Mickey Callaway, Mets Reportedly Agree on Contract to Become Team’s Manager

The New York Mets are reportedly set to hire Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as the team's newest manager, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirmed the report. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Callaway will receive a three-year contract.

The 42-year-old spent the past four years with Cleveland after a five-year career as a major league pitcher.

He was reportedly one of four finalists for the job along with Joe McEwing, Manny Acta and Kevin Long, per Marc Carig of Newsday.

The other three top candidates, plus Alex Cora who was also interviewed, had a connection with the Mets after spending time with the team either as players or coaches. Callaway has spent his entire career in the American League, but the front office clearly saw enough from him to name him the newest manager.

Many see this addition as a chance to help the young rotation:

The Mets have one of the most talented pitching staffs in the majors led by Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, but injuries and poor play led to a 5.01 ERA to rank third-worst in baseball. Meanwhile, the Indians led all teams with a 3.30 ERA despite dealing with their own injuries.

A year after reaching the World Series, Cleveland finished with an AL-best record of 102-60, fueled by a 22-game winning streak over the summer. While the team has some talented hitters, the pitching staff was a big part of the team's success during this stretch, behind the play of Corey Kluber. 

Callaway will hope his expertise will help turn around a Mets franchise that went just 70-92 this season after consecutive playoff berths the previous two seasons. Manager Terry Collins, 68, resigned after seven years with the club, leaving a path for some new young blood in the organization.

 


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Mickey Callaway, Mets Reportedly Agree on Contract to Become Team’s Manager

The New York Mets are reportedly set to hire Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as the team's newest manager, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirmed the report. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Callaway will receive a three-year contract.

The 42-year-old spent the past four years with Cleveland after a five-year career as a major league pitcher.

He was reportedly one of four finalists for the job along with Joe McEwing, Manny Acta and Kevin Long, per Marc Carig of Newsday.

The other three top candidates, plus Alex Cora who was also interviewed, had a connection with the Mets after spending time with the team either as players or coaches. Callaway has spent his entire career in the American League, but the front office clearly saw enough from him to name him the newest manager.

Many see this addition as a chance to help the young rotation:

The Mets have one of the most talented pitching staffs in the majors led by Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, but injuries and poor play led to a 5.01 ERA to rank third-worst in baseball. Meanwhile, the Indians led all teams with a 3.30 ERA despite dealing with their own injuries.

A year after reaching the World Series, Cleveland finished with an AL-best record of 102-60, fueled by a 22-game winning streak over the summer. While the team has some talented hitters, the pitching staff was a big part of the team's success during this stretch, behind the play of Corey Kluber. 

Callaway will hope his expertise will help turn around a Mets franchise that went just 70-92 this season after consecutive playoff berths the previous two seasons. Manager Terry Collins, 68, resigned after seven years with the club, leaving a path for some new young blood in the organization.

 


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MLB Playoffs 2017: Updated LCS Bracket, TV Schedule and Live-Stream Guide

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the World Series after defeating the Chicago Cubs in five games. The question is who will join them from the American League.

While the New York Yankees have a 3-2 advantage heading into Game 6, the Houston Astros aren't going away after winning 101 games during the regular season. Even after losing three in a row, the return to Minute Maid Park could shift momentum back toward the Astros for the final two games of the series.

The Dodgers were able to close out their series on the road with an 11-1 victory Thursday night, reaching the World Series for the first time since 1988. It's been eight years since the last Yankees pennant, but they will try to follow suit with one more victory.

                 

American League Championship Series

Game 6: Oct. 20 at 8:08 p.m. ET; Fox Sports 1

Game 7: Oct. 21 at 8:08 p.m. ET; Fox Sports 1

Live stream available at FoxSportsGo.com.

           

It's pretty amazing the Yankees can be one win away from the World Series after being left for dead so many times this postseason.

They fell behind in the wild-card game against the Twins, they went down 0-2 in the NLDS against the Indians and then fell behind 0-2 again this series. Each time, they have responded with some of the best baseball they have played all year.

Buster Olney of ESPN noted how well the starting rotation has performed over the past two series:

The offense has also stepped up its performance, as A.J. Herrmann of YES showed:

Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez have created a feared trio in the middle of the Yankees order. Adding in a trustworthy back of the bullpen and plenty of momentum, and this is a tough team to beat.

With that said, the series now shifts back to Houston where the Astros are 4-0 this postseason. The Yankees are 1-4 on the road and were the only playoff team to have a losing record away from home this season.

Veteran Carlos Beltran has taken it upon himself to remind his teammates that they only need two wins to take the series.

"I just don't want people to feel down," the 40-year-old said, per Pedro Maura of the Los Angeles Times. "If you get caught up in the hype and the crowd, it could get into your head. We have a lot of young guys in here who are in their first or second time in the playoffs, and they can get caught up in that."

New York will also have to try to solve Justin Verlander in Game 6, who is coming off a complete game in his last outing with 13 strikeouts and just one run allowed. He has a 2.04 ERA in three appearances this postseason, including one out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the ALDS.

Although the Yankees still have Luis Severino and C.C. Sabathia ready to go in the next two games, nothing is guaranteed as the series comes to a close.

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Corey Seager Expected to Play in Game 1 of World Series After Back Injury

After missing the National League Championship Series with a back injury, Corey Seager should be able to help the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

Manager Dave Roberts said Thursday he expects the shortstop to be available for Game 1 on Tuesday, per Bleacher Report's Scott Miller.

The Dodgers clinched a spot in the World Series with their 11-1 Game 5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night at Wrigley Field.

Seager tweaked his back in the final game of the NLDS sweep over the Arizona Diamondbacks. While it didn't appear to be much at the time, the injury was enough to keep him off the NLCS roster.

Los Angeles didn't seem to need him, however, as the squad took just five games to knock out the defending champions. The offense averaged 5.6 runs per game during the stretch.

Of course, adding Seager should only help as he has become one of the best young hitters in baseball. The 23-year-old has been an All-Star in each of his two full seasons in the majors, and he finished this year with 22 home runs and a .295 batting average.

His .854 OPS ranked second in the majors among shortstops behind only Zack Cozart.

Roberts said Seager felt "considerably better" Sunday, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. With an extra week of rest, the talented player should be ready to make a significant impact against either the Yankees or Astros.

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Aaron Judge, Yankees Erase 4-Run Deficit to Stun Astros and Even ALCS at 2

It seems you just can't put the New York Yankees away.

Down 4-0 in the seventh inning Tuesday night, the Yankees fought back to earn a 6-4 Game 4 win over the Houston Astros. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez combined for five RBI, with each slugger coming through with a clutch hit during the four-run eighth inning.

New York had fallen behind 2-0 for the second series in a row, but the American League Championship Series is now tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven battle.

      

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Stephen Strasburg Shuts Down Cubs to Give Nationals Game 4 NLDS Win

Stephen Strasburg didn't know if he would pitch Wednesday, but he and Michael A. Taylor saved the Washington Nationals' season.

Despite dealing with an apparent illness, the pitcher threw seven scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts while leading the Nationals to a 5-0 Game 4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Tuesday's rainout gave him an extra day to get back to full strength, and he made it count on another rainy night in Chicago.

Taylor then put the game away with an eighth-inning grand slam off Wade Davis.

The win ties the division series at 2-2 and sets up the all-important Game 5 on Thursday night with the Nationals trying to clinch at home.

 

           

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Josh Reddick’s RBI Single Lifts Astros Past Red Sox, into 2017 ALCS

The Houston Astros are the first team to clinch a spot in the next round of the playoffs after their 5-4 Game 4 win Monday over the Boston Red Sox.

In a game where both Chris Sale and Justin Verlander were used out of the bullpen to keep the score close, Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick came through with the big hits in the eighth to help win it for Houston.

The victory gave the Astros the 3-1 division series victory, sending the AL West winners to the American League Championship Series to take on either the Cleveland Indians or New York Yankees

         

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Derek Jeter May Keep 4 Front Office Members He Reportedly Wanted to Fire

Just weeks after apparently deciding to fire four esteemed consultants with the Miami Marlins, Derek Jeter has reportedly changed his mind.

According to Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Jeter informed the team a plan to remove Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine, who all have various front office roles within the organization.

However, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Wednesday there was a change of heart. Jeter reportedly called all four men to tell them there would be roles for them going forward.

There are conflicting reports about whether the team's new part-owner changed his mind or there was a miscommunication with Marlins President David Samson, who had been tasked with informing the four baseball veterans of their firings.

Jeter's group, with principal owner Bruce Sherman, finalized its purchase of the team Monday from Jeffrey Loria for $1.2 billion. The former Yankees shortstop was named team CEO.

While he has the ability to make firing and hiring decisions, all four of those fired were highly respected members of the baseball community and especially within the Marlins organization.

Perez and Dawson were Hall of Fame players, with Dawson ending his career with the Marlins and Perez spending time there as a coach. McKeon was the team's manager in the most recent World Series title in 2003, while Conine was a part of both championships in 1997 and 2003. He spent seven years in Florida and only Luis Castillo has played more games for the franchise.

Regardless of what type of contributions they make behind the scenes, keeping all four within the organization could represent a big step toward easing the transition to new ownership.

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Andrew Romine Becomes 5th Player in MLB History to Play Every Position in 1 Game

Detroit Tigers utility player Andrew Romine played all nine positions in the Detroit Tigers' 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins Saturday.

The team noted Romine was the fifth player ever to accomplish this feat and the first since Shane Halter in 2000.

He pitched to one batter, forcing a groundout from Miguel Sano and earning a hold in the process.

     

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Diamondbacks Clinch Spot in NL Wild Card Game with Cardinals, Brewers Losses

The Arizona Diamondbacks were the latest team to clinch a spot in the MLB playoffs following Sunday's losses by the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.

Although the Diamondbacks were in the middle of a game against the Miami Marlins at the time, the team acknowledged the accomplishment, as Joe Frisaro of MLB.com noted:

Arizona entered the day with an 89-66 record and now has a 7.5-game lead over the Brewers with seven games to play.

The Los Angeles Dodgers—despite their late-season struggles—have already clinched the National League West, meaning the Diamondbacks will play in the Wild Card Game regardless of what else happens. If they remain ahead of the rest of the field, the one-game series will be played at home in Chase Field.

If the season ended Sunday, that matchup would be against the Colorado Rockies, but both the Brewers and Cardinals remain in the hunt for the second spot heading into the final week of the year.

Although advancing from the wild-card spot has become tougher in recent seasons with one loss enough to end a season, the Diamondbacks will enter October as one of the hottest teams in baseball. They had a 13-game winning streak over the summer and have won 20 of their last 28 games.

Knowing the playoff position this far in advance also allows the team to set up the pitching rotation how it wants, likely putting Zack Greinke on the mound for the wild-card battle.

With top players such as Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb leading the offense, this could be a team to fear in the postseason.

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Terry Collins Reportedly Expected to Retire After Season

New York Mets manager Terry Collins has not publicly decided on his future, but this could be his last season in baseball.

According to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, team sources expect Collins to retire at the end of the season.

The 68-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Mets.

Collins has hinted that 2017 could be his final year since last fall.

"I've always said a lot of it will be dictated by how I'm feeling," he said last October, per ESPN's Adam Rubin. This was a tough year."

That came after a season where the Mets reached the playoffs with an 87-75 record. It's tough to imagine his mood improved in 2017 with New York's 65-87 record entering Thursday. The year has been bogged down with injuries throughout the roster, which in part has led to one of the worst records in baseball.

While he led the team to the National League pennant in 2015 and is one of only two Mets managers to reach the playoffs in back-to-back seasons (Bobby Valentine, 1999-2000), he has just a 546-578 record in seven years with the franchise.

After a disappointing season, it would be difficult for the front office to justify a new contract for Collins.

Ackert noted the team would want someone more analytical in the new manager, listing Bob Geren, Chip Hale and Dick Scott as possibilities. All three have spent time on the Mets staff within the last few seasons.

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Dustin Pedroia Exits vs. Orioles After Getting Bloodied Fouling Ball off Face

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedrioa left Monday's game against the Baltimore Orioles after fouling a ball off his face. Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported he suffered a nasal contusion and is considered day-to-day.

Evan Drellich of CSN New England described the freak injury:

He was 0-for-1 on the day but was replaced by Brock Holt in the fourth inning, who doubled and later scored.

Pedroia has been limited by knee problems throughout the season, missing virtually all of August with two separate trips to the disabled list.

Even though he played 154 games in 2016, this will be the third time in four seasons he failed to top 140 games.

The 34-year-old is still effective when healthy, however, and is a key part of the Red Sox offense when in the lineup. This season he is hitting .303 with a .377 on-base percentage in 98 games.

In what has become a young lineup in Boston, Pedroia also provides plenty of experience with his two World Series titles and 12 years in the league.

This would make another extended absence a significant one as the Red Sox hope to compete for another championship. Eduardo Nunez will likely step in at second base once again until Pedroia returns to full strength.

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Orioles Minor Leaguer Miguel Gonzalez Dies in Car Crash in Dominican Republic

Miguel Gonzalez, a minor league pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization, died Saturday following a car crash in the Dominican Republic, according to ESPN.com

"Our organization is deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Miguel Gonzalez," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a statement. "Miguel was beloved by his teammates and coaches in the Dominican Republic. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this very difficult time."

 

 

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Indians Claim AL Central Title, MLB Playoff Berth with Win vs. Royals

An 8-4 win over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field helped the Cleveland Indians clinch the American League Central division title.

The MLB and the team's Twitter account celebrated the accomplishment:

Cleveland moved to 92-57 with Saturday's victory, a record that was mostly aided by an AL-record 22-game win streak that ended Friday.

     

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Indians Extend Winning Streak to 22 Games with Extra-Innings Win vs. Royals

A Jay Bruce walk-off double helped the Cleveland Indians keep their winning streak alive in dramatic fashion Thursday.

After Francisco Lindor tied things up with an RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning, Bruce brought home Jose Ramirez in the 10th to give Cleveland a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals.

MLB provided a look at the game-winning hit:

The victory extended the Tribe's winning streak to 22 games, just four short of the all-time major league record. With the American League mark already in the books, the team is now only chasing the 1916 New York Giants and their 26-game streak.

Cleveland (91-56) also extended its lead in the AL Central to 14 games and could clinch the division by Friday.

The Royals (72-74) are still chasing an AL wild-card berth, although it remains a crowded race behind the Minnesota Twins, who are in the second spot.

Bruce came through with the final hit, although Ramirez was the star of the day. The second baseman went 4-for-4 with two doubles, including a hustle play to get on second for the eventual game-winning run.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports credited the player's work:

It was the toughest game of the streak for Cleveland, but the team showed it can win in different ways.

The Royals provided a challenge from the start, taking a 1-0 lead off starter Josh Tomlin, a rare moment for the home team as Joel Goldberg of FSKC described:

Cleveland pulled even on an RBI single by Lonnie Chisenhall in the third, but the Royals later went up 2-1 in the sixth inning on an Eric Hosmer double just under the glove of Abraham Almonte.

Tomlin left the game after 5.2 innings, allowing two runs and six hits with four strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Indians had a difficult time with Royals starter Jake Junis, who allowed just one run in 5.2 innings despite giving up seven hits.

Andrew Miller—in his return from the disabled list—pitched a scoreless seventh inning around a pair of soft hits. However, the Indians still found themselves in rare territory, as noted by Zack Meisel of The Athletic:

The Tribe loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but they didn't capitalize, as both Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana fouled out.

Down to their last out and last strike, however, Lindor crushed a ball to left field for a game-tying RBI double:

This led to plenty of excitement from those following along:

One inning later, the Indians were able to close out the win with the walk-off double by Bruce.

Although everyone on the team is enjoying the run, some of the players have gotten really used to this success:

Not everything went perfectly, though, as Chisenhall was forced to leave the game in the fifth inning with calf tightness. Still, the team called it a precautionary measure, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

The four-game series continues Friday with a 7 p.m. ET matchup between Trevor Bauer and Jason Vargas. Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber, who have both been nearly unhittable lately, will each get a start over the weekend as the Indians try to extend the streak even longer.

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Athletics Announce Plans for Site of New Stadium in Oakland

The Athletics are one step closer to moving out of the Oakland Coliseum after officials announced they have decided on a spot for a new stadium.

According to Phil Matier and Andy Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle, they would like to build a 35,000-seat stadium on a site near Laney College in Oakland.

The team considered rebuilding on the site of the Coliseum as well as near Jack London Square but decided they wanted to build near downtown.

"Finally, we've got our site," team president Dave Kaval said. "It's really the strongest location when it comes to private financing, and that's really an important component to be successful."

It would also be readily accessible, close to BART and Interstate 880.

The Peralta Community College District owns the site, and Kaval has already reached out to district chancellor Jowel Laguerre to initiate talks on buying or leasing.

The Athletics have been searching for the perfect location since at least February, pouring millions of dollars into the search. With a stadium that is completely privately financed, however, this appears to be worth the search.

The team reportedly wants to move into the new ballpark by 2023

Until then, the A's will compete in the Coliseum, which is one of the oldest stadiums in the country after opening in 1968. Next year the team will celebrate the 50th anniversary of being in Oakland after moving from Kansas City.

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Oakland Athletics Announce Free Admission for 2018 Home Game vs. White Sox

The Oakland Athletics will try a new strategy to get fans to come to a game: Don't charge for tickets.

The team announced Tuesday it will host a free admission game early next season. The April 17 matchup against the Chicago White Sox will mark the 50th anniversary of the Athletics' first game at Oakland Coliseum.

    

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Top Prospect Victor Robles Reportedly Called Up by Nationals

Victor Robles will get his first view of the major leagues after the Washington Nationals called up their highly touted prospect Thursday.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported the news, noting the 20-year-old is an "outfielder with huge tools and knack to get on base."

MLB.com lists him as the top player in the Nationals organization and the No. 4 prospect in all of baseball. 

With Yoan Moncada and Amed Rosario already making their debuts, Robles trailed only New York Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres on this list among players who were still in the minors.

Robles was hitting .324 with a .394 on-base percentage in 37 games in Double-A despite being on average 4.2 years younger than his opponents, per Baseball Reference. The problem is his lack of experience, with his 158 plate appearances for the Harrisburg Senators his only playing time above A-ball.

He was only promoted from the Single-A Potomac Nationals at the end of July.

However, his mentality could be a plus as he heads to the next level.

"I think he's got some leadership ability to him," Senators manager Matt LeCroy said last week, per Todd Dybas of the Washington Times. "He's really passionate when he plays. He's got a little style to him. I think he understands he has a chance to be really good. He's not arrogant, but he's got that confident look to him that he'll compete with anybody and he's not afraid of that competition. To me, that's going to benefit him."

The Nationals already have an 18-game lead in the National League East entering Thursday, but Robles could be a quality addition down the stretch and possibly in the postseason if he lives up to expectations.

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Billy Hamilton Placed on 10-Day DL by Reds with Thumb Injury

The Cincinnati Reds announced outfielder Billy Hamilton has been placed on the 10-day DL with a fractured left thumb after suffering the injury on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Injuries have been a bit of a problem for Hamilton so far in his career as he was limited to fewer than 120 games in each of the last two seasons.

When healthy, however, the center fielder is a game-changing player thanks to his speed. He totaled 171 stolen bases over his first three full seasons, also using his athleticism to excel defensively in the outfield.

He has kept it up in 2017 with 58 stolen bases to lead the majors.

Hamilton has struggled to maintain high batting averages and on-base percentages throughout his career, though, especially for a leadoff hitter, posting just a .299 on-base percentage in 2017.

The recent injury only raises more problems for the young player.

Considering the outfielder remains under team control for another two years and the Reds are out of the playoff race, the team might choose to be conservative with Hamilton's recovery from the latest injury.

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Mark Melancon to Undergo Surgery for Muscular Syndrome in Forearm

San Francisco Giants reliever Mark Melancon will undergo surgery to help reduce a muscular problem in his right forearm known as chronic exertional compartment syndrome, but he might wait until the end of the season.

"I guess that's the best way to put it: I need surgery, and I'm day to day," Melancon said, per Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. "I'm trying to last as long as I can."

The issue has limited him throughout the 2017 season.

The 32-year-old has already spent two stints on the disabled list with elbow problems, and his play has suffered on the field. From 2013-16, Melancon posted a 1.80 ERA with 147 saves, earning three All-Star appearances over that span.

After signing a four-year contract worth $62 million in the offseason, he has just a 4.13 ERA in 28.1 innings in 2017. He lost his job as closer in the process.

The pitcher has been considering surgery since at least mid-August, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, but he has remained on the roster to varying success. He last pitched Friday, allowing one run and blowing the save in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

While the surgery would require a two- to three-month recovery time, Melancon still doesn't want to end his season early.

"Being on the DL is the worst thing ever, and more so, I want to pitch," he said. "I don’t want to go down and have these guys with one less guy to pitch."

Even though the Giants entered Monday with a 54-85 record, the high-priced free-agent signing still wants to give everything he has to his team.

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