random Tuesday night game in August at Minute Maid or Fenway, but to lose in the Fall Classic, at least in part because the opponent was cheating, is a tough pill to swallow.

Major League Baseball knows that, so yesterday they wisely told all 30 of the clubs — the Dodgers included — that they were not to comment on the Astros’ punishment. Makes sense: this scandal goes to the heart of the integrity of the game, which the league has a vested interest in protecting. If the Astros’ competitors are out there fanning the flames of a cheating scandal, it’d be hard for the league to do what it wants to do: portray this as an aberration that was quickly nipped in the bud.

Last night the Dodgers tweeted something that followed the letter of MLB’s “do not comment” diktat, but to me anyway, they amusingly strayed from its spirt:

Maybe I’m just online too much, but that whole thing reads like the old meme which, in this case, says “My ‘we’re not going to comment about how we were totally ripped off in the 2017 World Series’ T-shirt has people asking a lot of questions already answered by my shirt.”

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

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Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.