From Comcast SportsNet
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida prosecutor has dismissed a misdemeanor domestic battery charge against baseball star Manny Ramirez because his wife won't cooperate in the investigation. A spokesman for Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz said Friday the office was unable to serve a subpoena on Ramirez's wife, who was the alleged victim. Ramirez had pleaded not guilty to slapping his wife, Juliana Ramirez, in the Sept. 12 incident, in which she said her head struck a bed headboard. The 2004 World Series MVP with the Boston Red Sox is at spring training with the Oakland Athletics. He also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox. Ramirez must sit out the first 50 games this season because of a violation of MLB drug policy.
One Cubs player is within shouting distance of starting at the 2018 MLB All-Star game. But this time around, as compared to last week, the vote deficit is a bit larger.
MLB updated its second round of All-Star ballots for the National League. Catcher Willson Contreras trails Giants catcher Buster Posey by 90,000 votes. The margin was only 22,000 votes at this time last week.
And for other Cubs players such as Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and others, the margin is a little more substantial.
Rizzo is behind Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman by nearly 870,000 votes. Baez trails Braves second basemen Ozzie Albies by 148,000 votes.
Bryant trails Rockies third basemen Nolan Arenado by 447,000 votes. At shortstop, Addison Russell is in third place, trailing the Dansby Swanson of the Braves and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.
In the outfield, Jason Heyward moved up to the seventh spot with 447,359 votes, dropping Kyle Schwarber to eighth with 442,471 votes, and Ben Zobrist ranks ninth with 434,943 votes.
There will be another All-Star ballot update for the NL next Monday, and voting ends on July 5 at 11 p.m. Central.
From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.
Weight: 196 pounds
"I know Tkachuk isn't a center, but Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) is another player who comes to mind with his combination of size, strength, skill and nastiness. Tkachuk has impressive hand skills and his upside has only begun because I think there's lots of maturity and growth to come. I've seen his speed and skating improve each of the past three years and I think he'll still get stronger and his balance will get better. His man strength will come and it'll be like, 'Oh boy, look out.'"
NHL player comparable: Matthew Tkachuk/Wayne Simmonds
Fit for Blackhawks:
If you're looking for a player that checks all the boxes in this year's draft, it's Tkachuk. And man could the Blackhawks use a player like him.
He's got offensive skill, willingly goes to the greasy areas, can provide net-front presence while playing a top-six role, and perhaps the most important part for the Blackhawks: he's very close to NHL ready. The Blackhawks will be patient with whoever they draft, but there's also some urgency to turn things around in 2018-19.
If they can draft a player like Tkachuk who can potentially jump into the lineup as early as this upcoming season, that would be ideal. Because he's the type of player that can make an impact, not just get by.