Phillies

MLB Notes: Bush-Rothbaum group reportedly halts bid for Marlins

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MLB Notes: Bush-Rothbaum group reportedly halts bid for Marlins

MIAMI -- A group led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Quogue Capital investment fund founder Wayne Rothbaum has halted its bid to buy the Miami Marlins, a person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday.

The person confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the groups that have been involved in negotiations aren't commenting publicly. Massachusetts businessman Tagg Romney was part of the Bush-Rothbaum group before pulling out more than a month ago, the person said.

The latest twists in the Marlins sale saga leave groups led by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and by South Florida businessman Jorge Mas still in contention to buy the franchise.

Marlins president David Samson declined to comment on the status of sale efforts, which became public in February.

Major League Baseball owners meet next week in Chicago, where the Marlins situation may be discussed. At the All-Star Game a month ago in Miami, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the team soon expected to choose a winning bid, and each group had offered about the same amount of money.

Jeter's group bid about $1.3 billion to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria but has not yet raised the money needed. Loria bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry.

Nationals: Strasburg feels good after simulated game
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg said he felt good after a four-inning simulated start on Wednesday.

Strasburg is on the 10-day disabled list with an elbow nerve impingement. He threw 57 pitches before Washington's game against the Miami Marlins.

"It feels really good," Strasburg said. "I'm definitely happy with it."

Strasburg, 10-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 20 starts, hasn't pitched since July 23, when he left his outing at Arizona after two innings.

Outfielder Jayson Werth batted against Strasburg on Wednesday. On the DL since June 4 with a left foot contusion, Werth said he expects to start a rehab assignment in the next week or two.

"I haven't been running for nine weeks now," Werth said. "Probably going to take some time to get the legs in shape, get up to speed."

Werth batted .262 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 47 games before the injury.

Yankees: Sabathia MRI shows no new damage to knee
TORONTO -- A scan showed no new damage to CC Sabathia's arthritic right knee, but the status of the New York Yankees left-hander for Sunday night's start against Boston remains unclear.

Forced from Tuesday's loss to Toronto after three innings, Sabathia returned to New York for an MRI on Wednesday. Manager Joe Girardi says the team was happy with the results, but he will wait until returning home Friday before making a decision on Sabathia's next turn.

"When you have a guy that has a banged-up knee, you worry that there's more damage," Girardi said.

Sabathia has worn his current knee brace since the second half of 2015. Eligible for free agency at the end of the World Series, the 17-year veteran is 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA in 19 starts.

"The key for him has been bringing stability back to the knee and the brace has been a big part of that," Girardi said. "But when you're landing and you have pain every pitch, you're going to have a hard time. That's what we saw last night, so we've got to knock that out" (see full story).

Nationals poised for trip to World Series ... so fans are celebrating Bryce Harper's absence?

Nationals poised for trip to World Series ... so fans are celebrating Bryce Harper's absence?

The Washington Nationals are now one win away from a trip to the World Series thanks in large part to Stephen Strasburg's admittedly amazing performance on Monday night over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Nationals fans should be stoked about their team. And it's likely, in some ways, that they are. But it's also somewhat bizarre what some Nats fans have chosen to celebrate.

This photo and tweet have been making the rounds this morning and caused a bit of a buzz in Philadelphia.

Tickets - $35, Beer - $10, Bryce Harper watching from home - Priceless

Let's just ignore the fact you can get into a NLCS game for $35 in DC for a second.

Your team is poised to celebrate a league title and you're celebrating the fact that a guy who used to be on your team is... no longer on your team? Okay.

The person in the replies who said it's like going to your own wedding and being most excited about the fact that your ex wasn't invited to the party makes a solid point. It's weird.

I suppose it's worth cutting Nationals fans some slack in this situation because they don't know what it's like to actually make it to the World Series and you've got to learn how to react to things by actually experiencing them.

So, if they end up making it to and losing in the World Series to the New York Yankees or Houston Astros, Nats fans will know how to react to that. They're used to losing in the playoffs.

I wonder what they'll celebrate then?

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Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

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