Red Sox

Red Sox notes: Beckett injures knee

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Red Sox notes: Beckett injures knee

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- With Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester already sidelined, the Red Sox watched another starting pitcher leave the mound early with an injury.

Fortunately for them, Josh Becketts only suffered a mild hyperextended left knee.

Its a little tender, Beckett said following the Red Sox 10-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Its not too bad though. I think its going to be fine.

Beckett (8-3, 2.27 ERA) left the game following the fifth inning (7H, 3ER, 2BB, 3SO) for precautionary reasons, Terry Francona said, after pitching on a rain-soaked mound, which he says led to the injury.

You leave the tarp on there when its raining and stuff and that dirt just soaks up all that moisture, Beckett explained. You get the top soil on there and then as the game goes on, you start digging that out and the moistures pretty stuck down in there.

Beckett does not expect this injury to affect his availability for the MLB All-Star Game next week. He suffered the same injury playing basketball when he was younger and believes he will be ready to pitch again soon.

Ive done this before, he said. It scared me when it first happened because it literally feels like bone on bone when you go too far and straightening it out is a little bit of an issue but he thinks Ill be fine in a couple days.

The Red Sox are relieved to hear the positive prognosis on Beckett, especially after another solid outing.

He threw all strikes, which was tremendous, said Francona. He slipped on the mound, he hyperextended his knee a little bit, mild, and his stability is fine. We hopefully dodged a little bit of a bullet there. We saw him do that in Spring Training a few years back and again, we got him out strictly for precautionary reasons.

Kevin Youkilis has been named to the American League All-Star Team for the third time in his career, replacing Alex Rodriguez. Since Rodriguez was voted in by the fans, Youkilis was selected by AL All-Star Manager Ron Washington in conjunction with Major League Baseball. Youkilis is batting .275 this season with 12 homeruns and 59 RBIs.

The Boston Red Sox hadnt seen much of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Zach Britton before.

Of their starters, only six had faced him in the past -- Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez had three career at-bats against Britton while Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Jason Vartitek had two apiece.

After only one inning, it was evident Britton hadnt seen much of the Red Sox, either.

The Red Sox scored eight runs in the first off the left-handed pitcher, recording seven hits and sent 13 batters to the plate. David Ortiz hit his 19th homerun of the season during the inning and the Red Sox recorded eight runs in an inning for the first time since August 12, 2008.

That was tremendous. Those things don't happen very often, said Francona. It's a nice way to play the game. We got a bunch of hits, we extended the inning, we kept after them, and makes a long night for them. It's happened to us, it's not fun, it's a lot better when you're on the offensive side.

Said Beckett of the run support, It was great. Youve just got to remember to still pitch. You still got to remember that youve got guys playing behind you and you just cant fall in love with one thing. One of the jokes is all we need is 12 runs and airtight defense and everything else will take care everything else. That was kind of the case tonight.

Adrian Gonzalez (126 hits) passed Jose Reyes (124 hits) for the Major League lead in hits. Gonzalezs hit total at this point are the most in Red Sox history before the All-Star Break.

Clay Buchholz, onthe DL since June 17 with a lower back strain, expects to throw Sundaybefore the All-Star break.

Then well send him homebecause we dont want him throwing on his own too much withoutsupervision , said Francona. Then when we get back hopefully we canstart getting him on that throwing program and ramp him up a littlebit. Again, its all going to be according to how hefeels.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

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HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.