Guardians sweep Rays on Gonzalez's homer in 15th, on to NY
Rookie Oscar Gonzalez broke up the longest scoreless postseason game in major league history with a leadoff home run off Corey Kluber in the 15th inning, giving the Cleveland Guardians a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays and a two-game Wild Card Series sweep.
Cole, Yanks sweep Guardians in series blighted by fan issues
Gerrit Cole bounced back from the shortest start of his career, Anthony Rizzo powered an early offensive barrage and the New York Yankees pounded the Cleveland Guardians 10-2 to complete a three-game sweep in a series marred by fan misbehavior.
Yanks fans pelt Cleveland outfielders with debris after win
Some Yankees fans in the right-field bleachers pelted Cleveland outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene moments after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres got RBI hits with two outs in the ninth inning to lift New York to a 5-4 win.
LEADING OFF: Crowds back on opening day, Cole starts season
EARLY TESTSThe Washington Nationals will be short-handed due to a positive coronavirus test for the second straight season opener. General manager Mike Rizzo did not reveal who the five players were, and the only certainty as of Wednesday night was that opening day starter Max Scherzer wasn't one of them. The Nationals did not have any players test positive during spring training prior to that. But in a what-are-the-odds moment, all three are set to start on opening day. To be pitching the same day as those guys is pretty cool.”MITTS AND MITTENSNolan Arenado, Kris Bryant and Miguel Cabrera will be wearing gloves on opening day.
LEADING OFF: Crowds back on opening day, Cole starts season
All 30 teams are scheduled to be in action, with Gerrit Cole set to throw the first pitch of the season against Toronto at Yankee Stadium. A year after no fans were allowed during the virus-shortened 60-game season, every stadium is open, in varying degrees as teams adhere to coronavirus protocols. But in a what-are-the-odds moment, all three are set to start on opening day. To be pitching the same day as those guys is pretty cool.”AdMITTS AND MITTENSNolan Arenado, Kris Bryant and Miguel Cabrera will be wearing gloves on opening day. Rain is in the forecast along the East Coast, which could affect games at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Citizens Bank Park and Nationals Park.
MLB to relax virus protocols when 85% on field vaccinated
Mask use would be dropped from dugouts and bullpens, and electronic tracing devices would be eliminated when 85% of major league players and primary field staff are vaccinated against the coronavirus. AdNot many players have been vaccinated, according to MLB, but it expects the pace to increase after teams return to their home cities from spring training. Once the 85% threshold is reached, fully vaccinated players and staff would be able to eat and drink on flights. AdFully vaccinated people who have close contact with someone with COVID-19 would not have to quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms. Vaccinated players and staff would have the option to reduce PCR saliva testing to twice weekly, similar to Tier 2 staff, such as front office and clubhouse employees, owners and groundskeepers.
Indians minus Ramírez, Reyes after they break virus protocol
New York starter Jordan Montgomery gave up two hits in three scoreless innings. Brubaker allowed two hits over two scoreless innings and Chase De Jong followed with two shutout innings. MARLINS 4, METS 4Miami starter Pablo Lopez gave up a hit and a walk over three scoreless innings. German Marquez scattered three hits and a walk over three scoreless innings for Colorado. Kansas City starter Jakob Junis pitched three innings and gave up one hit, a leadoff homer to Trent Grisham.
Indians' Ramirez, Reyes isolated after COVID-19 violations
CLEVELAND – For the third time in less than a year, the Cleveland Indians are having to isolate players because they broke COVID-19 protocols. Francona said Reyes, who had a virus-related misstep last season, and Ramirez went out to dinner on Friday following an exhibition game in Mesa against the Chicago Cubs. These are the rules that the players’ association and Major League Baseball came up with. Francona understands that players may be fatigued by the COVID-19 guidelines, but they're in place to protect their safety. But these are the rules we’re playing under and the more we follow them, the better chance it gives us to be a complete baseball team.
Antonetti says Indians cooperating with Callaway inquiry
FILE - Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, left, watches with manager Terry Francona during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, in Detroit, in this May 3, 2017, file photo. Indians manager Terry Francona said no one in the Cleveland organization covered up for former pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who is under investigation by Major League Baseball following allegations of sexual harassment. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)CLEVELAND – Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said Wednesday he couldn't comment on his previous remarks about Mickey Callaway's conduct due to Major League Baseball's ongoing investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the team's former pitching coach. Callaway has been suspended as the Los Angeles Angels pitching coach, pending the outcome of MLB's investigation. He reiterated the team is “fully cooperating with the investigation.”In the most recent story, the husband of a woman who had an extramarital affair with Callaway contacted the Indians multiple times to complain about his behavior in 2017.
Indians' Francona says team didn't cover up for Callaway
FILE - Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, left, watches with manager Terry Francona during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, in Detroit, in this May 3, 2017, file photo. Indians manager Terry Francona said no one in the Cleveland organization covered up for former pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who is under investigation by Major League Baseball following allegations of sexual harassment. Callaway is currently suspended as the Los Angeles Angels pitching coach, pending the MLB inquiry. Callaway was Cleveland's pitching coach from 2013-17 before he was hired to manage the New York Mets. The Angels already promoted bullpen coach Matt Wise to serve as interim pitching coach last month.
5-inning games, 2-out innings? Odd MLB spring look on deck
A worker cleans the stadium seats as San Francisco Giants players train during the team's spring training baseball workout in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon figures players can find plenty to do with any extra time they could get at the end of days if spring training games don't go nine innings. Even after that, until the end of spring training, games can be scheduled for only seven innings. Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said he had already been in touch with Cleveland's Terry Francona by midweek about their spring training opener Sunday. AdJESSE'S TEAMVeteran right-hander Jesse Chavez is re-signing with the Los Angeles Angels on a minor league deal, and will join them in spring training after clearing intake protocols.
Fungo golf for Giants pitchers; fans for MLB spring games
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Right-hander Kevin Gausman’s impressive day at spring training had nothing to do with any of the usual statistics, like strikeouts or innings pitched. Batting practice for San Francisco's pitchers took on a non-traditional look Thursday at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona. But the stands won't be empty — or full — when the Giants host their spring training opener Sunday. Scottsdale Stadium will have the lowest capacity at 9%, which is about 1,000 fans for Giants home games. Spectators at Scottsdale Stadium may get to see Gausman throw his lively fastball, but not a look at his Fungo golf skills.
Bieber in camp with Indians after COVID-19 quarantine
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2020, file photo, Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber smiles as he walks to the dugout in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Bieber has reported to training camp with the Cleveland Indians after recovering from COVID-19. The right-hander took part in drills on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, a day before the Indians hold their first full-squad workout in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)CLEVELAND – Cy Young winner Shane Bieber reported to training camp on Saturday with the Indians after the right-hander was quarantined with COVID-19. Bieber, who was baseball's best pitcher in 2020, was medically cleared and joined Cleveland's other pitchers and catchers in Goodyear, Arizona. Cleveland has one of the AL's best starting staffs, led by Bieber, who is 34-14 in three major league seasons.
MLB has 0.3% positive COVID-19 rate during intake testing
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)NEW YORK – Thirteen of 4,336 tests for COVID-19 were positive during intake for Major League Baseball's spring training, a rate of 0.3%The commissioner's office said Friday that nine positive samples involved players and four involved staff. After the intake screening, there were no new positives among 2,298 monitoring test samples. All players on 40-man rosters and players with minor league contracts invited to big league training camp are screened. In the final figures released last year, MLB said it had collected 172,740 samples and that 91 had been positive, or 0.05%. Fifty-seven of 91 positives have been players, and 21 of the 30 teams have had a person covered by the monitoring test positive.
Indians manager Francona had surgery for toe staph infection
FILE - Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona looks on during spring training baseball workouts for pitchers and catchers in Avondale, Ariz., in this Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, file photo. Indians manager Terry Francona recently underwent surgery for a staph infection in his toe and will be on crutches for several weeks in training camp. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)CLEVELAND – Indians manager Terry Francona recently underwent surgery for a staph infection in his left big toe and will be on crutches for several weeks in training camp. “I still have my toe,” Francona said on a Zoom call. Francona, who is in his ninth season with the Indians, described his ordeal last season as “awful.”___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Indians manager Francona says team's name change "correct"
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2019, file photo, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona talks before a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Cleveland. Francona, on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, praised the Cleveland Indians for trying to do the right thing with a name change that was inevitable, and necessary (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)CLEVELAND – Manager Terry Francona praised the Cleveland Indians for trying to “do the right thing” with a name change that was inevitable — and necessary. “I am proud of the fact that we are going to do something that is correct,” Francona said on a Zoom call from his home in Arizona. He's confident Chris Antonetti, the team's president of baseball operations, and general manager Mike Chernoff will do whatever's necessary to keep the Indians competitive. Schilling pitched for Francona in Philadelphia and Boston, where he helped the Red Sox end their long World Series drought.
Report: Cleveland Indians changing name after 105 years
FILE - In this July 10, 2020, file photo, Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor runs the bases after hitting a home run during a simulated game at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Indians are changing their name after 105 years, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Indians are changing their name after 105 years. Cleveland's move away from Indians follows a similar decision earlier this year by the NFL's Washington Football Team, which was previously known as the Redskins. A few days after Dolan's statement, Indians manager Terry Francona said it was time to "move forward” with the name change.
Cash's bullpen blunder joins Little, others in playoff lore
Aaron Boone hit a game-ending leadoff homer in the 11th, sending New York to the World Series. 2015 WORLD SERIES GAME 5Matt Harvey and the New York Mets held a 2-0 lead, needing a win to send the Series back to Kansas City. 2016 WORLD SERIES GAME 7The Chicago Cubs led the Cleveland Indians 5-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth. 2019 WORLD SERIES GAME 7Too bad for Houston fans, the last time they saw Gerrit Cole throw, it was in the bullpen rather than on the mound. “I wasn’t going to pitch him unless we were going to win the World Series and have a lead,” Hinch said.
LEADING OFF: Homers fly in playoffs, Atlanta arms dominate
That average of 2.93 homers per postseason game tops the regular-season mark of 2.57. The Athletics and Astros combined to connect seven times as the A’s avoided a sweep with a 9-7 win. Houston will make another attempt to advance to its fourth consecutive ALCS in Game 4 on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. Kyle Wright will make his postseason debut when he starts against Miami rookie Sixto Sanchez as Atlanta aims to sweep the best-of-five NL Division Series. ESPN’s wild-card game averaged 5,591,000 to 7,604,000 from 2014-17.
LEADING OFF: Homers fly in playoffs, Atlanta arms dominate
Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson hits a home run during the second inning in Game 2 of a baseball National League Division Series against the Miami Marlins Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Houston. That was before the Yankees-Rays and Padres-Dodgers started their Division Series matchups. That average of 2.88 homers per postseason game tops the regular-season mark of 2.57. Kyle Wright will make his postseason debut when he starts against Miami rookie Sixto Sanchez as Atlanta aims to sweep the best-of-five NL Division Series. ESPN’s wild-card game averaged 5,591,000 to 7,604,000 from 2014-17.
Indians' Francona underwent surgeries during health scare
CLEVELAND – Terry Francona's mind briefly wandered to a life without baseball while he battled through a major health scare. “Some days when I was extremely frustrated, the thought crossed my mind,” the Indians manager said. “It was kind of a rough time,” Francona said on a Zoom call from his home in Arizona. As much as he wanted to come back during the final weeks and postseason, Francona wasn't healthy enough to return. From his downtown apartment, Francona watched the Indians on TV and his frustration only grew because the broadcast was a little behind.
Indians expect manager Terry Francona back for 2021 season
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Indians expect manager Terry Francona to return for the 2021 season after he missed 48 games in 2020 due to health reasons. President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti said Tuesday that the 61-year Francona is back home in Arizona resting and recovering. Francona was hospitalized during the season after undergoing surgery for a gastrointestinal issue and then dealing with blood clotting complications. Antonetti has been in daily contact with Francona, Cleveland's manager for the past eight seasons. “He's starting to feel better and he's really confident he'll be able to manage right from the start next season,” Antonetti said Tuesday on a Zoom call.
Yanks sweep Indians 10-9 in draining game, meet Rays in ALDS
New York Yankees' Gio Urshela (29) and Mike Ford celebrate after the Yankees defeated the Cleveland Indians 10-9 in Game 2 of an American League wild-card baseball series, early Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)CLEVELAND – It took the New York Yankees nearly five hours on the field, carried them from Wednesday to Thursday and September into October to complete the sweep. "They weren’t going to lose.”At 4 hours, 50 minutes — even without two rain delays totaling another 76 minutes — it was draining. New York went 2-8 during a testy season series with top-seeded Tampa Bay, which won the AL East by seven games over the second-place Yankees. RECORD STOREIndians pitchers walked 12, tied for the most in any postseason game.
No debate: Judge, Yankees pound Bieber, Indians in opener
(AP Photo/David Dermer)CLEVELAND – On a night for debates, Aaron Judge, Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees made quite an opening statement. "I wish I would have been with my off-speed stuff in the zone, and challenged those guys a little more. Staked to an early lead on Judge's homer, Cole showed why the Yankees shelled out $324 million for him in the offseason. Cole's strikeouts were the second-most by a New York pitcher in postseason history. Judge's first homer since coming off the injured list on Sept. 16 — and the first allowed by Bieber at home this season — gave the Yankees a stunning 2-0 lead.
Pocket Aces: Bieber, Cole square off as Yankees play Indians
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Cleveland. Here comes the New York Yankees and all their autumnal aura. And because of the condensed schedule, the Indians and Yankees will be meeting for the first time in 2020. Pitching will be more of a premium than ever, which is why the Indians feel so good confident because Bieber will get them started. It's the playoffs, and Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor has been telling his younger teammates that there's nothing like it.