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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- Calling it a historic moment, Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball plans to expand its video review process next season, giving managers a tool they've never had in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of incorrect calls made in games.

Selig made the announcement after two days of meetings with representatives of the 30 teams. The proposal is to be voted on by the owners in November.

"I'm proud of them," Selig said about the replay committee. "It's worked out remarkably well. It's historic. There's no question about it."

A 75 percent vote by the owners is needed for approval, and the players' association and umpires would have to agree to any changes to the current system. But the announcement was met with mostly praise at ballparks across the country.

"This is the time. It's time to make the right decision," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It was not available several years ago. So, just live with it, understand it. It makes things better. It makes things more accurate, so what's wrong with that."

MLB executive vice president Joe Torre gave the replay presentation to representatives from all 30 teams Wednesday and it was discussed Thursday morning.

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, a member of the replay committee along with Torre and former manager Tony La Russa, said the umpires were receptive to the change. Schuerholz said 89 percent of incorrect calls made in the past will be reviewable, but he did not provide a list.

Umpires have come under increased scrutiny following several missed calls this season.

"We believe this will be very impactful and very, very meaningful and useful for all sides," Schuerholz said. "Managers will have a new tool that they'll have to learn how to use."

Managers will be allowed one challenge over the first six innings of a game and two from the seventh inning until the completion of the game. Calls that are challenged will be reviewed by a crew in MLB headquarters in New York City, which will make a final ruling.

A manager who sees a call he feels is incorrect can file a challenge with the crew chief or home plate umpire. Only reviewable plays can be challenged. Non-reviewable plays can still be argued by managers, who can request that the umpires discuss it to see if another member of the crew saw the play differently. Reviewable plays cannot be argued by the manager.

Challenges not used in the first six innings will not carry over, and a manager who wins a challenge will retain it.

The home run replay rules currently in use will be grandfathered in to the new system, Schuerholz said.

MLB expects to use the new system in the 2014 playoffs, and the system could be enhanced in the postseason. Training sessions for umpires will start in the Arizona Fall League this winter and continue into spring training.

"We know we have to prepare people for this," Schuerholz said. "Everyone is embracing it. We believe managers will in time."

Schuerholz said after the first year MLB will look at what worked and what didn't and make adjustments for 2015. "It's going to take some time," he said.

One of Selig's major concerns was the possible slowing of games. Schuerholz said with a direct line of communication between the central office and the ballparks the expectation is that replays under the new system will take 1 minute, 15 seconds. Current replays average just over 3 minutes.

"We want to prevent stalling," Schuerholz said. "If it's a reviewable play, he (the manager) has to tell the umpires he's going to review it."

In other matters, Selig said baseball's investigation of Biogenesis, the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs, has been completed.

Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece on Aug. 5 when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players for their relationship to Biogenesis. Rodriguez has appealed his suspension.

Selig also called the Tampa Bay Rays stadium situation "very, very discouraging."

"Baseball needs a resolution to this problem," Selig said with Stuart Sternberg, principal owner of the Rays, in the room listening. "I find it a very, very troubling situation. We were optimistic this was moving in a very positive direction. Unfortunately, it's stalled."

Selig said the situation was serious enough that he was giving "very strong consideration to assigning someone from MLB to intervene in this process, find out exactly what the hell is going on."

"They've been a model organization, extraordinarily capable," Selig said. "They've done everything in their power to make their ballpark situation work. Years have ticked by now with no tangible progress."

The team is obligated to play at outdated Tropicana Field through 2027 and is averaging just over 13,000 fans a game this season. The low attendance figures have led to the Rays receiving millions of dollars in revenue sharing.

"Without that, we wouldn't be able to compete," Sternberg said. "The other owners are looking at it. How many years is this going to be? How much money is it going to be? We should be able to get to the point where the revenue sharing dollars we would receive don't need to be so significant year in and year out."

Relocating is not on the table, Sternberg said.

"Frankly, I haven't been able to get this (new stadium deal) done," Sternberg said. "Something needs to be done and nothing's happening. We've got an enormous following, but something is clearly stopping people from coming through our doors. This isn't a one- or two-year thing. Even the economy has picked up a bit and our attendance has gone down."

Friday, 16 August 2013 07:47
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - Major League Baseball is expanding its video review process next season, giving managers a tool they've never had.

Commissioner Bud Selig calls it a historic moment for the game in a press conference in Cooperstown after two days of meetings with representatives of the 30 teams. The proposal is to be voted on by the owners in November.

Managers will be allowed one challenge over the first six innings of games and two after the seventh inning until the end of the game. Calls that are challenged will be reviewed by a crew in MLB headquarters in New York City, which will make the final ruling.

A 75 percent vote by the owners is needed for approval and the players' association and umpires would have to agree to any changes to the current system.

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, a member of the replay committee, says the umpires are receptive to the change. Schuerholz says 89 percent of incorrect calls made in the past will be reviewable.

Thursday, 15 August 2013 15:49
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis Rams starting linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Dunbar, who was second on the team with 157 tackles last season, is able to participate in all team activities prior to suspension, which begins with the season-opening game against Arizona.

He will be able to practice and play in all exhibition contests.

Dunbar will also miss games against Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco.

The 6-foot, 235-pounder Dunbar is the second St. Louis player suspended by the league this season. Running back Isaiah Pead will miss the opening game for violation of the substance abuse policy.

Dunbar had 4.5 sacks last season.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 23:00
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Francisco Liriano was dominant coming off the worst outing of his career and the Pittsburgh Pirates got home runs from Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones in a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

The win snapped a season-worst four-game losing streak and gave Pittsburgh a three-game lead in the NL Central.

The Pirates had a five-run cushion after four innings against rookie Shelby Miller, who didn't miss a turn five days after getting drilled on the elbow and lasting just two pitches against the Dodgers. They're 8-4 against the Cardinals heading into the series finale matching A.J. Burnett and Lance Lynn.

Pittsburgh totaled just 10 runs during the losing streak and won in 2 hours, 30 minutes one night after losing 4-3 in 14 innings in a game that lasted 4:55.

Liriano (13-5) allowed four hits with six strikeouts and needed just 94 pitches to beat the Cardinals for the second time this year. He is 3-0 in his career against St. Louis. His last time out, the lefty was punished for 10 runs in 2 1-3 innings at Colorado.

Matt Carpenter doubled and eventually scored on a groundout by Carlos Beltran in the ninth to snap Liriano's shutout bid. He settled for his second complete game of the year.

Alvarez hit his 29th homer an estimated 440 feet to straightaway center leading off the second against Miller (11-8), and with one out Jones lined his 11th over the right field wall estimated at 392 feet. Starling Marte's two-run double capped a three-run fourth, with two of the runs unearned due to fielding error by third baseman David Freese.

Miller gave up two homers for the fourth time and has lost all of those starts, twice against Pittsburgh. In six innings, he gave up five runs, three earned, on eight hits.

Liriano retired the side in order six times, twice with the help of double plays. A third double play helped him escape without damage in the second when the Cardinals got two of their hits.

In the three starts prior to his clunker at Colorado, Liriano allowed one earned run over 21 2-3 innings in winning three straight starts.

The Cardinals are 3-6 with one game to go on a 10-game homestand that began with series losses to the Cubs and Dodgers.

Notes: The Pirates have outscored the Cardinals 14-2 in Liriano's two starts this year. ... Tabata missed his second straight start but entered as a defensive replacement in right field in the eighth. He was scratched with flu-like symptoms Tuesday. ... The Cardinals left a season-high 17 runners on base Tuesday night. ... Matt Holliday has 17 hits during an 11-game hitting streak but also grounded into his major league-leading 27th double play. He also lined into a twin killing in the fourth. ... Nine of the homers off Miller have come with the bases empty.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 22:58
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The Rams will be without one of their starting linebackers to start the season.

Jo-Lonn Dubar was suspended without pay for the first four games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. Dunbar had a career year with the Rams, tallying 91 tackles, 4-and-a-half sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.

He will be eligible to return to the roster following the team's September 26 game against the San Francisco 49'ers.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 15:25
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   Backup outfielder Adron Chambers singled home the winning run in the 14th inning as the Cardinals outlasted the Pittsburgh Pirates and cut into their NL Central lead with a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night.

   Sam Freeman (1-0) allowed a walk in a scoreless 14th for the Cardinals, who saddled the Pirates with their fourth straight loss and pulled within two games of them with a win in the 4-hour, 55-minute game.

   Pittsburgh had four hits the first time through the order against Adam Wainwright and led 3-0 after two innings on homers by Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer. They had six hits the rest of the way.

   Both teams had chances in extra innings before the Cardinals, who had dropped four of five, cashed in.

   Jon Jay singled off Jared Hughes (2-3) with one out in the 14th with his fourth hit. Jay stole second and then raced home and beat left fielder Starling Marte's throw.

 
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 02:19
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The Cardinals made more moves in advance of Tuesday's match up against the Central-leading Pirates.

The team recalled infielder Jermaine Curtis from the Triple-A club and optioned Michael Blazek to Memphis. Curtis was batting .259 in Triple-A with four homers and 42 RBIs. First pitch tonight at 7:15.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 13:19
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HOUSTON (AP) -- With every swing and miss, this looked as if it might be the day Yu Darvish pitched a no-hitter against the overmatched Houston Astros.

And then with one out in the eighth inning, Carlos Corporan ended Darvish's latest bid with a home run.

Darvish once again neared perfection versus Houston, striking out a career-high 15 and permitting only one hit in eight innings as the Texas Rangers won 2-1 Monday for their season-high eighth straight victory.

"A win's a win," Darvish said through a translator. "I'm just glad I was a big part of this win."

Texas won for the 13th time in 14 games and headed home atop the AL West.

In early April, Darvish (12-5) was one out away from a perfect game at Minute Maid Park before Marwin Gonzalez singled between his legs. Darvish joined Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers in team history to have more than one start of at least eight innings with one hit or less.

Darvish became the first pitcher to have two no-hitters broken up in the eighth inning or later since it happened to Justin Verlander in 2011.

Outfielder Alex Rios chased Corporan's drive to the wall, but had to watch as it sailed about five rows into the stands. Darvish simply looked around, and then wiped his brow with his arm before preparing to throw his next pitch.

"Well, I'd like to see it happen of course," manager Ron Washington said. "But those are professional hitters over there, too, and Corporan caught one."

Until the homer, Houston's lone runner came when rookie Jonathan Villar drew a two-out walk on a full count in the sixth. Texas catcher A.J. Pierzynski was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Ron Kulpa about a 2-2 breaking pitch he called low - Pierzynski was tossed after Villar walked.

"Was it a strike? I don't know," Pierzynski said. "Obviously I thought it was and Ron didn't, and I was upset we walked the guy and I said a bad word and I was ejected."

Darvish was perplexed by the actions of his catcher.

"When he got ejected, I thought, `What is he doing?" Darvish said with a laugh.

The two-time All-Star ace from Japan was sharp all game, retiring the last two batters in eighth and exiting after increasing his major league-leading strikeout total to 207.

"He used everything today: slider, curveball, cutter, fastball," Washington said. "He moved it around, kept them off-balance. When they were looking for breaking balls he was throwing fastballs and cutters and when they were looking for cutters he was throwing breaking balls."

"I was pretty locked in," he said.

Darvish struck out 14 in four prior games this year, including his earlier gem at Houston. His 15 strikeouts on Monday matched his career-high from his professional career in Japan.

He is 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 37 strikeouts in three starts in Houston this season, and is 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 50 strikeouts in five starts since returning from the disabled list.

Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 35th save.

The AL West-leading Rangers took a quick lead over the last-place Astros. With two outs in the first, Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre doubled and Pierzynski hit an RBI single off Brett Oberholtzer (2-1).

Oberholtzer yielded seven hits and two runs with six strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings for his first loss in three major league starts.

The Houston hitters had no such luck with Darvish.

Darvish was strong from the start relying mostly on a four-seam fastball, sliders and a cutter against the Astros' inexperienced lineup.

"He doesn't just have control. This guy has command," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "He can throw every pitch the way he wants to throw it, even out of the strike zone. Which, when you have that kind of repertoire, you're going to be up against it."

He struck out the side in the first inning before getting two fly outs and a ground out in the second.

The 26-year-old righty fanned two each in the third and fourth innings, struck out the side in the fifth and the first batter of the sixth inning. His strikeout of Chris Carter to start the fifth was his 200th of the season, giving him a team record for fewest games (23) needed to reach the mark.

In the sixth, Darvish started walking off the mound after his close pitch to Villar. Pierzynski also began heading to the dugout, but Kulpa said it missed.

Pierzynski didn't like the call. After the walk, started yelling in Kulpa's face and was quickly tossed. Geovany Soto took over at catcher.

Darvish, a two-time MVP in Japan, flirted with perfection last Sept. 3, too, retiring the first 17 batters at Kansas City.

NOTES: Injured Texas DH Lance Berkman is getting Monday off and will DH for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday and Wednesday and will be re-evaluate him after that. ... Neftali Feliz, who was expected to throw Saturday for Round Rock but did not pitch as a precaution because of mild right arm triceps tendinitis, has been shut down. Feliz has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last year. ... Darvish set rookie franchise records for wins (16) and strikeouts (221) last season. He finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting behind winner Mike Trout and Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 11:47
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PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) -- Equipped with a two-shot lead at the turn, still carrying a few scars from his PGA Championship collapse two years ago, Jason Dufner never showed signs of cracking.

No one expected anything else from a player whose popularity comes from his flat-line personality.

He merely waved to the gallery when he shot 63 in the second round to tie a major championship record. He didn't show much of a pulse Sunday as he matched scores with Jim Furyk at every hole on the back nine of Oak Hill. Only after Dufner tapped in for a bogey on the 18th hole to win the PGA Championship did he crack a smile, raise both arms and give a slight pump of the fist, saving all that emotion for a grand occasion.

Major champion.

Dufner can't think of any other athlete who plays with so little emotion.

"But those sports are a little more exciting - big plays in basketball, home runs in baseball, big plays in football. That will get you pumped up," he said. "For me, golf is a little bit more boring. I hit it in the fairway or I didn't. Usually I'm struggling with the putter, so there's not too much to get excited about with that."

His name on the Wanamaker Trophy?

That was worth a smile.

"Nobody can take that away from me," Dufner said after he closed with a 2-under 68 for a two-shot win over Furyk. "It's a great accomplishment for me, and I'm really excited about it."

Dufner wasn't sure he would get another chance after the PGA Championship two years ago in Atlanta, where he blew a four-shot lead with four holes to play and lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley. But he wasn't about to let this one get away. Dufner won by playing a brand of golf that matches the bland expression on his face.

It wasn't exciting. It didn't need to be.

Dufner finished the front nine with six straight one-putt greens, and then delivered a steady diet of fairways and greens. He putted for birdie on every hole on the back nine until the last hole. He calmly rolled a 10-foot par putt toward the cup and tapped it in.

"There's not much to celebrate from 6 inches or less, but it was nice to have that short of a putt," he said. "It was a perfect ending for me."

The turning point at Oak Hill was the final two holes - on the front nine.

Dufner made a short birdie on the eighth hole to take a one-shot lead, and Furyk made bogey on the ninth hole to fall two shots behind. Furyk, a 54-hole leader for the second time in as many years in a major, couldn't make up any ground with a procession of pars along the back nine. He finally made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 16th, but only after Dufner spun back a wedge to 18 inches for a sure birdie.

Furyk also made bogey on the last two holes, taking two chips to reach the 17th green and coming up short into mangled rough short of the 18th green, where all he could do was hack it onto the green. Furyk closed with a 71 to finish two shots behind.

"I have a lot of respect for him and the way he played today," Furyk said. "I don't know if it makes anything easy, or less easy. But I don't look at it as I lost the golf tournament. I look at it as I got beat by somebody that played better today."

Dufner finished at 10-under 270, four shots better than the lowest score in the five previous majors at Oak Hill. Jack Nicklaus won the 1980 PGA Championship at 274.

Henrik Stenson, trying to become the first Swede to win a men's major title, pulled within two shots on the 13th hole and was poised to make a run until his tee shot settled on a divot hole in the 14th fairway. He chunked that flip wedge into a bunker and made bogey and closed with a 70 to finish alone in third. In his last three tournaments - two majors and a World Golf Championship - Stenson has two runner-ups and a third.

Jonas Blixt, another Swede, also had a 70 and finished fourth. Masters champion Adam Scott never made a serious of move and shot 70 to tie for fifth. Defending champion Rory McIlroy made triple bogey on the fifth hole to lose hope, those he still closed with a 70 and tied for eighth, his first top 10 in a major this year.

Dufner two-putted for bogey on the 18th from about 10 feet and shook hands with Furyk as if he had just completed a business deal. He hugged his wife, Amanda, and gave her a love tap on the tush with the cameras rolling.

Asked if he had ever been nervous, she replied, "If he has been, he's never told me."

That's what gives Dufner is own personality on the PGA Tour. He didn't look any differently on the opening tee shot than when he stood on the 18th hole.

"I would say I was pretty flat-lined for most of the day," he said.

Among the first to greet Dufner was Bradley, who beat him in the PGA playoff at Atlanta and was behind the "Dufnering" craze from earlier this year.

Dufner went to an elementary school in Dallas as part of a charity day as defending champion in the Byron Nelson Classic. A photo showed him slumped against the wall in the classroom next to the children, his eyes glazed over, as the teacher taught them about relaxation and concentration techniques. The pose was mimicked all over the country, giving Dufner some celebrity for his zombie appearance.

Now he's known for something far more important.

Dufner became the sixth player to win a major with a round of 63, joining Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd, Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.

He is the third first-time major champion of the year, and the 15th champion in the last 19 majors who had never won the big one. Woods is responsible for the latest trend, mainly because he's not winning them at the rate he once was.

Woods extended his drought to 18 majors without winning, and this time he wasn't even in the hunt. For the second straight round, Woods finished before the leaders even teed off. He closed with a 70 to tie for 40th, 14 shots out of the lead.

"I didn't give myself many looks and certainly didn't hit the ball good enough to be in it," Woods said.

Furyk wasn't about to beat himself up for another major opportunity that got away. He had a share of the lead at the U.S. Open last year until taking bogey on the par-5 16th hole with a poor tee shot. His only regret was not making par on the last two holes - the toughest on the back nine at Oak Hill - to put pressure on Dufner.

Not that anyone would have noticed.

"It probably hasn't hit me yet. I can't believe this is happening to me," Dufner said. "To come back from a couple of years ago in this championship when I lost to Keegan in a playoff, to win feels really, really good."

Sunday, 11 August 2013 23:43
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Pete Kozma singled home the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals ended a four-game losing streak, beating the Chicago Cubs 8-4 and avoiding a sweep.

Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig each had three hits and drove in a run. Jon Jay and David Freese both drove in two runs, though they only had one hit between them.

The Cardinals dropped five of six to begin a 10-game homestand.

Edward Mujica worked the last two innings for his 31st save in 33 chances, overcoming Starlin Castro's leadoff double in the eighth while working with a one-run cushion.

Randy Choate (2-1) faced one batter, getting leadoff man David DeJesus to pop out with two men on to end the sixth after the Cubs had tied it at 4 on RBI singles by Castro and Darwin Barney off Seth Maness.

Barney, like Kozma an eighth-place hitter, had two RBI singles. He's batting .215 overall but has a .317 average against St. Louis with two homers and 10 RBIs.

Tony Cruz doubled with two outs in the sixth off Blake Parker (1-2) and scored easily on Kozma's single. Parker was the winner Saturday with an inning of relief.

Jay added a sacrifice fly in the seventh off Hector Rondon and the Cardinals got RBIs from Carpenter and Craig in the eighth off Michael Bowden.

The Cardinals combined two singles, a walk, a steal and a sacrifice fly off Edwin Jackson in a three-run first. Matt Holliday had one of the RBIs plus a steal off Jackson's slow move to the plate, before Jackson finally retaliated by picking off Jay.

Holliday handed the Cubs an unearned run in the third when he camped under Junior Lake's two-out high fly to medium left but then whiffed on the catch and DeJesus scored from first.

The Cubs settled for their first series win in St. Louis since a three-game sweep Sept. 13-15, 2010. They'd been 0-6-1 the previous seven series, and were trying for a three-game sweep.

NOTES: Cardinals OF Carlos Beltran fouled a ball off his right foot in the fifth, got medical attention on the field and then struck out before leaving with a bruise. X-rays were negative. ... Holliday grounded into his major league-leading 26th double play in the fifth. ... The Cubs' Darnell McDonald walked pinch-hitting in the seventh in his first at-bat of the year. He's the 50th player used by the Cubs, most in the majors. ... Cardinals starter Joe Kelly has been the starter the last two St. Louis wins. He allowed three earned runs in 5 1-3 innings and Jackson gave up four runs in five innings.

Sunday, 11 August 2013 17:26
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