CESPEDES SHOWS THE NATION WHAT THEY ARE MISSING IN OAKLAND
AN EPIC POWER DISPLAY BY OAKLAND'S YOENIS CESPEDES AS HE SHINES ON BASEBALL'S BIGGEST STAGE
(AP) — Yoenis Cespedes has won baseball's Home Run Derby, becoming the first player left out of the All-Star game to take home the crown.
The Oakland Athletics slugger beat Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final round Monday night at reconfigured Citi Field, hitting the decisive drive with five swings to spare.
In only his second major league season, the outfielder from Cuba dropped his bat and raised his arm when he sent his 32nd homer of the night some 455 feet to deep center field, where it caromed off the back wall of the black batter's eye. He was swarmed by the American League All-Stars near the third base line.
The final addition to the field, Cespedes was the fourth player not selected for the All-Star game to compete in the event.
HOME FIELD FOR WORLD SERIES AT STAKE IN MID-SUMMER CLASSIC
(AP) — Baseball's Mid-Summer Classic is just hours away as the best of the National League square off against the best of the American League. The rules of the game were changed a few years ago so the contest now means that the winning team secures home field advantage during the World Series for that league.
On the mound this evening will be Matt Harvey of the Mets for the National League and Detroit's Max Scherzer for the American League.
Harvey is 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA and leads the league with 147 strikeouts. He becomes the first pitcher from the host team to start an All-Star game since Houston's Roger Clemens in 2004 and just the 11th overall.
Scherzer is 13-1 and suffered his first loss of the season Saturday against Texas. He has a 3.10 ERA and his 152 strikeouts are second in the majors to the Rangers' Yu Darvish.
MLB READIES FOR MASS DRUG SUSPENSIONS; APPEALS EXPECTED
(AP) — The baseball players' association says any suspensions resulting from the sport's latest drug investigation likely won't be served until next year if the discipline is challenged before an arbitrator.
Union head Michael Weiner says he expects Major League Baseball will notify the union of its plans for penalties in the next month, and the union will maintain that any discipline should not be announced until after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz upholds a ban.
Weiner says that because of the time needed to prepare and hold hearings, the case of any player challenging a penalty won't be decided during this season.
Former MVPs Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun are among the players under investigation for ties to Biogenesis, a closed anti-aging clinic linked with the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs.
MLB EXPANDING INSTANT REPLAY FOR 2014
(AP) — Major League Baseball says it is moving ahead with plans to expand instant replay for umpires' calls next year.
MLB Executive Vice President Joe Torre says "we're pretty confident we'll have it in place for 2014."
Video review has been in place for home run calls since August 2008. Commissioner Bud Selig initially wanted to add trap plays and fair/foul calls down the lines for 2013, but change was put off while more radical options were examined.
Speaking to the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday, Torre said "we're still in the tweaking stages" and "we're not limiting ourselves."
An agreement would be needed with the unions and players and umpires.
NEIMAN SIGNS WITH ROCKIES BEGINS PROFESSIONAL CAREER
COURTESY Luke Reid-Chico State Sports Information
Troy Neiman will long be known for his exploits on the mound as a Chico State pitcher. Now he has a chance to make a name for himself in the Colorado Rockies organization.
Neiman flew to Washington last Wednesday and signed a professional contract with the Rockies and joined their Class A minor league affiliate, the Tri-City Dust Devils, in Pasco, Wash., on Thursday.
"This is all all I've been looking for since I was a kid," said Neiman in a telephone interview last Tuesday. "I didn't think it was going to happen. Now that it is happening, it's unbelievable."
Neiman put together a special senior season in 2013, going 9-3 with a 1.53 ERA. He struck out 72 in 76-plus innings of work during which opponents hit just .190 against him thanks in large part to perhaps the best changeup the program has ever seen. That followed a strong junior campaign in which the lanky 6-foot-6 righthander went 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 57 innings of work.
Neiman finished his career with the second lowest ERA in school history (1.89) and ranks 10th in career winning percentage (.722) and strikeouts (126).
Neiman went undrafted in June but was in contact with a Rockies scout who told him they wanted to sign him once some room opened up on their roster.
"I've been throwing bullpens to stay ready," said Neiman. "And today (Tuesday) they called me and asked if I was ready to become a Rockie. I said, 'heck ya!'"