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Ron Washington could return to Oakland to help A's defense

The A's might look to an old friend to turn around their horrific defense.Longtime Oakland coach and for夜网论坛mer Rangers manager Ron Washington is being considered for a special-instructor role, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. MORE: 10 players likely to be traded by deadline | teams making farce of minority coach hiring rulesWashington was the A's infield and third base coach from 1997-2006 and was known for his work with the team's infielders, particularly third baseman Eric Chavez. And, of course, he's known for telling Scott Hatteberg that first base is a little more difficult than Billy Beane suggests. Washington moved on to Texas, where he led the team to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010-11 before unexpectedly resigning last September. He said at the time he had been unfaithful to his wife and wanted to focus on his marriage, but earlier this spring indicated he would like to get back in the game.Oakland would seem a perfect place to do so, even if the A's don't have a full-time opportunity available. Bob Melvin's team currently leads the majors with 43 errors, a whopping nine more than the next-worst team, the Brewers. Shortstop Marcus Semien has 15 of those miscues, four more than any other player.[......]

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Josh Hamilton might end up back on Rangers' disabled list

Baseball Josh Hamilton might be headed back to the disabled list less than a week after being activated.The Rangers outfielder had an MRI Saturday on a possible groin strain, the Star-Telegram reported. Hamilton sat out Saturday's game in what Texas manager Jeff Banister called a planned day off. Hamilton left Friday's game after the seventh inning. MORE: Hamilton's history, in images | Hamilton among 15 worst free-agent dealsThe 34-year-old came off the DL last Tuesday after missing a month with a left hamstring strain. Hamilton didn't make his season debut until May 25 as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. All told, he has played just 10 games this season, and the Rangers seem to be feeling their way through how best to use the injury-prone slugger.“We’ll continue to try to manage how he feels," Banister said. "This is a guy we’d like to have for an extended period of time. I’m trying my best to figure this whole thing out with him and what is best for Josh.”The team also has asked Hamilton to ease off a bit on the base夜网论坛paths and in the field in an effort to lighten the load on his legs, but the veteran said Friday that's not an easy thing to do.“Sometimes it’s tough because you’re in the game and you’re so excited about it, sometimes it’s like Little League again,” Hamilton said. “I need to [play more conservatively]. Who the crap wants to play that way? It takes a little bit of the fun out of the g[......]

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Commissioner Rob Manfred 'open' to expansion in near future

Baseball It's been almost 20 years since Major League Baseball last expanded. That might change soon."I'm open to the idea,"  commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday. MORE: All-Star Game photos | Best All-Star Game performances | Manfred mulls expansionManfred, speaking with reporters in advance of the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati, shared his vision for baseball's future, which includes the possibility of expanding for the first time since it birthed the Diamondbacks and Rays in 1998. Manfred said the league has compiled a list of potential markets that could be viable options for expansion. "Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I'm bullish on this game," Manfred said. "I think we are a growth business, broadly defined. And over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I'm open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible."With uncertain stadium situations in Oakland and Tampa, relocation could be another option. Though Manfred said he's optimistic the Rays and Athletics will be able to earn favorable stadium deals from their respective cities, there are other markets that have expressed interest in a team and would make for leverage in the league's favor.Montreal, Charlotte, N.C., San Antonio, Portland, Ore., Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, and Mexico City, Mexico, are believed t夜网论坛o be some of the markets on 's radar to be awarded a new or re[......]

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Carlos Gomez leaves gum for Billy Hamilton in center field

Carlos Gomez and Billy Hamilton are on rival teams in the NL Central, but that doesn't mean they can't share some gum.During Saturday's game between the Brewers and Reds, Gomez left gum and a note for Hamilton that said "I see you dropped all your gum so I brought you some more." MORE: team logos as area codes | All-Star starting lineups to be announced Sunday | Kris Bryant hits two home runs for Cubs If Hamilton chews as fast as he runs, Gomez will need to get on夜网论坛e of those 300-piece Dubble Bubble tubs.[......]

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John Smoltz says Mets pitching rotation has 'got more talent' than 1990s Braves pitchers

Baseball John Smoltz gave the Mets pitching staff the highest praise he could: He compared them to the legendary 1990s Braves pitching rotations, of which he was a big part."They're way better," he told the New York Daily News. "They've got more talent than we could ever have." MORE: A look back at John Smoltz's career | second-half predictionsMets starters Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noa夜网论坛h Syndergaard and Steven Matz are a relatively young group, but Smoltz cites the rise of injuries due to improper pitching as an obstacle he didn't have to deal with. "The opportunities that exist today won't allow a lot of staffs to find out what kind of staff they can be. That's the shame of the game. The injuries have taken over. The inability to learn how to pitch [and] fast-tracking a lot of kids," Smoltz said."There's no doubt that the dynamic arms are way better than we've ever seen. And the issue is how long can we keep them healthy and how long can they stick together financially? What we did in the era that we did, we take a lot of pride in it. We worked really hard and we didn't miss a lot of starts."Smoltz, who will join former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine in the Baseball Hall of Fame later this month, also said the league's impatience with garnering fast results could hinder young pitchers."We've anointed people a little too quickly in this game. And they don't have the ability to wait and learn and h[......]

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Nightly 9: Chris Sale joins Pedro Martinez as only pitcher to strikeout 10-plus batters in eight straight starts

Baseball Each night we'll provide you with the nine top story lines from the day's action, beginning with the stars of the day, and look ahead to the next day's matchups.Chris Sale had himself quite a night. In his 100th career start, Sale joined Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in history to record 10-plus strikeouts in eight straight starts. Sale pitched eight innings of one-run baseball Tuesday, striking out 12 Cardinals. Unfortunately, the ace exited with a no-decision, as the White Sox didn't win until a Tyler Flowers home run in the 11th inning. Sale also smacked his first career hit, in the third inning off Lance Lynn.Meanwhile, Dallas Keuchel flexed his muscle against the Royals. He pitched eight shutout innings with seven strikeouts, and the Astros are now one game away from a sweep against the AL-leading Royals. The Pirates beat the Tigers in 14 innings when Neil Walker doubled in Josh Harrison for the go-ahead run. Pittsburgh has won 12 of its last 18 games and is quickly climbing up the NL wild-card standings.Here are more highl夜网论坛ights from Tuesday's games:Impact playersC — Robinson Chirinos, Rangers: Chirinos went 2 for 4 with a solo home runs and two runs scored.1B — Buster Posey, Giants: Posey proved why he's one of the best hitters in by going 2 for 4 with a solo home run and two runs scored. He is now batting .303 on the season.2B — Danny Espinosa, Nationals: Espinosa went 3 for 5 with two ru[......]

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The time an umpire pulled a gun on a fan

It was like Joe West meets the Wild West.Minor league umpire L.S. Raphun threatened to shoot a fan on June 29, 1910. MORE: Minor league manager loses his cool and shoes | Who's dragging down Fox's baseball coverage?Raphun and two spectators in Lancaster, Pa. were passionately rehashing a play from the previous night’s Class C Ohio-Pennsylvania League game. The discussion escalated and one of 夜网论坛the fans slapped the umpire, who responded by drawing a revolver and pointing it at the fan. No shots were fired. “Policemen were called and Raphun was arrested, but later released until a hearing could be held,” the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball recapped.“He went back to the grounds and umpired the game without further incident,” the 1911 Reach Official American League Baseball Guide wrote.Yes, you read that correctly. An umpire pulled a gun on a fan, got arrested and still worked the game that night. It's safe to say a similar event in 2015 would bring stronger reactions and penalties.Raphun kept his job and kept umpiring, bouncing around various minor leagues for the next two decades.Later in his career, on July 2, 1928, Raphun blew an extra-inning call at second base in an Orlando vs. St. Petersburg Class D Florida State League game. The Evening Independent's coverage the next day captured the hostility of the fans, writing “Umpire Raphun made a miserable showing, a discredit to any league.”The St. Petersburg fans provoked him that night, but this time, the older,[......]

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Mo'ne Davis meets Hank Aaron

Two pioneers met for the first time in Atlanta on Tuesday.Mo'ne Davis and her teammates on the Anderson Monarchs barnstorming team stood alongside baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron at Turner Field. Davis became the first girl to pitch a no-hitter in the Little League World series and the first African-American girl ever to play in the annual competition, accomplishing the feats last summer as she wowed the crowd with her 70 mph fastball. Aaron finished his career atop 's all-time home run list with 755.  MORE: Frenc夜网论坛h teen shortstop able to sign with team | 's all-time strikeout leadersThe Monarchs were in Atlanta as part of a three-week tour, during which they will learn about the civil rights movement. While in Atlanta, they visited the MLK Center for Non-Violent Social Change as well as the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, according to The Associated Press.  Davis, who turns 14 Wednesday, was also drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters on Tuesday. Basketball is her first love. Her goal is to earn a scholarship to the University of Connecticut and have a successful career in the WNBA.[......]

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New timed format injects much-needed life into Home Run Derby

Well, that was fun. The new timed format for the 2015 Home Run Derby was a rousing success, by most accounts. Though it didn’t necessarily cut any time from the event — it still ran way past its scheduled TV window, even with baseball trimming each hitter’s time from the planned five minutes down to four to adjust for expected weather that never arrived — there was a sense of urgency Monday night that has often been lacking during previous derby experiences.  MORE: Home Run Derby photo gallery | Round-by-round derby resultsAnd, maybe best of all, baseball fans got to experience the thrill of a buzzer beater.  Americans love buzzer beaters, as much as anything in sports. In the first round, Albert Pujols’ 10th home run, which knocked out Cubs rookie Kris Bryant, landed in the stands as the clock hit 0:00 in regulation. In the second round, Todd Frazier’s 10th home run, which knocked out Josh Donaldson, landed in the stands as the clock hit 0:00 in regulation. Ever think you would say "Pujols with a buzzer beater"? Love it #HRDerby— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) July 14, 2015Sure, both of those players still had a bonus segment remaining, but that didn’t take away from the thrill of watching one final swing doing the job. It’s like a basketball team breaking a tie game with a long 3-pointer or a football team scoring a last-second touchdown to win by six points. It’s just fun to watch. And three head-to-head matchups were decided in bonus time, including Frazier’s first-r[......]

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This Day in History: Prankster shuts off stadium lights in the ninth inning

It was the bottom of the ninth inning, the score was tied and the bases were loaded. Then a prankster turned off the stadium lights and the outcome of a game changed.The Class B Spartanburg Peaches hosted the Knoxville Smokies at Duncan Park on July 11, 1947. As Spartanburg's Pete Milne hit an apparent walk-off single, someone turned off the lights and caused a chaotic scene. MORE: Baseball's best historic ballparks | Faces of baseball's past, in black and whiteThe Peaches celebrated, the Smokies protested and 2,355 fans confusingly cheered. Was the game over? Did the hit count? The umpire said yes.  But Tri-State League president C.M. Llewellyn caught wind of the hijinks and overruled the umpire's decision. Llewellyn directed the players and umpires back to the field."The official scorer was hastily summoned from his house," the 1948 Sporting News Baseball Guide wrote. "The league president ordered play resumed at the point before Milne made his hit with the bas夜网论坛es loaded."The game continued in an empty ballpark because the original attendees went home. Milne returned to the batter's box, already upset about his game-ending hit being stripped away, and grounded out. The teams went to extra innings and Knoxville eventually won. As for the joker who reversed the result of a game with the flip of a switch? It's a cold case. The blackout bandit has been running free for 68 years.  Tim Hagerty is the broadcaster for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, and is on Twitter at[......]

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