Orioles

Cashman on Yanks: 'Beggars can't be choosers'

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Cashman on Yanks: 'Beggars can't be choosers'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Here's a new one for the New York Yankees.

``Beggars can't be choosers,'' Brian Cashman, general manager of baseball's wealthiest team, said Tuesday.

While the Boston Red Sox have added Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino this week, the Yankees are taking a slow approach and appear focused on getting their payroll below the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014.

Dependable catcher Russell Martin already has left New York, right fielder Nick Swisher appears certain to follow and reliever Rafael Soriano also is likely to depart.

``I think sometimes people assume that the New York Yankees are the New York Yankees and there's no budget constraints and there aren't things that we want to stick to,'' manager Joe Girardi said about Martin. ``But there are. So I think that's part of the reason why he wasn't re-signed.''

New York has paid the luxury tax every year since it began in 2003 and the Yankees have been the top-spending team every season from 1999 on. By dropping under the threshold - which includes benefits - in 2014, New York would lower its tax rate in 2015 to 17.5 percent from 50 percent. And the Yankees would become eligible to get some of their revenue-sharing money back in 2014, known as a ``Market Disqualification Refund'' under baseball's new labor contract.

Girardi thinks moves may become even more limited.

``I don't think we'll get a true flavor until next year. When I say next year, I mean 2014,'' he explained, ``and maybe it's July 28th, and you're talking about adding a guy, and it puts you over the cap. I don't think we'll really get a true idea of what it's like until then.''

New York's moves thus far have been a trio of one-year contracts for pitchers nearing the ends of their careers - $10 million for Mariano Rivera, $12 million for Andy Pettitte and $15 million for Hiroki Kuroda. The Yankees are uncertain of right field and catcher, and third base is open for at least the first half of the season because Alex Rodriguez needs surgery on his left hip.

Eric Chavez, Rodriguez's backup, also is a free agent. Cashman said he has talked with the agents for Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis and A.J. Pierzynski.

``I'm prepared to drag this thing out,'' he said.

Rodriguez's hip injury, detected during an examination last month, complicates matters.

``When you go into an offseason, you feel you have to address certain areas, and all of a sudden you get a surprise in a sense,'' Girardi said. ``It's a pretty big hole to fill. It may not necessarily be with one person. We're not sure exactly how we're going to do it. We'll let things play out here. It's not what we were expecting.''

A-Rod was pinch hit for and benched during a dismal postseason. The Yankees say now the injury likely caused the production decline.

``He wasn't the Alex we saw before the injury, and now we have a reason possibly why,'' Girardi said. ``He kept trying to play and kept trying to be productive for us. Obviously, he wasn't even sure what was going on. But he knew that his hips weren't working the way he was accustomed to them working.''

New York hopes to sign Chavez or another player who can fill in. Finding that player isn't easy.

``There's not a lot of choices out there,'' Cashman said. ``It's a very limited sandbox to play in.''

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AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker contributed to this report.

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

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Orioles bats stay silent against Cleveland

BALTIMORE -- Mike Clevenger pitched a two-hitter in his first career complete game, and the Cleveland Indians hit three solo homers off Chris Tillman in a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Jose Ramirez went 3 for 4 with his team-leading fifth home run. Yan Gomes and Yonder Alonso also went deep for Cleveland, which came into the game ranked second-to-last in the AL in runs and last in batting average.

Clevenger (2-0) hardly needed the offensive support. Pitching on seven days' rest, the right-hander struck out three, walked two and allowed only one runner past first base.

The only two hits he allowed were singles by Manny Machado in the fourth inning and Chance Sisco in the fifth.

It was Clevenger's 35th career start. His previous longest outing was 7 1/3 innings, earlier this month against Kansas City.

While Clevenger is unbeaten in 11 starts since July 31, Tillman has experienced an opposite fate. This was his 22nd straight start without a victory, dating back to his first outing last season.

Tillman (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings. The three home runs were one more than he yielded in his first three starts this season.

Michael Brantley hit a run-scoring groundout in the first inning and Gomes connected in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.

The Orioles put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, their lone threat against Clevenger, who responded by retiring Tim Beckham on a short fly to left and getting Anthony Santander to ground out.

Ramirez led off the sixth with a drive to left, and Alonso hit a two-out shot that landed on Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Nick Backstrom the OT hero in series-changing Game 5 win

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Tarik's 3 Stars: Nick Backstrom the OT hero in series-changing Game 5 win

Nicklas Backstrom tipped in a Dmitry Orlov shot in overtime, and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in Game 5 to take a three-games-to-two series lead in their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

Washington can now clinch the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Monday night in Columbus.

The Capitals gave up the first goal in the game for the first time in the series. But the Capitals had an answer. The Capitals then took the lead. But the Blue Jackets had an answer. The Capitals took the lead again in the second period, but the Blue Jackets tied the game in the third.

But Nicklas Backstrom had the answer in overtime.

Tarik El-Bashir's 3 Stars of Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Game 3 

1. Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals

Backstrom delivered the Caps’ biggest goal of the season 11:53 into the extra session by knocking a point shot by Dmitry Orlov down and past Sergei Bobrovsky, who was the Blue Jackets’ best player in overtime.

The goal was Backstrom’s first of the series.

He also recorded an assist.

2. Matt Calvert, Blue Jackets

The third line winger scored nine goals in the regular season. After popping a couple in Game 5, he’s now got three in this series.

And Saturday’s was a doozy. After T.J. Oshie mishandled the puck at the blue line, Calvert was off to the races. He whiffed on his wrist shot but still managed to get the puck (and himself) in the net to even things, 2-2, early in the second period.

3. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

Kuzy was arguably the Caps’ most active forward.

Early in the second period, the smooth-skating center finished a three-on-one with a sneaky wrister that slithered through Bobrovsky’s pads. Kuznetsov also nearly set up Alex Ovechkin at the doorstep with a ridiculous slap pass. Alas, Ovi was turned by Bob, who went into the full splits to get a piece of the puck.

 

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