David Ortiz speaks out about steroid claims

Baseball Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz usually doesn't hold his tongue when he feels wronged, and that trend continued in a piece Ortiz wrote for The Players' Tribune.Ortiz again denied using steroids, as claimed in a 2009 article by The New York Times. The report said Ortiz failed a test for steroids in 2003, when conducted anonymous "survey testing" for performance-enhancing drugs to determine if random testing should be implemented the next year. The results of those tests were meant to remain confidential but were later obtained by the federal government as part of an investigation into PEDs and leaked to the media.  "In some people’s minds, I will always be considered a cheater. And that’s bulls—. Mark my words: Nobody in history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I’ve been tested since 2004? More than 80. They say these tests are random. If it’s really random, I should start playing the damn lottery. Some people still think the testing is a joke. It’s no joke. Ten times a season these guys come into the clubhouse or my home with their briefcases. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will."MORE: Every player suspended for PEDs | Ortiz stands behind Schilling on Twitter rants | Papi attacks pace-of-game rules The briefcase comment was a reference to testers, who this offseason showed up unannounced at Ortiz's house in the Dominican Republic.Ortiz, who denies ever being told directly about the failed test, said in 2009 he was careless with over-the-counter supplements. He echoed those points in the Players' Tribune piece."I’m buying this stuff in line next to doctors and lawyers. Now all of a sudden comes out and says there’s some ingredient in GNC pills that have a form of steroid in them. I don’t know anything about it.If you think I’m full of it, go to your kitchen cabinet right now and read the back of a supplement bottle and honestly tell me you know what all of that stuff is. I’m not driving across the border to Mexico buying some shady pills from a drug dealer. I’m in a strip mall across from the Dunkin’ Donuts, bro." The Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement in 2009 saying that "legally available nutritional supplements could trigger an initial 'positive' test under our program."Ortiz, 39, enters his 18th season with a .285/.379/.547 career slash line and 466 home runs. He hasn't hit fewer than 20 home runs in a season since 2001, and has hit more than 40 home runs in a season three times.Whether the 2003 test damages Ortiz's Hall of Fame prospects remains to be seen ("Hell yes I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame," Ortiz wrote), but he stands by 夜网论坛his claim he never purposely used PEDs."I never knowingly took any steroids. If I tested positive for anything, it was for something in pills I bought at the damn mall. If you think that ruins everything I have done in this game, there is not[......]

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Nightly 9: Andre Ethier hits two clutch home runs to complete sweep over Angels

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.Andre Ethier saved the day for Los Angeles fans, or ruined it, depending on who you root for. The 33-year-old Dodgers outfielder hit two clutch home runs to help his team complete a sweep of the cross-town Angels. Ethier's first home run came in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game at 3-3 and send it into extra innings.But he was just getting started. Ethier stepped up to the plate again in the 10th inning, and this time he hit a two-run, walk-off home run. His playing time has taken a hit since Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford returned to the lineup, but he remains a steady bat either off the bench, or in the starting lineup.Here are more highlights from Sunday's games:Impact Players:C — Ryan Lavarnway, Braves: Lavarnway went 2 for 4 with an RBI while filling in for A.J. Pierzynski.1B — Lucas Duda, Mets: Duda has now hit nine home runs in his last eight games, but is still only batting .249 on the season. He went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs in a win against the Nationals.2B — Jace Peterson, Braves; Stephen Drew, Yankees: Peterson went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs to lead the Braves to a win, and Drew went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and four RBIs in the Yankees' offensive bonanza.SS — Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins: The guy with one of the toughest names to say — and spell — in went 2 for 4 with a three-run walkoff home run to beat the Padres.3B — Chase Headley, Yankees: Headley enjoyed a productive afternoon, just like most Yankees hitters these days. He went 2 for 3 with three runs scored.OF — J.D. Martinez and Anthony Gose, Tigers: Martinez went 2 for 4 with a three-run home run to lead the Tigers past the Orioles. Gose broke out of an awful slump to go 2 for 4 with a run, RBI and two stolen bases.DH — Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays: Encarnacion went 2 for 4 with a run scored in a 5-2 win over the Royals.SP — R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays; Jose Fernandez, Marlins; Charlie Morton, Pirates: All three of these hurlers lasted at least six innings and held their opponents scoreless. Morton and Dickey got the wins, but Fernandez was forced to take a no-decision despite striking out 10 batters.Key Injuries:Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant left Sunday's game against the Brewers with an apparent injury to his head/neck area he suffered on a head-first slide into second base. Bryant went through the concussion protocol, and is expected to be fine.Web Gems:Jake Marisnick laid out for a spectacular catch:Sundays are for laying out. http://t.co/fp5terCcT3 pic.twitter.com/jZqwd6H1jB— GIFS (@GIFs) August 2, 2015Newly acquired Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris made a diving grab:Gold Glove. http://t.co/xO5Qf5YA15 #PitchersWhoField pic.twitter.com/wklxdsflRm— (@) August 2, 2015Surprise Performers:Good: Tigers startin[......]

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Nightly 9: Matt Harvey and the Mets take down Yankees

Baseball The Mets took it to the Yankees on Saturday to even the Subway Series at a game apiece, and continue to boast the best record in baseball. Matt Harvey has been dealing in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, and the Mets' opportunistic hitters are taking advantage of opposing pitchers' mistakes. Elsewhere, the Royals and White Sox received their punishments for Thursday night's brawl, and Cardinals fans are holding their breath over Adam Wainwright's reported ankle injury.Here are some of the highlights from around the league Saturday night: MORE: Beltre breaks bats, bills Richards | Protests at Camden Yards  | Wainwright injuredImpact playersC — Andrew Susac, Giants: Susac went 2 for 5 with a solo home run and a walk in a 5-4, 11-inning win against the Rockies. 1B — Mark Teixeira, Yankees: Teixeira bashed his eighth home run of the season in a 3-for-4 day despite the Yankees' loss to the Mets.2B — Jose Altuve, Astros: Altuve went 2 for 5 with three runs scored and hit a rare home run in a 9-3 win against the Athletics.SS — Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: Tulo went 2 for 5 with a solo home run as his average climbed back over .300 on the season.3B — Evan Longoria, Rays: Longoria had been quiet in April until Saturday's 4-for-4 effort. He scored and drove in a run while raising his average to .271.OF — Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins:  Watch out everyone, Stanton is starting to heat up. After failing to hit a home run in his first nine games, Stanton has now hit five homers in his last nine games. He went 3 for 3 with a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored in an 8-0 drubbing of the Nationals.OF — Justin Upton, Padres: Much like past seasons, Upton is off to a scintillating start. He hit two more home runs and drove in five runs in an 11-8 loss to the Dodgers.DH — Jimmy Paredes, Orioles: Paredes busted loose with a 4-for-5 night with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.SP — Matt Harvey, Mets: Harvey was tremendous against his in-city rivals, giving up only two runs in 8 2/3 innings and striking out seven. He moved to 4-0 on the season with the win.Key injuriesAthletics second baseman Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, and will undergo arthoscopic knee surgery. He's expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks. Eric Sogard will fill in at second base.The Red Sox placed outfielder Shane Victorino on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain.Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury left Saturday's game with hip tightness. Chris Young will fill in at center if Ellsbury is required to miss any time.Dodgers relief pitcher Joel Peralta is dealing with "dead arm" and may require a stint on the DL. Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright left the game with what夜网论坛 appeared to be an Achilles injury, but the team is calling it a " left ankle injury ".Surprise performersGood: The Marlins are starting to heat up, and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is leading the way. He belted a three-run[......]

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Rays will do their best to make Orioles feel at home in Florida

Baseball Days after staging a game in an empty ballpark for the first time, will attempt another rarity this weekend: a "neutral" series.The Orioles and Rays will face off at Tropicana Field beginning Friday night in what is guaranteed to be an unusual atmosphere even by the standards of one of baseball's least aesthetically pleasing environments. Forced to move a scheduled home series out of Baltimore in the wake of riots and a citywide curfew, the Orioles will be the designated home team in St. Petersburg, wearing whites and batting last. But the Rays will keep their usual clubhouse and spot in the first base dugout.MORE: Orioles-White Sox game played in empty stadium | Must-see images from that game The Tropicana Field staff is expected to play Baltimore's signature seventh-inning stretch tune, John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," after the usual "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." But players from both teams will have their walk-up music played w夜网论坛hen they come to bat or take the mound.And, in perhaps the most conspicuous show of unity, the Oriole Bird mascot will be present along with host Raymond.Try as it might, there's no way for to make the Orioles feel completely at home at the Trop, but if nothing else Baltimore shouldn't be too bothered by a vociferous "home" crowd. The Rays have the second-lowest average attendance in the majors so far, bringing in just 17,544 per game through 12 dates.It will be interesting to see if the teams manage to approach that number this weekend after the last-minute schedule change. All tickets will be general admission with only the lower seating bowl open. The Orioles will get all the gate revenue after they reimburse the Rays for the cost of bringing in the 700 game-day employees necessary to handle security, concessions, parking and the like.In one last attempt to secure a home-leaning crowd, the Orioles sent their spring training season-ticket holders a coupon for $3 off the price of tickets for this weekend. The team trains just down the road in Sarasota."There will be certain things that we're not used to," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said, via the Tampa Bay Times. "But they're going to have to make more changes, so it's going to be a little more difficult for them."[......]

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Troy Tulowitzki will not demand a trade from Rockies

Baseball After meeting with his agent, All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said he will not ask Rockies management for a trade."Whatever happens on the Rockies' end happens but for me to sit here and try to force my way out of here, that's not the case," Tulowitzki told reporters Thursday. "I don't think it's fair to my teammates and the relationships I've built here to take that route." MORE: Players who got to 3,000 hits with one team | Baseball brings the crazy | Posada apologizes for A-Rod commentsGeneral manager Jeff Bridich and owner Dick Monfort have insisted they aren't going to trade the face of their franchise, but questions have swirled in the wake of a New York Post report that Tulowitzki is frustrated with the Rockies' lack of success and wants out — a report the player denies.  "If I have an issue I would take care of it myself. The last thing I would try to do is leak something and get it out there," he said. "The Rockies' ownership and myself have always been close, so there's no reason to try to leak something. I'd go straight to them."With his 夜网论坛team in the midst of an 11-game losing streak that is tied for the second-longest in franchise history, Tulowitzki says the key to winning starts with himself (although Colorado's starting pitchers own a 5.57 ERA, the worst in )."Bottom line, play better baseball. That's kind of vague but it starts with myself," the four-time All-Star said. "When you make the most money on the team and your team's not playing well, you're going to be that target. I understand what my contract, what me being here longer than anyone in this locker room, what comes with that territory. That's fair."Tulowitzki is owed $114 million over the next six seasons but has averaged just 88 games over the past three seasons due to nagging injuries. He is batting .303/.310/.477 through 30 games this year with 13 doubles and 11 RBIs.[......]

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Red Sox honor Boston Marathon victims with first pitches, moment of silence

The Red Sox helped commemorate the second annivers夜网论坛ary of the Boston Marathon bombings Wednesday before and during their afternoon game against the Nationals.Before the game, bombing survivors Jeff Bauman and Patrick Downes threw out ceremonial first pitches: MORE: Remembering the Boston Marathon bombings Then, at 2:49 p.m., the exact time the bombs went off, the entire stadium observed a moment of silence in honor of those who died.[......]

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commissioner remains open to 154-game schedule

Baseball In his first year as commissioner, Rob Manfred already has overseen an improvement in pace of play on the field. Might he be up for shortening the length of the season, too?Manfred certainly appears open to the possibility. At a news conference Wednesday night in Houston, Manfred indicated reverting to a 154-game schedule isn't out of the realm of possibility and said the notion has drawn support from other constituencies. 2015: These AL player gotta get better in 2015"Players have asked about 154," Manfred said, via .com. "I think 154 is a topic that is complicated. It has big competitive and economic ramifications. Having said that, I think in the 20-something years I've worked in the game, there's more conversation about it than there has been in a long time." It has been more than 50 years since baseball switched to a 162-game schedule, and one of the points of debate back in the 1960s likely would resurface quickly if there was a serious move to turn back the clock: statistical integrity. Baseball loves its records, and just as many were upset about the impact adding eight games to the schedule would have on Babe Ruth's home run records, many (now armed with social夜网论坛 media) probably would be similarly affronted by going the other way.The most important roadblock, though, would figure to come from those who pay Manfred's salary — the owners. Dropping eight games overall means dropping four home dates for each team, and that's a decent chunk of change. Not that any owner can claim poverty, particularly given the state of television rights deals these days, but owners aren't generally in the business of finding ways to give away revenue.The change could have its benefits, though, by potentially saving wear and tear on players and keeping the World Series from trickling into November in any given year depending on how the calendar sets up.As Manfred said, the economic implications could make this a non-starter out of the gate, but the appearance of open-mindedness from on a variety of issues lately is a refreshing change.[......]

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Ozzie Guillen 'relieved' to patch things up with ex Kenny Williams

Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams had a heart-to-heart last week before the White Sox's home opener. Guillen, the former Chicago manager, was relieved to clear the air with Williams, now the team's executive vice president but previously the general manager, after leaving on bad terms in 2011.Ultimately, Guillen 夜网论坛focused on the fact the two of them helped produce a world championship 10 years ago. Of course, Ozzie explained his feelings with flair.“It’s like we’ve been married for so long and all of sudden you’re getting divorced. You forget you’ve been married for 11 years and you forget I was happy and life was great and I was happy with this woman," he told the Chicago Sun-Times. "All of (a) sudden we’re going to hate each other? What happened to the good old days? I had a kid with this woman. I had a kid with Kenny — a ring — that’s a kid. You can divorce but the relationship has to be there because you have a family with this woman. I feel the same way.’’[......]

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If the Cubs make the playoffs, expect an epic tribute montage

The Cubs are on a roll and their fans should be excited. Excited for a likely postseason appearance, yes, but also for what that means: An epic tribute montage is probably on the way. MORE: 10 greatest Cubs of all time The tribute montage is the ultimate sports-TV celebration of success: the season's best highlights, many in slow motion, played over a thematically appropriate though often syrupy song designed to fill you with nostalgia, excitement and hope. A stroll through YouTube shows that the Cubs have had some doozies. With the team riding a five-game winning streak and with their playoff odds pushing about 94 percent, history tells us we can probably expect one of these regular-season send-offs when play concludes Oct. 4.But, while we wait, here’s a look back at some previous killer montages that preceded Cubs playoff appearances. (And no, Cubs fans, this won't jinx anything. Probably.)1989: 'Keeping the Dream Alive'The Cubs won the NL East by six games over the Mets, marking their first postseason appearance in five years. WGN celebrated with a montage that used the semi-obscure “Keeping the Dream Alive” by the German band Freiheit. It’s total cheese, but it hits Cubs fans right in the feels. Alas, the Giants killed the dream something fierce. 2003: 'Keeping the Dream Alive' 2.0Fourteen years after the 1989 dream fell short, the North Siders again finished atop their division — and again fans were asked to keep the dream alive. The dream lasted longer than usual, but … well, you know. We won't say his name.2007: 'Straight Lines'Another division title in 2007 brought more hopes of ending the a near-century-long World Series title drought. That year’s montage went with a more modern music choice — “Straight Lines” by Silverchair — likely assuming fans needed no reminder at this point to keep the dream alive. Again, though, the dream didn’t last. The song was prophetic, though: The Diamondbacks bounced the Cubbies in three straight in the NLDS.2008: 'I Love This Town'Hey, two years in a row! The Cubs were back in the playoffs in 2008 — with 97 wins, no less — and this time fans got more of a hype video than a tribute, as Bon Jovi’s “I Love This Town” accompanied the highlights. They may have loved Chicago, but the Cubs probably didn’t love the NLDS. It was three and out again.If there’s a lesson here, it’s that the Cubs get closer to the World Series in the years when “Keeping the Dream Alive” accompanies the tribute montage. Forget that the song is dated and sappy. If the Cubs want to make it past the first round, well, it might just be the magic bullet.Cubs fans understand. Here's a fan-made montage from 2014 that incorporates the song.If things keep going well for the Cubs, perhaps the folks at WGN will have Freiheit at the ready when play concludes Oct. 4. Even if they don't, many fans certainly will. Even if only in thei夜网论坛r heads. The game will never be over, because we're keeping the dream alive. IT'S THAT DAY CUBS FANS #World[......]

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Giancarlo Stanton launches home run out of Dodger Stadium

Not only did Giancarlo Stanton go yard, but he went out of the park.The Marlins outfielder launched a home run so far, he completely cleared the bleachers and knocked it all the way out of Dodger Stadium. In case you're not aware, that's pretty much absurd and you'll have to see it for yourself. MORE: Stanton sets Marlins record | Barry Bonds could've helped your team | Best batting stances Unofficially, it's the longest homer of the season. Needless to say, the feat has rarely been done. Here are the other players to hit a ball out of the Dodgers' park.Willie Stargell: Aug 5,1969 Willie Stargell: May 8,1973 Mike Piazza: Sept 21,1997 Mark McGwire: May 22,1999 Giancarlo Stanton: May 12,2夜网论坛015— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) May 13, 2015Yeah, Stanton's in good company.[......]

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