“The way that I play the game, running into walls, stealing, diving, I’m going to get hurt,” Schafer said. “Part of playing the game that way is you’re going to accumulate injuries. It’s inevitable. I’m not going to play 75 percent. That’s just not the person I am.”A knee injury ended Schafer’s 2015 season in May, which is one reason why he’s pitching now. This is a logical stopping point in his career, if there were such a thing.Considering all the time and money teams are investing in injury prevention research for pitchers, becoming a pitcher to avoid injury sounds like a backwards decision.Still, Schafer has a knack for the craft. The Hawkins strikeout might have been the high point in his two innings on Wednesday. His fastball touched 92 mph, his curveball consistently rolled over for strikes and his changeup and slider got a little work, too. More often, though, Schafer looked like a work in progress. He walked two batters and gave up two hits, the edges of the strike zone occasionally looking out of reach.Schafer thinks of pitching as an itch that never quite left his system. He’s willing to start the season at Double-A Tulsa, if that’s what it takes to reach the itch.“In the back of my mind,” he said, “I’ve always thought of myself more of a pitcher.”SportsNet LA reactionOne day after Time Warner Cable announced it would reduce the rate it was charging AT&T/DirecTV to carry SportsNet LA, several people with a vested interest in the Dodgers’ television saga responded.Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, Dodgers president Stan Kasten and several players supported the push to increase coverage of the Dodgers’ regional network.“The distribution dispute involving DirecTV, AT&T, Cox and Verizon has gone on too long,” Manfred said in a statement. “The Dodgers’ massive fan base deserves to be able to watch Dodger games regardless of their choice of provider. The situation is particularly acute given that this is Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully’s final season. Time Warner has made a significant economic move that I hope will be accepted by the providers.”“I am hopeful that we are close to breaking the deadlock and finally doing the right thing for Dodger fans,” Garcetti said in a statement. “If nothing else, let’s do it for Vin Scully.”Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, Joc Pederson and Brandon McCarthy re-tweeted the statement from their Twitter accounts. “Would be nothing better than knowing ALL of our amazing @Dodgers fans could watch us every day,” added catcher A.J. Ellis.Kasten called it “a wonderful gesture” and “a big win for the fans, and, frankly, a big win for the cable and satellite providers.”Time Warner Cable, which holds the distribution rights to SportsNet LA, said it would reduce its fee for the channel by 30 percent in an effort to spur negotiation. TWC is also the only television provider carrying the network in most of Southern California.A spokesperson for the AT&T entertainment group, which includes DirecTV, declined comment. GLENDALE, Ariz. >> Courtney Hawkins, a Top 100 prospect in the Chicago White Sox organization and a mountain of a man at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, tried to check his swing with two strikes, but couldn’t hold up. He left the batter’s box shaking his head at that irresistible fastball high and tight. There, in the blink of an eye, was a glimpse at the potential in Jordan Schafer’s left arm. Schafer is, in one sense, like any minor-league player wearing a Dodgers uniform. He’ll have some good moments, some bad, and until the good pound the bad into submission, he’ll be somewhere on the back fields of Camelback Ranch working it out.In another sense, well, why is the Minnesota Twins’ opening day center fielder of a year ago pitching in a Double-A game for the Dodgers at age 29? Schafer grins, maybe realizing for the first time how absurd that sounds.“Everybody has to do what makes them happy personally,” he said. “Hitting has always been something that’s given me great anxiety. It really has stressed me out a lot. I never enjoyed hitting in high school.”Despite Schafer’s anxiety, despite the fact that several major league teams scouted him in high school and liked him more on the mound, he had been an outfielder since the Atlanta Braves drafted him in 2005.Schafer toiled for 10 1/2 seasons with the Braves, Astros and Twins organizations. He logged 528 games in the minors, 463 in the majors, and more times than he’d care to remember on someone’s disabled list.Both of Schafer’s shoulders have been separated. He’s had surgery on his left wrist, fractured his left middle finger, fractured a bone in his right ankle (the result of a foul ball) and fractured his sinus cavity (another foul ball). Mentally and physically, the injuries took their toll. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error read more
Despite a close call in both the second round and Sweet 16, Duke remains the favorite to win the 2019 NCAA Tournament.The Blue Devils head to the Elite Eight as 14/5 favorites to win it all, according to Sportsbook.ag. Virginia and Gonzaga follow at 3/1 and 15/4, respectively. Zion Williamson and Duke escaped the Sweet 16 with a win over Virginia Tech, holding on for a 75-73 win to advance to a matchup with Michigan State.Here’s a look at the updated betting odds to win the 2019 NCAA Tournament.Updated odds to win 2019 NCAA TournamentDuke14/5Virginia3/1Gonzaga15/4Michigan St13/2Kentucky17/2Purdue10/1Texas Tech10/1Auburn20/1Odds as of March 30. This article will be updated throughout March and the NCAA Tournament.
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