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Chan Ho Park Jersey

TORONTO — “Hello, Canada. Bonjour!”

Hyun-Jin Ryu took center stage at Rogers Centre on Friday for the first time as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, making his first mark on another nation after beginning his professional career as a star in his home country of South Korea, then taking the United States by storm last season as the Major League ERA leader and the runner-up in National League Cy Young Award voting with the Dodgers.

The 32-year-old left-hander began his address to the country north of the border in English — with a greeting in French — and thanked the Blue Jays’ brass and the fans before sharing, “I am happy to be here, and I’m going to make the Toronto Blue Jays proud.”

Toronto’s president and CEO Mark Shapiro called the event “an exciting day for Blue Jays fans across Toronto and in Korea.” General manager Ross Atkins shared that he looked forward “to the day you take the mound and you’re representing two nations.”

From the moment the season ended, the Blue Jays have stressed a need to get better and a desire to do just that. With the official announcement of Ryu’s four-year, $80 million deal, the club is excited about the step forward the addition of the southpaw signifies.

“It’s one piece that has helped us now make another step,” Atkins said. “We knew we had to find ways to add pitching. We knew we had to find ways to complement and supplement this rotation. We felt like we had good acquisitions in Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark, [Shun] Yamaguchi as well, and obviously having [Matt] Shoemaker back.”

Added Shapiro: “This is the next step in what we feel is a plan to build a sustainable championship team.”

Ryu, who was born in Incheon, South Korea, led the Majors with a 2.32 ERA last season and compiled a 14-5 record over 182 2/3 innings for the Dodgers, earning his first career All-Star appearance, where he was the starting pitcher for the NL squad. Ryu finished among the NL’s top three with a 6.79 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 0.84 home runs allowed per nine innings, a 1.01 WHIP, a .263 opponents’ average and 9.26 baserunners allowed per nine frames.

“One of the things that we love most about our jobs is watching on a daily and nightly basis exceptional things happening on a baseball field, and the more that we dug into Ryu and spent time learning about him, the more excited we got and the more exceptional he became to us,” Atkins said. “He really stood out — his ability to command the ball so exceptionally well, get outs at every quadrant of the zone with four different pitches, insane athleticism and just ability on the field is, it was something exceptional to watch.”

Ryu is set to become the third Korean-born player to don a Blue Jays uniform, joining Rob Refsnyder and Seunghwan Oh. His 54 regular-season victories in the Majors are tied for the second-most ever by a Korean-born pitcher, to Chan Ho Park’s 124. As he did in Los Angeles, Ryu will wear No. 99 for the Blue Jays, a number synonymous in Canada with the great Wayne Gretzky.

“Canada lent No. 99 to L.A.,” Ryu’s agent, Scott Boras, said. “So with Hyun-Jin, we thought we would return it back to Canada.”

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Ryu signed as an international free agent with the Dodgers in 2012 out of the Korea Baseball Organization — after seven seasons with the Eagles — and owns a career 2.98 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over six big league seasons.

Toronto has a promising crop of young position players but had been looking for an accomplished starter to lead its rotation. Ryu should fill that void in 2020 and beyond, provided he can stay healthy. He made just 41 appearances — 40 starts – between 2015-18, as he was hampered by persistent injuries.

“There is no free-agent signing where you’re not sharing some risk,” Atkins said of Ryu’s injury history. “We feel we have added an incredible talent to the organization, feel like he’s evolved and learned from … his transition as a professional and as a Major League Baseball pitcher. We’re confident he’s going to continue what he needs to do to be able to stay on the field.”

Boras shared that Ryu is excited to join a franchise with an exciting future where he can step into a leadership role.

“He said, ‘I want to come here to be a winner, I want to come here to be a leader,’” Boras said of Ryu. “’I want to be a contributor.’ He’s never won a world championship, and the appeal of the contract length allows him to be a part of something that could get him to the playoffs and allow that to happen.”

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.

Read more: Toronto Blue Jays Hyun-Jin Ryu

Gibby Brack Jersey

Alex Wood gets the start for the Dodgers on Saturday night against the Rockies at Coors Field, looking to continue his strong May.

After striking out 19 of 80 batters (23.8%) in April, Wood has 19 strikeouts in 42 batters faced (45.2%) in May, including a season-high 11 strikeouts on Monday against the Pirates, his second-highest total since joining the Dodgers.

Wood has been one of the most effective pitchers on the staff this season, both starting and in relief. In seven games, including five starts, Wood has a 2.73 ERA and 1.89 FIP, with 38 strikeouts — third-most on the staff — and eight unintentional walks.

He has also received much more run support this month. The Dodgers scored 10 total runs in his three April starts, but have scored in double digits in both of his May outings, scoring 13 runs on May 2 and 12 on May 8.

The Dodgers have scored 69 runs in 10 games this month, hitting .294/.371/.463 as a team in May. They have scored at least five runs in seven of those 10 games, and if we stretch back into the final four games in April, the Dodgers have scored five or more runs in 11 of their last 14 games, matching their win total during that span.

Cody Bellinger has half of the Dodgers’ 10 home runs this month, including a solo shot on Friday night in Colorado.

Dating back to 1913, the Dodgers’ record for most RBI through 20 games is 20, by George Shuba (1948). The franchise record for runs scored through 20 games is also 20, by Gibby Brack (1937) and Jackie Robinson (1947). Most home runs is seven, held by Matt Kemp (2006) and Yasiel Puig (2013).

Bellinger has only played 16 games, but he already has seven home runs, and with 17 runs scored and 18 RBI has those other marks in sight.

Left-hander Tyler Anderson starts for the Rockies on Saturday night. Bellinger so far has started against everybody, and is 6-for-17 (.353) with a triple, a home run, and two walks against southpaws.

Game info
Time: 5:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA

Bret Saberhagen Jersey

Last season, Clase made 21 appearances for the Rangers and posted a 2.31 ERA with 21 strikeouts, two homers, six walks and a 1.114 WHIP in 23 1/3 innings. He split the first half of the year between High A and Double-A, pitching to a combined 2.82 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 44 2/3 frames while holding opponents to a .226 average.

“He’s been up to 102 [mph], averages around 100 [mph] with his fastball that has a unique cutting profile that makes it really hard to center up,” Antonetti said. “He complements that with an above-average slider, and we think he will slot into our bullpen and help be a weapon out there for us.”

With the new three-batter minimum rule that will go into place in 2020, forcing pitchers to face at least three hitters or pitch to the conclusion of an inning before getting pulled, using guys like Adam Cimber or Óliver Pérez in the eighth inning may become more of a challenge. Clase could be an answer, as the 21-year-old posted nearly the same numbers against right-handed and left-handed hitters:

Clase vs. LHB: 11 1/3 innings, 10 hits, one homer, two walks, 10 strikeouts, 1.06 WHIP

Clase vs. RHB: 12 innings, 10 hits, one homer, four walks, 11 strikeouts, 1.17 WHIP

DeShields
DeShields may not be the answer the Tribe is looking for offensively, but the Indians seem set on making the 27-year-old more than just a fourth outfielder. DeShields is known for his speed and defense and could compete with Oscar Mercado for the starting center-field job during Spring Training.

“We expect Oscar will get everyday at-bats,” Antonetti said, “whether that’s mostly in center field, mostly in left field, it’s too early to say, or even in right field for that matter because Oscar is such a good defender out there. How we configure the roster, we’ll get a better sense of that as we approach Spring Training, but we see both of them playing equal roles on our team in 2020.”

What he may be lacking with the bat, the Tribe is hoping he makes up for on the grass. DeShields ranks in the 95th percentile in Outs Above Average (OAA), which, as Statcast defines, is “the cumulative effect of all individual catch probability plays a fielder has been credited or debited with, making it a range-based metric of fielding skill that accounts for the number of plays made and the difficulty of them.” The Indians were tied for 14th in OAA as a team in 2019. He also ranks in the 97th percentile in sprint speed.

“[He's] an experienced Major League outfielder with extraordinary defense in center field,” Antonetti said, “[He] makes an impact on the bases and we think he complements our roster really well.”

In 2019 DeShields hit .249 with a .672 OPS, four homers, 32 RBIs, 15 doubles, four triples and 24 stolen bases.

What does losing Kluber mean for the Tribe?
The Indians are parting ways with a two-time Cy Young Award winner. He’s arguably been their most valuable player over the past decade. The soon-to-be 34-year-old began the decade as a piece in a three-team trade that shipped him from the Padres to the Indians in July 2010. He’s spent parts of the last nine seasons with the club and was selected to three All-Star Games, won two Cy Young Awards, posted a 3.16 career ERA and a 98-58 record, and struck out 1,461 batters (third-most in club history).

“Obviously trades like this are always tough, not only on the baseball side, but on the personal side,” Antonetti said. “I think we had a chance to see Corey grow into one of the best pitchers in the American League. He went from an unheralded prospect when we acquired him and through a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication, he turned himself into one of the best pitchers in the American League.”

However, the club has reached a point where losing him may not be detrimental. The Tribe showed off its starting depth when three of their starters landed on the injured list and one was traded at the Deadline. Even without Kluber for much of the year, the team went on to win 93 games.

As he heads to Texas, he leaves behind these starters to fill a five-man rotation: Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, Scott Moss, Adam Plutko, Jefry Rodriguez and Logan Allen. Kluber now becomes the seventh pitcher to be traded by a team with which they won multiple Cy Young Awards, joining Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver, Denny McLain, Bret Saberhagen and Johan Santana.

Not only is Kluber leaving the rotation in capable hands, but he’s freeing up the Tribe’s payroll enough that it should have some more financial flexibility for next season. Prior to this trade, the Indians were projected to open the year with approximately $99 million in payroll, according to Baseball-Reference. MLB Trade Rumors projects that DeShields will earn $2.4 million in his second year of arbitration, which means about $14 million was freed up in Cleveland’s budget.

But the question remains: Will the Indians truly benefit from losing their former ace?

“Obviously we’ve all seen what Corey’s capable of doing when he’s healthy and contributing,” Antonetti said. “But at the same time, we did win 93 games last year, and we had a group of pitchers that stepped up in Corey’s place and really helped fuel one of the best pitching staffs in the American League. All of those pitchers are set to return in 2020. We do feel good about those pitchers we have and that those pitchers will be able to help us be a successful team next year. And we’ve added two other components that we feel can help us with Clase in the bullpen and DeShields in the outfield.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.

Read more: Cleveland Indians Emmanuel Clase Delino DeShields Corey Kluber

Ernie Ovitz Jersey

For much of the MLB offseason, the bombshell report that the Houston Astros had used technology to steal signs during at least their World Series-winning 2017 season has been the focus of fans and players alike. Most of the vitriol centered around the Astros, labeling them as cheaters who gained an unfair advantage and cost other teams and players — who were playing fairly — chances to succeed. The teams with the biggest gripes? Those who were directly ousted by the Astros during this cheating, namely the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

However, recently it has become clear that the Astros were far from the only team guilty of such cheating. A recent report from The Athletic (subscription required) included sources accusing the Boston Red Sox of illegally using their video replay room to steal signs during their 2018 World Series victory season, a season that also included an ALDS victory over the Yankees.

Yankees fans have extra reason to be upset with these reports of cheating because they have implicated the club’s two biggest rivals and directly affected the Yankees. We’ve all seen the video that seems to prove the Astros cheated, but does everybody remember when the Red Sox seemed to know which pitches Luis Severino was going to throw in 2018, which we all chalked up to Severino tipping pitches?

[email protected] just nailed it. Red Sox had a beat on what was coming as early as the second inning. JBJ says “Fastball…” to Mookie before an 0-2 pitch to Holt, Severino pumps in 98 MPH fastball that Holt fouls away. pic.twitter.com/wLGR5dVDys

— Dan O’Mara (@Dan_OMara) October 9, 2018
In light of the recent news, it doesn’t seem like so much of a coincidence anymore, does it? However, this isn’t going to just be a post written by a Yankees fan bashing the Red Sox and the Astros because they are team rivals. Before jumping the gun and calling those teams cheaters and saying that they robbed the Yankees and every other team, we need to look at the whole situation. And, as fate would have it, the whole situation is far larger and messier than it first appeared.

The Yankees were among other teams to be referenced as using technology illegally in the past five years. Now, the gripe against the Yankees is the equivalent of a traffic ticket – the only facts are that they illegally used dugout phones to check with their replay official on whether or not certain pitches were strikes or balls. Although the team was also accused of using a camera to steal signs, like the Astros and Red Sox, Major League Baseball did not find these claims credible.

There’s another key difference between the Yankees and the other teams. After MLB fined the Yankees in 2017 for the phone violation, the league sent a memo warning teams not to use technology to gain an illegal advantage. The Yankees — and most other teams — seem to have stopped whatever they were doing after the memo, while the Astros and Red Sox continued to cheat en route to championships. This, of course, makes things more serious for those organizations.

However, the report essentially made it clear that several other organizations had used technology in an effort to cheat, to the point where the league had to take action. Major League Baseball has a long history of players and teams bending the rules. From more minor infractions like the use of pine tar and corked bats to major issues like steroid use, baseball has seen its fair share of scandals over the years, and it has another one on its hands now.

As ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez and Jeff Passan mused on Twitter, there appear to be many similarities between this cheating scandal and the steroid era.

There are obvious parallels here to the initial use of PEDs — too much to gain, Ernie Ovitz and pressure to do it in order to keep up with the others.

— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) January 7, 2020
This is a good thread by Alden and a very good point especially. The nomadic nature of the sport only helped spread it. A free agent goes from a team that was using video to decode signals to a team that wasn’t, asks “Why aren’t you doing this when everyone else is?” and boom. https://t.co/ZYc9pg5BQf

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2020
That last point by Passan – that ways to steal signs were likely passed around from team to team as players from cheating organizations made their way elsewhere – is the real key here. The acceptance of, and the pressure to gain an edge any way possible is what made steroids such a massive problem in baseball (and an issue that is still rampant). It is possible to deduce Ernie Ovitz that the same thing was happening with sign stealing, to the point where almost every team probably had the capability to know which pitches were coming.

It is just speculation, and there are certainly other factors at play, but it might not be entirely a coincidence that MLB offensive production is higher now more than ever, as technology has improved and the accessibility to using it to cheat has increased.

Now that this is all out publicly, Major League Baseball is at a major crossroads. The league got it right by admitting it had a problem and issuing crippling suspensions Ernie Ovitz to anybody implicated in a steroid scandal, and the league has to do the same thing here. Known cheaters, like the coaches and players on the 2017 Houston Astros and 2018 Boston Red Sox, need to be suspended for a significant amount of time, for starters. Rob Manfred said in 2017 that any offending club could also see the loss of draft picks, which combined with suspensions and fines, should be enough of a deterrent to this behavior in the future.

Just as we’ll never know how many players used (or still use) PEDs, we’ll never know how many teams illegally stole signs, and the problem will probably never be completely forced out of the game. However, serious punishment for known cheaters is the only way for the league to emphatically say that this is not OK.

Baseball becomes a part of our lives from an early age. Players are taught the morals of right and wrong in Little League – you respect your teammates, your opponents and the umpires, and you play for the love of the game.

What these teams have done threatens the framework of our game. Unless Major League Baseball steps in and takes a stand against them for their clear and blatant cheating, the culture of cheating in baseball will only grow.

Domingo Jean Jersey

“A catedral ainda está em risco”, disse este domingo Jean-Louis Georgelin, que supervisiona os trabalhos de reconstrução, em declarações à emissora francesa CNews.

Segundo o responsável, o teto da catedral pode abater quando forem retirados os andaimes colocados antes do incêndio que consumiu o monumento a 15 de abril.

“Há ainda uma etapa extremamente importante que passa por remover os andaimes construídos em torno do pináculo”, afirmou. O pináculo da catedral, recorde-se, desabou durante o incêndio. Tinha 90 metros de altura e pesava 750 toneladas.

No fim de dezembro, o reitor da Catedral de Notre Dame, dava já conta que os trabalhos de reconstrução não seriam fáceis. O monsenhor Patrick Chauvet estimou que há “50% de probabilidade” de que a estrutura não se salve completamente, uma vez que os andaimes instalados antes do incêndio estão a ameaçar as abóbodas do monumento.

O religioso disse que “o edifício ainda é muito frágil”. As obras da catedral parisiense de 850 anos tentam aliviar os danos causados pelas chamas na estrutura do telhado e na agulha central e levam em conta que as abóbodas são cruciais para manter a enorme estrutura de pedra em pé.

Cerca de 50 mil tubos formaram andaimes que atravessavam a parte de trás do edifício quando o desastre ocorreu e alguns ficaram danificados. Portanto, remover estas peças sem afetar o restante da estrutura é uma das tarefas mais complexas.

“Precisamos remover completamente os andaimes para que o prédio fique seguro.

Provavelmente, em 2021, iniciaremos a restauração da catedral” para “avaliar a condição” da propriedade e decidir “a quantidade de pedras que serão removidas e substituídas”, detalhou Chauvet, em declarações à Associated Press.

O incêndio de abril destruiu todo o telhado da catedral francesa e o enorme pináculo que marcava um dos pontos mais icónicos da paisagem de Paris. Ainda assim, os bombeiros, que demoraram 15 horas a controlar as chamas, conseguiram salvar os principais campanários e muros externos do desmoronamento antes de extinguir o incêndio.

Algumas das principais relíquias do património da catedral, como a Coroa de Espinhos, que terá sido usada por Jesus Cristo na crucificação, foram retiradas a tempo pelo bombeiros. A investigação levada a cabo sobre a origem do incêndio aponta para acidente relacionado com obras que decorriam numa das alas do monumento.

A tragédia de Notre-Dame gerou mensagens de pesar e de solidariedade de chefes de Estado e de Governo de vários países, incluindo Portugal, bem como do Vaticano e da ONU.

O Presidente francês prometeu que a catedral será reconstruida, no prazo de cinco anos.

Shaun Anderson Jersey

DRAFT ADVICE AND POSITION RANK
Draft Joe Jimenez as a weekly fantasy starter in 2019-2020. His 166.78 projected fantasy points puts him at #29 behind Ryne Stanek and ahead of Shaun Anderson. He has averaged 0.67 fantasy points in his past 66 games, which is less than our projected per game average. He is projected to average 2.42 fantasy points. His rank based on avg proj (#34) is worse than his rank based on total fantasy points. Joe Jimenez is expected to improve on last season’s #52 fantasy position rank.

NEXT SEASON RANK (RP) PROJECTION FANTASY STATS IN 2019
#27 Mark Melancon (64% OWN) 175 FP, 2.57 per game 93 FP, 65 gp, 1.42 per game (#41)
#28 Ryne Stanek (2% OWN) 170 FP, 2.85 per game 93 FP, 65 gp, 1.42 per game (#41)
#29 Joe Jimenez (29% OWN) 167 FP, 2.42 per game 44 FP, 66 gp, 0.67 per game (#76)
#30 Shaun Anderson (4% OWN) 161 FP, 3.08 per game 44 FP, 66 gp, 0.67 per game (#76)
#31 Mychal Givens (15% OWN) 131 FP, 1.82 per game 58 FP, 58 gp, 1 per game (#54)
These projections power SportsLine’s Computer Picks and Fantasy Data. But for contest winning DFS optimal lineups by top experts like Mike McClure visit SportsLine’s new Daily Fantasy Hub.

JOE JIMENEZ WEEK 1 AND 2 FANTASY OUTLOOK
Joe Jimenez is projected for 2.3 fantasy points in one game the rest of the week in week 1 which ranks him as the #32 projected reliever for the week and a starter for most fantasy teams. His projected fantasy production is the same as his rest of season per game projection. He is ranked above Blake Treinen but behind Mychal Givens the rest of the week. Week 2 will be better based on projected rank (#26). He is projected for 6.54 fantasy points.

WEEK 1 RANK (RP) PROJECTION ROS FP PROJ AVG
#30 Matt Barnes 2.42 FP 1.25 FP
#31 Mychal Givens 2.36 FP 1.82 FP
#32 Joe Jimenez 2.3 FP 2.42 FP
#33 Blake Treinen 1.89 FP 1.38 FP
#34 Sergio Romo 1.83 FP 1.65 FP
WEEK 2 RANK (RP) PROJECTION ROS FP PROJ AVG
#24 Jose Leclerc 7.3 FP 3.15 FP
#25 Scott Oberg 6.7 FP 3.05 FP
#26 Joe Jimenez 6.5 FP 2.42 FP
#27 Keone Kela 6.4 FP 2.52 FP
#28 Ryne Stanek 5.7 FP 2.85 FP
FANTASY PROJECTIONS AND ACTUAL STATS
The tables below show projected stats (totals and averages) for the rest of the season and upcoming weeks. Below the projection are actual stats from last season.

JOE JIMENEZ FP SV HD IP K BB
2020 Projection 167 25 3.4 62 103 24
– Per Game (69 Proj) 2.4 0.36 0.05 0.90 1.5 0.35
3/26 to 3/29 (1.3 Games) 2.3 0.34 0.06 1.2 1.8 0.42
3/30 to 4/5 (2.5 Games) 6.5 0.98 0.12 2.3 3.9 0.92
2019 Season 44.2 9 15 59 82 23
– Per Game (66 GP) 0.67 0.14 0.23 0.90 1.2 0.35

Sammy Solis Jersey

The Padres have released left-handed reliever Sammy Solis from his minor league contract, according to Roster Roundup (Twitter link). He’d signed with the Friars on a minor league back in early March after being released by the Nationals.

Solis, 30, has enjoyed a solid season in Triple-A El Paso to date, putting up a 3.57 ERA through 22 2/3 innings in that hitter-friendly setting. Solis has punched out 28 hitters against eight walks in that time and, despite a tiny 21.4 percent ground-ball rate, has held opponents to three home runs.

The past couple of seasons in D.C. were ugly ones for Solis, who most recently turned in a dismal 6.41 ERA in 39 1/3 frames for the Nats in 2018. Even in that down year, though, Solis averaged 10.1 K/9 with a solid 12.9 percent swinging-strike rate, and a 31.7 percent chase rate on pitches outside the strike zone. He’s averaged 94 mph on his heater at the big league level, and his track record in Triple-A aligns closely with what he’s done this season. Solis has been a bit more effective against righties than lefties in his career at the big league level, and that has emphatically been the case thus far in a small sample of innings with El Paso. At his best in 2015-16, he found success against hitters from both sides of the dish.

He’s a long ways from earning a trip back through the arbitration process, but if Solis does return to the Majors and find enough success that a new team wants to keep him into the offseason, he’d be controllable for multiple seasons. At present, Solis would be controlled through 2021 via arbitration, but by mid June there wouldn’t be enough time left in the season for him to reach four full years of MLB service, which would push a team’s control over him back another year.

Al Santorini Jersey

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – Union High School alumni Al Santorini was among the group of nine Garden State sports luminaries inducted into the NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) Bollinger Hall of Fame on Monday, December 7.

A baseball legend at Union High School, pitcher Al Santorini was an All-State, First-Team performer in 1964, 1965, and 1966. He graduated with a career 35-1 record, recorded 552 strikeouts, and had an earned run average below 1.0. A first round draft pick of the Braves in 1966, then a first round expansion draft pick by the Padres in 1969, he played ten seasons in the Major Leagues.

Other Union County inductees included Scotch Plains-Fanwood resident Jeffrey Hammonds and Westfield’s Jeff Torborg.

Among the finest athletes ever produced at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, Jeffrey Hammonds earned baseball All-Conference and All-County honors in 1987, 1988 and 1989. In addition, he was NJ’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 1989. In the 1992 draft, Hammonds was selected fourth overall by the Baltimore Orioles — ahead of Derek Jeter, who was chosen by the Yankees. Hammonds played a dozen seasons in MLB with the Orioles, Reds, Rockies, Brewers, Giants, and Nationals. For his career, Hammonds hit .272 and slugged 110 home runs.

Former New York Mets manager Jeff Torborg of Westfield, was an NFL Pro Bowler, and an Olympic sprinter once recognized as the “world’s fastest human”. A catcher at Westfield High School, Jeff Torborg was named All-State, First Team. He signed a professional contract with the Dodgers, spent 10 seasons in MLB. And after his playing days ended managed the New York Mets (1992-’93), as well as the Indians, White Sox, Expos, and Marlins. In 1990, he was the AL’s Manager of the Year.

The remaining inductees include Art Still, a football stand-out at Camden High School, where he was named to the All-South Jersey Team by the South Jersey Press. In the NFL, he played for 12 seasons with the Chiefs and Bills, and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1980, ’81, ’82, and ’84.

Frank Budd, who passed away in 2014, was an exceptional athlete at Asbury Park High School and Villanova. He competed in the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, finishing fifth in the 100-yard dash. A year later assumed the title of “world’s fastest human” by establishing a new, 100-yard dash world record (9.2 seconds) at the National AAU Championships.

Winslow Township High School state champion wrestler Jordan Burroughs competed for the University of Nebraska, where he was an undefeated national champion both as a junior and senior. He was a World Champion in 2011 and 2013, and following a defeat at the 2014 World Championships in Uzbekistan, he recaptured his title in September in Las Vegas.

Matt Keough Jersey

The 1994 strike marked a turning point of sorts for an Angels team that had been perpetually frustrated for more than a decade.

The Angels, and the rest of the American League West, had little at stake when the strike began. They were well under .500 and somehow still only 5 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. General manager Bill Bavasi even entertained trading for a closer.

“The only thing I can compare it to is the movie, ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’” Bavasi said. “Somebody should have put that division out of its misery.”

The strike accomplished that — although there was at least one under-the-radar casualty. Angels utilityman Rex Hudler failed to get a hit in his final at-bat before the strike and his batting average slipped under .300. He had not finished better than .282 during his previous eight major league campaigns.

Even more distressing was the limbo the players had launched themselves into. They had known for weeks the disputes would come to a head. Instead of celebrating Gary DiSarcina’s walk-off hit in a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 10, the Angels laid out their bags after that Wednesday night game and stuffed them with belongings. They were supposed to travel to Detroit the next day and were uncertain they would return to Anaheim Stadium.

The morning of Aug. 11 the bags were loaded onto buses for the drive to the airport. The coaches and trainers took their seats. But no players showed up and the trip was canceled.
When baseball ground to a halt Aug. 12, leading to the cancellation of the season a few weeks later, the players hunkered down to fight.

Pitcher Mark Langston, who has been a radio analyst for the Angels since 2013, was the Angels’ union representative. He held hours-long conference calls with his teammates during the labor strike, reiterating to those whose conviction had begun to waver how important it was to stay united.

“We were trying to protect [ourselves] to the point to where we got to,” said Langston, who was 33 at the time. “There were many, many people well before us that laid it out for us. That was the theme you talked to the players about.

“You can’t go backward. You start going backward, that’s never going to reappear again. That will disappear forever.”

Said outfielder Tim Salmon, who’d been American League rookie of the year in 1993: “We weren’t complaining about what we had. We were trying to maintain it. We knew what a salary cap would do.”

The players eventually won, and the Angels, improbably, came back stronger.

In 1995 the strike ended, baseball resumed April 26, and the Angels flourished. Center fielder Jim Edmonds became an All-Star for the first time. Left fielder Garret Anderson and closer Troy Percival finished second and fourth, respectively, in rookie-of-the-year balloting. Salmon hit .330 and finished third in the race for the batting title.

Manager Marcel Lachemann and the coaches ruled with a firm touch. The Angels grew more disciplined. They were never more than three games out first place. They won 17 of 20 games after the All-Star break and built an 11-game lead in the division.

But the Angels spiraled when DiSarcina, the shortstop, suffered a thumb injury that sidelined him for seven weeks. The offense that had produced 6.2 runs per game was nearly silenced. All-Star left-hander Chuck Finley, who had given up more than three earned runs in only five of his first 21 starts, stumbled. The pitching staff had a 5.19 ERA in the final 56 games. It was one of baseball greatest collapses.

The Angels resurrected their postseason dreams by winning five of seven games to tie for the division lead and force a one-game playoff in Seattle. The Mariners won in a blowout, with Randy Johnson pitching a three-hitter and striking out 12 batters.

Underpinning those exponential strides was a savvy preseason move that shipped Chad Curtis to Detroit for veteran leadoff hitter Tony Phillips. Phillips provided the boost advance scout Matt Keough, who pushed Bavasi to make the trade, predicted he would.

“It was a mixture of youth coming into their own with some good vets around them,” Salmon said.

The Angels’ frustrations, of course, did not end for several more years. Strife at the top of the organization continued to trickle down to the field. They didn’t reach the postseason until 2002.

The Angels, still relying on Salmon, Percival and Anderson, won the World Series that year. The trio helped usher in an age of prosperity that could trace its beginnings back to baseball’s darkest moment.

The strike had pushed Angels executives to improve team culture. Their efforts finally bore fruit.

“A lot of that team was together for the World Series in 2002,” Bavasi said. “They kind of learned how to be men on that 1995 club.”

Mitch Harris Jersey

BOSTON — Rich Hill’s extensive history of overcoming adversity has landed him a distinguished honor. The free-agent lefty has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Tony Conigliaro Award.

The award has been given out every year since 1990 to a Major Leaguer who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Tony C.

While many players would study up on Conigliaro’s legacy after winning this award, Hill — a native of Milton, Mass., who had two stints with the Red Sox, the latter of which helped resurrect his career — is well-versed on it.

“I’m really humbled and honored by this award and honestly a little thrown by it,” Hill said. “Having grown up here, I am very familiar with Tony C.’s story, so this means a lot to me and my family.”

Hill, who maintains an offseason home in the Boston area, will accept his award at the annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner on Jan. 16.

Conigliaro was another Bostonian who lived out his dream of playing for the Red Sox. However, Conigliaro’s career was shortened due to the after-effects of getting beaned during the 1967 “Impossible Dream” pennant race. Conigliaro, who had a heart attack in 1982, died at the age of 45 in 1990.

As for the 39-year-old Hill, he has stared career mortality in the face several times and has always found a way to come back.

In 2015, Hill was released from his Minor League contract by the Nationals. At that point, Hill decided he wanted to go back to being a starter — the role he had been in before several arm injuries derailed him.

Hill worked out at his former high school in Milton and was signed by the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. Later that summer, the Red Sox brought Hill back on a Minor League deal and he re-emerged as a September callup. In fact, Hill dominated, going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts.

After spending the first half of the 2016 season with the Athletics, Hill pitched some of the best baseball of his career for the Dodgers, helping him earn a three-year extension worth nearly $50 million. Over the past three-and-a-half years with Los Angeles, Hill went 30-16 with a 3.16 ERA over 69 appearances, including 68 starts.

In 2019, Hill was held to 13 starts as he dealt with left knee and forearm woes.

And he again finds himself on the comeback trail after undergoing primary and revision surgery on his left elbow in October. Hill hopes to make it back by June.

The Red Sox are one of the teams that could have interest in signing Hill.

Hill and his wife, Caitlin, faced significant adversity off the field as well, when their son, Brooks, died in 2014 just a few months after being born.

In 2019, Rich and Caitlin donated $575,000 in their late son’s name for a new campaign called Field Of Genes to help prevent tragedies like the one that happened to Brooks.

To purchase tickets to the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, please visit www.sportsmuseum.org or call (617) 624-1232. For more information, please contact Maria Kangas at [email protected]

Voting for the Tony Conigliaro Award was conducted by an 18-person committee headed by Red Sox team historian Gordon Edes and comprised of media members, MLB executives, Red Sox officials, fan representatives and Conigliaro’s brothers, Richie and Billy.

Tony Conigliaro Award recipients:

2019: Rich Hill, Dodgers

2018: Stephen Piscotty, Athletics

2017: Chad Bettis, Rockies

2016: Yangervis Solarte, Padres

2015: Mitch Harris, Cardinals

2014: Wilson Ramos, Nationals

2013: John Lackey, Red Sox

2012: R.A. Dickey, Mets

2011: Tony Campana, Cubs

2010: Joaquin Benoit, Rays

2009: Chris Carpenter, Cardinals

2008: Rocco Baldelli, Rays

2007: Jon Lester, Red Sox

2006: Freddy Sanchez, Pirates

2005: Aaron Cook, Rockies

2004: Dewon Brazelton, Rays

2003: Jim Mecir, Athletics

2002: Jose Rijo, Reds

2001: Jason Johnson, Orioles; Graeme Lloyd, Expos

2000: Kent Mercker, Angels; Tony Saunders, Marlins

1999: Mike Lowell, Marlins

1998: Bret Saberhagen, Red Sox

1997: Eric Davis, Orioles

1996: Curtis Pride, Tigers

1995: Scott Radinsky, White Sox

1994: Mark Leiter, Angels

1993: Bo Jackson, White Sox

1992: Jim Abbott, Angels

1991: Dickie Thon, Phillies

1990: Jim Eisenreich, Royals

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Read more: Boston Red Sox Tony Conigliaro Rich Hill