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MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres

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MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays

theScore’s Jonah Birenbaum spent several days following the Toronto Blue Jays during the opening weeks of Spring Training, talking with many of organization’s future stars.

Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman, a diminutive right-hander whose stature betrays his immense talents, runs through fielding drills with unmistakable ease on the backfields of Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Always jovial, the energetic hurler completes Spring Training’s more mundane exercises with the overt confidence of a veteran, but his body language is punctuated with the unadulterated enthusiasm of a youngster getting his first taste of big-league camp.

Stroman, who turns 23 in May, has logged a mere 131 innings as a professional, but the Duke alumnus has a reasonable chance of cracking Toronto’s beleaguered rotation this season. Though he’s aware his future is inextricably linked with that of the Blue Jays, Stroman insists his confidence isn’t a consequence of his pedigree. Selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, Stroman sits atop the prospect hierarchy, but his demeanor is simply a function of his upbringing.

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For the latest news on the Biogenesis front, Getting Blanked re-enlisted the help of Fraser MacKinnon Blair (@fmblair on Twitter) to help us wade through the latest revelations and what they could mean for the players involved.

During his annual All-Star game news conference, Major League Baseball Player’s Association chief Michael Weiner provided some updates regarding Major League Baseball’s ongoing investigation into a number of players connected to Anthony Bosch and the Biogenesis clinic.

Weiner passed on a couple of interesting points regarding the nature of the (likely) forthcoming suspensions in connection to the Biogenesis investigation.

Does this change anything related to the enforcement of the Joint Drug Policy and Prevention Program?

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Texas Rangers v Houston Astros

Much of the baseball cognoscenti spent the last two years falling over itself praising the Houston Astros for rebuilding the “right way”. The ‘stros astute stripped the roster down to the wood, rebuilding the farm system and loading up on talent.

There is another side of the equation: Astros fans left to watch their favorite club struggle through (potentially) three straight 100 loss seasons. For a window into this very unique situation, Getting Blanked reached out to Astros fan and co-founder of Pitchers and Poets Ted Walker for his perspective on watching his favorite team play out the bottom ebb of an arduous rebuilding process.

Speculative Fandom

If a team could skip an entire season, would they do that? The Astros definitely would.” – Dustin Parkes during a recent episode of the Getting Blanked Podcast

The Houston Astros deserve the treatment above, because my hometown team is itself a living hypothetical statement. In the Astros’ case, the query is: What happens if we intentionally and wholly ignore the fans of today in favor of the fans of a tomorrow? The payroll could not be lower, the players could not be younger, and my fellow fans and I are essentially coerced into a state of constant night, hoping that the sun will rise, as promised.

It’s enough to jump ship to the Rangers or, using the opposite logic, to the Mariners or the Yankees. But I won’t. Instead, when I turn on the Astros, a strange suite of emotes rises in my chest, characterized by a sense of quiet satisfaction, contentment and even, yes, I’ll say pleasure. There are no fairy tales, here. The Astros are indeed the crappiest crowd of losers in all of baseballdom. And because I am a lifelong Astros fan and Houston native, I feel like I am supposed to have sunk into a quicksand miasma of despair over a litany of circumstances, like our coerced move to the AL (accompanied by an equivalent repulsion toward the DH), our years of basement play and the sorry state of our 25 man roster. Logic dictates that I should be miserable, but I just can’t manage it.

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Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics

The ongoing legal action between the city of San Jose and Major League Baseball is well beyond the pay grade of your average Getting Blanked editor, so we enlisted the help of Fraser MacKinnon Blair (@fmblair on Twitter) to help us wade through the legalese and make sense of the what’s going on by the Bay. Learn and enjoy! 

In a somewhat surprising twist, the City of San Jose has sued Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig in relation to the contentious issue of franchise territorial rights in Northern California.

The suit, filed on Monday, alleges that the defendants have violated Federal and State anti-trust laws, have illegally interfered with the City’s contractual and economic relations with the Oakland Athletics and engaged in unfair competitive practices.

The City of San Jose has been trying to lure the A’s to the Capital of Silicon Valley for quite some time. Apparently frustrated with the way that MLB handles franchise relocation, the City has decided that litigation is its best option.

They make a pretty complicated set of allegations, and I’ll try and simplify the arguments as much as possible. To do that, lets analyze each of the claims separately.

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It must be weird to have a professional athlete in your family. Brandon Crawford‘s family showed up at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, it wasn’t to watch Crawford and his San Francisco Giants. They were there to witness Gerrit Cole‘s Major League debut, just like everyone else.

Crawford’s sister, Amy (black sleeveless shirt, enormous gold watch, face twisted in confusion), is fan of both the Giants and Pirates, as her brother plays for the World Series champions and her boyfriend just happens to be fellow UCLA alum and MLB debutante Gerrit Cole. This helps explain the conflicted look on her face as she applauds her brother’s single, which came at the expense of her partner.

“It’s my two favorite teams, and he’s totally my brother, I dunno”. Look, Amy, you don’t have to keep up appearances because your mom is sitting beside you. You root for your boyfriend ahead of your older brother. Just think of all the torment you surely suffered at the hands of your older brother who also happens to be a world-class athlete. You can’t pick your family, Amy. Go with your heart.


2012 was a milestone year for the Miami Marlins, with attendance expanding to more than 10,000 baseball fans, nightclub owners and exotic dancers, spanning 167 public housing blocks–figures that represent a growth rate 20 times that of a decade ago.

The driving force behind this unparalleled era of growth is Jeffery Loria, ecclesiastical owner of the Miami Marlins. Mr. Loria is unrelenting in his work for dozens of luxury box owners and the tax payers of Miami-Dade county. He has led a renaissance for Marlins baseball itself, while driving worldwide programs to serve communities through municipally-funded social and humanitarian initiatives.

Jeffery Loria spearheaded a program to convert every publicly-held parking lot into what baseball commissioner Bud Selig termed “Ideal Revenue Streams” (Ideal Yards). This new breed of publicly-funded ballpark is ideal in location, design, garishness of color scheme and comes at the expense of social betterment programs. Each is uniquely configured to accommodate the full array of exclusive modern art for ownership’s ego-satisfaction and the surrounding community’s desolation. Ideal Yards further house extensive public information multimedia displays that introduce scouting reports on the fresh batch of faceless pre-arb nobodies traded in exchange for all establish stars, along with highlights, sculptures and bizarrely located tropical fish tanks for an introduction to and study of truly vulgar excess. Marlins Park serves to host Giancarlo Stanton at bats and other marginally baseball related gatherings.

It is from this Ideal Yard that the Marlins extend their publicly-funded programs to mitigate loss, redefine replacement level, pocket revenue sharing money and provoke drug abuse from the one remaining good player.

More than 30 Ideal Yards have risen across the planet in recent years including those that now grace the world cultural centers of Montreal, Houston, Denver, and Chicago.

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