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MLB News: All the new MLB News here, what you need to know

  • By: William Parlee
  • August 2, 2020
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Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc with MLB schedules

The MLB Washington Nationals have one player (Soto) with the coronavirus; the Phillies have two crew with the virus.

  The Miami Marlins has more than half of the team testing positive.  They have 18 players and two coaches infected.

Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals found two positive cases and on Saturday, an additional two tested positive. This caused the postponement of the Cards Brewers weekend series.  The Baltimore series with the Miami Marlins was postponed along with the Yankees Phillies series at Citizen’s Bank Park.

So far, MLB has postponed 17 games in an everchanging baseball schedule.  The word postponed may be misplaced because some of these games may end up being canceled because there are so few off days during this short season.

“It is what the public health experts have been saying from the beginning about this, that there is no one big magic fix,” Manfred told the AP.

“The protocols are a series of little things that people need to do. We’ve had some problems. In order to be better, it’s another series of little things. I think it’s peer pressure. I think it’s players taking personal responsibility. I think it’s the union helping us like Tony Clark helped us yesterday. And I think it’s us managing more aggressively.”

New York Yankees lead all of baseball

The New York Yankees had their sixth win in seven games last night at Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees won their series with the World Champion Nationals. In rescheduled games, they swept the Baltimore Orioles and have won the first two of a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.

Yankee pitching, for the most part, has been great and the lineup has proven that it is a powerhouse. Last night Aaron Judge hit a home run for the fourth long ball in consecutive games.  Gio Urshela hit a Grand Slam in the win. The Yankees so far have produced 72% of their run via the home run.

This season is starting out the way they wished it had last year, with all players healthy.  Minus two pitchers everyone else is healthy and they have no present players with coronavirus.  So far the star of the year is Giancarlo Stanton that is starting out much as he did in his 2017 MVP season. If Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez stay healthy, the Yankees could run away with the rankings.

Missed Yankees/Phillies series rescheduled

The New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies will play a four-game home-and-home series from Monday through Thursday — in New York on Monday and Tuesday, and in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday.

Manfred on if the season will continue

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is determined to get a baseball season done, even if he threatened to shut the season down recently.  On Manfred’s part that was cry for MLB players to take the protocols more seriously.

Manfred told ESPN on Saturday that “there is no reason to quit now.” “We are playing. The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”

When asked about if all teams will play all 60 games, he had this to say on Saturday that not every team might play all 60 games this season, and winning percentage could be used to determine playoff teams.

Beckham Aaron Trout takes residence

Joe Maddon the Los Angeles Angels manager, announced yesterday that Mike Trout and his wife Jessica have given birth to Beckham Aaron Trout.  The Trout baby son was born on Thursday and weighed seven pounds, 10 ounces while measuring 20.75 inches.

The start Angel slugger tweeted that they had just received the greatest gift from heaven.  We are so in love!

Blue Jays pitcher arrested for a “no-no” in public

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Reese McGuire took a trip to the mall, but it wasn’t to buy a new pair of shoes.  Instead, he chooses to masturbate in the parking lot.  The bust was caught on video which we won’t show here.

One of the officers asked the MLB player straight-up, “Why would you come to a parking lot just to masturbate? “Reese responded, “I just, I don’t know.” “I’ve realized that I made a mistake having my pants down and doing what I was doing … I really am apologetic. And, I know I shouldn’t have been doing this.”

McGuire was eventually charged with 1st-degree misdemeanor exposure of sexual organs and was facing up to 1 year in jail if convicted.


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Yankees prospect Ben Rutas lifelong dream halted by coronavirus

Reliving the past is one way to briefly escape the mess we’re all in, and so without much else going on, Yankees minor leaguer Ben Ruta dug through boxes from his childhood when he came across a dream he had written about in 2004 and his mother had saved all these years.

The fantasy had him leading the Yankees to an improbable comeback against the Red Sox in the ALCS after going down three games to none.

“I literally didn’t even know that I wrote that,” Ruta said in a phone interview this week.

The reminder of a forgotten dream, of course, was not needed for Ruta. The versatile outfielder exudes a healthy dose of confidence needed to make the major leagues. He said, “my résumé,” which includes a steady climb throughout the Yankees farm system despite being a 30th-round pick in 2016, “speaks for itself.”

But the coronavirus is a whole other ballgame.

After showing off a strong bat with Double-A Trenton last season, Ruta was among the roughly 8,000 minor-league players whose seasons were stripped from them in late June with the cancellation of the minor league baseball season — the first time that’s happened in the system’s 119-year history.

“It was a tough pill to swallow,” said the 26-year-old, who grew up in West Windsor, N.J. “Especially for someone like me, a late-round pick. Every year I’ve got to come in and really prove myself, and put stock into my name. To lose a whole year of that is tough to deal with, I’d say mentally, because you work hard in the offseason to try and make the changes that you feel are necessary to take the next step, and I’ve done that the last three years and had really good success with it. And I felt like this offseason I prepared even better.

Yankees minor leaguer Ben Ruta’s dream has been put on hold.Ben Ruta

“But everyone is dealing with it. So it’s not like it’s just me who got screwed over, or just a few guys, it’s everyone in baseball. It’s everyone in the world with most of their jobs. Everyone’s jobs are different now. I mean I was down about it for a few days, a week, but after that it’s like, ‘alright, you can’t just be down in the dumps. No one is going to feel bad for you. Everyone is going through something similar to you.’ ”

Ruta began turning heads last summer when he hit .406 in his first 19 games with the Thunder, eventually finishing with a .260/.330/.396 slash line with eight home runs and 55 RBIs in 117 games. Ruta also stole 25 bases while “just trying to cause havoc out there” on the basepaths.

His hunger to make it and dispel his draft status led Ruta to set up a makeshift gym in the garage of his Tampa Bay townhouse, where he lives with fellow prospect and first baseman Brandon Wagner, about 15 minutes away from George M. Steinbrenner Field, home of the Yankees spring training complex.

Ben Ruta with the Yankees in spring training.Mark LoMoglio

Another reminder of his dreams are hung up on the garage wall in a framed Sports Illustrated cover commemorating the Yankees’ last World Series win, in 2009, and a poster of Ruta’s favorite player growing up — Derek Jeter.

Like so many others during the pandemic, Ruta has spent more time in the kitchen, attempting to channel the cooking prowess of his Italian father. He also started playing the piano again, hitting the keyboard hours on end.

But perfecting “Let it Be” on the piano or growing out a quarantine beard without the Yankees’ zero facial hair policy holding him back does not compare to being out on the field or in the Thunder clubhouse with his teammates and Rookie, the team’s bat-retrieving golden retriever.

Ruta said he would have felt comfortable playing this season, even after watching coronavirus outbreaks in clubhouses threaten MLB’s season.

Ben Ruta attempting to make a catch with the Trenton ThunderMichael Dill photography

Then again, he may not have had much of a choice, for minor leaguers’ baseball lives are precarious by nature — 45 minor leaguers were released by the Yankees in June, though Ruta said he was not at all worried that he was at risk.

So for now, Ruta’s career is safe, and he said he is ready should the Yankees come calling this season. It is a long shot, seeing as he is not part of the 60-player roster pool, but in this quirky year anything seems possible.

The Yankees have committed to paying minor leaguers a $400-per-week stipend through Sept. 7, which would have been the end of the minor league season, according to Baseball America. The salary of a Double-A player, while expected to increase next season, hovered around $9,350 in 2018, according to The Athletic, below the $12,760 poverty line for a single-person household in 2020, as listed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Ruta is one of the fortunate ones and has not yet had to think about getting a job outside baseball.

After driving 16 hours straight last month to spend time with family on the Jersey Shore, where he watched Yankees games more as a student of the game rather than the diehard fan he used to be, Ruta said he plans on ramping up workouts in the coming weeks with the hope that baseball will resume in 2021.

Then he can pick up where he left off his childhood dream.

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