AROUND THE HORN
Indians send 1B Jake Bauers to Mariners
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jake Bauers ran out of chances with the Indians. The Mariners are giving him another one.
Less than a week after Cleveland designated the first baseman/outfielder for assignment, Bauers was traded Thursday to Seattle for a player to be named or cash.
Bauers, who never produced offensively the way the Indians needed, immediately went into the Mariners’ starting lineup for a day game in Detroit. He went 1 for 4 with an RBI in his debut, but Seattle lost 8-3 and have dropped six of nine.
Bauers will be back in Cleveland on Friday when the Mariners open a three-game series.
Bauers was given the Indians’ starting job to open the season despite being outplayed by Bobby Bradley in training camp because he was out of minor league options.
Bauers batted just .190 with six RBIs in 43 games before the Indians designated him for assignment last weekend and recalled Bradley, who already has a homer and four hits in 10 at-bats since coming up.
With first baseman Evan White out with a hip injury, the Mariners are hoping Bauers can produce. He’ll fill in at first while White, who will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma, works his way back and then likely be used in the outfield.
Mariners manager Scott Servais thinks a change of scenery may help Bauers, who is an excellent fielder but has struggled at the plate.
“It takes some players longer to figure it out the big league level, and sometimes it’s a coach, it’s just being in a different uniform that can somehow flip the switch and allows that player to take off and relax,” Servais said before Thursday’s game. “It happens to multiple players, every year in our game and happened to me in my career.
“You get an opportunity to play a little bit, people look at you a little bit differently, they see it through a different lens and maybe they can unlock something. Hopefully that’s what we can do with Jake.”
The 25-year-old Bauers was acquired by Cleveland from Tampa Bay in a three-team deal in 2018. He did not play for the Indians in 2020, spending the abbreviated season at the club’s alternate training site.
In 160 games over two seasons, Bauers batted .218 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs for the Indians.
Judge rejects return of All-Star Game to Georgia
NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan judge on Thursday rejected an attempt to force Major League Baseball to return next month’s All-Star Game to Atlanta.
U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Carponi ruled against a not-for-profit organization representing small businesses, saying a lawsuit had failed to provide proof that its members have suffered any injuries by the decision to move the game.
The lawsuit filed May 31 alleged that Major League Baseball acted unconstitutionally when it moved the game from the Atlanta Braves stadium to Denver after Georgia Republicans enacted a restrictive new voting law.
According to the lawsuit, businesses in the Atlanta metro region would lose $100 million in business because the All-Star Game would not be there.
The rewrite of Georgia’s election rules followed former President Donald Trump’s repeated unproven claims of fraud after his presidential loss to President Joe Biden.
Biden has declared the Georgia law “un-American” and “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he decided to move the All-Star events after discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year.
NBA plans to start ’21-22 season in October
MIAMI (AP) — The NBA told its teams Thursday that it intends to return to a normal schedule next season, with training camps opening in late September and the regular season set to begin on Oct. 19.
A memo that was sent to teams, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, does not specify when the 2021-22 regular season will end — and that’s because it has yet to be officially decided if the play-in tournament will return. If it does, and there are no indications that it won’t, the likely date to end the regular season would be April 10.
The return to the normal schedule is not an unexpected development, and Commissioner Adam Silver has said several times that the league’s intention for the past several months — virus-permitting — was to get the league back onto its regular calendar after two seasons of schedule havoc because of the pandemic.
But it will lead to another quick turnaround for the teams that make this summer’s NBA Finals.
The latest possible date for Game 7 of this season’s title series is July 22; training camps for next season are set to begin on Sept. 28, meaning it is possible that this season’s finalists are back in camp as little as 68 days following the end of the 2021 finals.
Last season’s finalists, the champion Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, had 51 days between the end of the 2020 finals and the start of this season’s training camp — with this season’s game schedule beginning 72 days after the Lakers won the title at the restart bubble at Walt Disney World.