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Mariners suspend catcher Steve Clevenger for rest of season over BLM tweets

The controversial tweets of Mariners’ reserve catcher Steve Clevenger have led to his suspension.

Clevenger was suspended for the rest of the season without pay Friday for tweets made this week regarding a recent police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Black Lives Matter movement which many found to be offensive.

>> Read more trending stories 

Clevenger’s Twitter account is currently private. Screen shots of the tweets showed Clevenger made disparaging comments about protesters, tweeting, “Keep kneeling for the Anthem” and “BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”

Clevenger was informed of the suspension on Friday. He will lose 10 days' pay from his $516,500 salary in the major leagues, which comes to $28,224, according to The Associated Press.

The Major League Baseball Players Association could challenge the suspension, but has not yet commented on the case.

Mariners Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Dipoto released a statement Thursday afternoon:

“The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger’s account. While he is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments. We are currently examining all internal options that are available to us as we determine appropriate next steps. We will have no further comment at this time.”

On Thursday night, MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal shared a statement from Clevenger, who apologized for "the distraction my tweets on my personal Twitter page caused when they went public.”

"I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms," continued Clevenger's statement. "My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded beyond poorly at best and I can see how and why someone could read into my tweets far more deeply than how I actually feel."

Statement from Steve Clevenger    "First and foremost I would like to apologize to the Seattle Mariners, my teammates,...Posted by Ken Rosenthal on Thursday, September 22, 2016

Clevenger appeared in 22 games for the Mariners this season. He has been on disabled list with a fractured hand since June 30. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dodgers pay tribute to longtime broadcaster Vin Scully

The Dodgers paid tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully on Friday, and a crowd of 52,320 roared its approval during an hourlong ceremony on his appreciation night before Los Angeles’ 5-2 victory against Colorado.

Scully, holding hands with his wife, Sandi, walked from the dugout to home plate for a ceremony honoring his 67 years in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth. The 88-year-old Scully is retiring next weekend after Los Angeles concludes its regular season in San Francisco.

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"Hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you," Scully said in his signature greeting. "I thought I'd get that out of the way right away."

Scully thanked Dodger fans for making him feel like a child again.

"When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled for a brief moment I'm 8 years old again," he said. "You have allowed me to be young at heart. I owe you everything."

The first 50,000 fans in attendance received a typed letter signed by Scully containing recollections from his career, which began in Brooklyn with the Dodgers and continued when the team moved west to California for the 1958 season.

"You were simply always there for me," Scully wrote. "I have always felt that I needed you more than you needed me and that holds true to this very day. I have been privileged to share in your passion and love for this great game."

Actor Kevin Costner, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw were among the speakers paying tribute to Scully.

Scully joked that he is often asked about his future. He turns 89 in November.

"I'm going to try to live," he said. "I'm looking for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cabinet."

Dodgers chairman Mark Walter, former owner Peter O'Malley and former managers Tom Lasorda and Joe Torre, now an MLB executive, were among those on hand. O'Malley's father, Walter, first owned the team and was instrumental in bringing the Bronx-born Scully west when the Dodgers relocated to the vast Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Walter said the team would add Scully’s name to the stadium “ring of honor,” next to the retired numbers. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave Scully a key to the city. Manfred said the league would donate $50,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation in honor of Scully.

Costner starred in the 1999 baseball movie "For Love of the Game," in which Scully narrated the play-by-play of his character's perfect game.

"We're all taking deep breaths, Vin," Costner said. "We're all struggling with our own emotions as we admit we're down to our last three outs with you. You're our George Bailey and it has been a wonderful life. You can't blame us for trying to hold on to you for as long as we can. And shame on us if you ever have to pay for another meal in public."

At the end of the tributes, Scully returned to the microphone.

"It's time for Dodger baseball," he said.

Yankees fans orchestrating 'Moon Big Papi Night' for Ortiz’s New York finale

David Ortiz is down to the final weeks of his major-league career and a group of New York Yankees fans are planning a less-than-cordial sendoff.

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A group has founded a website called Moon Big Papi and they want fans to moon the Boston Red Sox star when he plays his final game at Yankee Stadium next week. Ortiz owns a career .315 average against the Yankees, with six homers and 13 RBI.

>>RELATED: Company honors Ortiz's career walk-off with special edition shoes

The site says “if 10 people moon Big Papi, they'll be arrested, but if 10,000 do it it will be a story for the grandkids.”

Report: Tim Tebow to sign with N.Y. Mets

ESPN is reporting the New York Mets will sign Tim Tebow to a minor league contract.

The Heisman-winning quarterback will be sent to the Arizona Fall League or the Instructional League to begin his professional baseball career.

The Atlanta Braves were among the teams that had expressed an interest in signing Tebow.

>> Read more trending stories  

Tebow, 29, hasn’t played baseball since his junior year in high school 11 years ago, but the former Florida Gators star is attempting to forge a pro career as an outfielder. He held an individual workout last week in Los Angeles that was attended by representatives of 28 of 30 major league teams.

The muscular, 255-pound former NFL quarterback impressed with his raw power – he hit one long home run during the workout — and above-average speed, though his swing and defensive skills would presumably need work.

Tebow won two national championships with the Florida Gators. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010, but has not played in the NFL since 2012 with the New York Jets. He went to training camp with the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 but did not claim a roster spot either time.

He has been a college-football analyst at ESPN since December 2013.

Tim Tebow's baseball tryout Tuesday

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is switching sports Tuesday.

Tuesday marks the workout, or audition of sorts, for Tebow as he holds a workout for Major League Baseball teams to take a look at his skills.

He's no stranger to the diamond, but it has been awhile since he played organized baseball in high school, The Associated Press reported.

More than 20 teams have confirmed that a representative will attend the workout in Los Angeles, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending stories 

At least 13 teams, including the Braves, Marlins, Red Sox and Rays, will be attending the workout, which is not open to the public, Sporting News reported.

Tebow has been training, splitting his time between Arizona and Los Angeles, for the past year. He had a tryout with the Dodgers before the current season. He didn't make the team but a scout was there, and the team was interested in the quarterback, ESPN reported.

"I spent time with Tim Tebow is the cages," former All-Star slugger Gary Sheffield told the AP. "He's a natural. Tim has it."

Tebow also worked out with former MLB pitcher David Aardsma, who posted to Twitter.

Tebow was an all-state baseball player in high school. He hit .494 his junior year for Nease High School. His team made the final four of the Florida state playoffs, ESPN reported.

On the gridiron, Tebow won the Heisman Trophy and two national championships with the University of Florida. He was a first-round draft pick for the Denver Broncos in 2010. He played his last season in 2012 for the New York Jets. He went to camp with the New England Patriots in 2013 and Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, but was cut before each season, ESPN reported.

Tebow is not the first pro to try to change sports. Michael Jordan played one season in the Chicago White Sox minor league system, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Bo Jackson also switched from football to baseball after being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1986. His last game was in 1994, according to his MLB stats page. He was an all-star in 1989 and participated in that year's Home Run Derby.

Royals player makes wacky tribute to 'Rally Mantis'

The Kansas City Royals adopted an unusual mascot last week, which they credit for helping them win five of six games.

The mascot was a praying mantis. Crediting it for the team’s winning streak, the insect was nicknamed, “Rally Mantis.”

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Alas, Rally Mantis is no more. According to The Kansas City Star, the mantis died Friday night.

Royals pitcher Danny Duffy created a wacky tribute video as the team mourns the loss of their lucky bug.

 

Pirates fan goes for foul ball, ends up with face full of nachos

If you're on Twitter, you may have been wondering why "nachos" was trending Wednesday night, here's why:

A man trying to reach for a foul ball during the Pirates/Padres game ended up with a face full of nachos. It looks like he dropped his beer as well.

The Pirates showed him some support and got him a new shirt.

Here's the whole thing if you want to watch it:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GeOZEuOblnA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Tim Tebow pursuing professional baseball career, report says

Nearly a year after Tim Tebow last appeared on an NFL roster, the former quarterback is "actively pursuing a career in professional baseball," his agents told ESPN.

Jimmy Sexton and Nick Khan told the sports station that Tebow has been training in Arizona and Los Angeles for the last year and plans to hold a workout for Major League Baseball teams later this month.

>> Read more trending stories

"Tim's athletic ability, his work ethic, his leadership and his competitiveness were evident in football and will show in baseball," Sexton told ESPN. "Knowing Tim's passion and desire, we won't be surprised by anything he accomplishes."

Although the report might sound like it's coming out of left field, Tebow actually came close to becoming a professional baseball player before he joined the NFL.

"We wanted to draft him but he never sent back his information card," Red Sox Florida area scout Tom Kotchman, who previously worked with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, told WEEI in 2013. "Either it never got to him or it's Tim Tebow. Who knows if it got to him, and if it did we just never got it back. Otherwise (the Angels) were going to take him."

Tebow played baseball while attending Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida. He didn't play his senior year, but as a junior he hit .494, according to an NFL.com report. He earned all-state honors that year and led the team to the final four of the Florida state playoffs.

"I believe he could have played in the big leagues," Nease coach Greg "Boo" Mullins said, according to the report. Tebow went for football over baseball because "he just had a bigger fire" for the sport, Mullins said.

All 30 teams in Major League Baseball will be invited to his workout at the end of the month, according to ESPN.

Child who had double hand transplant throws out MLB first pitch

A little boy from Maryland had a dream come true. 

He got to throw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game. 

Zion Harvey, 9, lost both hands to a severe infection when he was a baby. A 40-member surgical team last summer helped Zion become the first child in the world to have a double hand transplant, WJZ reported.

>> Read more trending stories  

The surgical team at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia connected bone, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, tendons and skin during the 10-hour procedure. Since the surgery, Zion has been undergoing therapy to regain hand function.

"Never give up on your dreams," Zion told WJZ last year. "It will come true."

Zion has shown so much progress that he was able to throw out the first pitch Tuesday at a Baltimore Orioles game, WJZ reported. Adam Jones caught the pitch on a small bounce as The Oriole Bird, mascot of the Orioles, cheered Zion on.

The trio posed for photos before the start of the game.

The Orioles went on to beat the Texas Rangers 5-1.

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