FILE - In this May 8, 2013, file photo, Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun hits a triple during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Milwaukee. Braun says his thumb feels great while swinging following an offseason procedure to address nerve damage in his right hand. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Fatherhood has given Ryan Braun a different perspective on baseball and life in general. The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder has more pressing matters to worry about right now than whether an offseason medical procedure will finally fix the nerve damage near his right thumb that affected his swing. ''It's a lot of work,'' Braun said Sunday. So overall it's been great.'' Almost everything sounded rosy on Sunday at the Brewers On Deck winter fan outreach event, where Braun, catcher Jonathan Lucroy and other teammates signed autographs and met fans.


Posted: January 26, 2015, 12:29 am

FILE - Int his Aug. 13, 2013, file photl, former Chicago Cubs infielder Ernie Banks waves to the crowd before the Cubs' baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Chicago. Banks, the two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Cubs teams, died Friday night, Jan. 23, 2015. He was 83. The Cubs announced Banks' death, but did not provide a cause. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching, File)

Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks died after a heart attack, an attorney representing the Hall of Famer's family said Sunday. With Banks' widow standing nearby at a news conference at a downtown hotel, Mark Bogen said Banks had the heart attack Friday in Chicago and died later that day. ''I want you to know that he was very beloved and he is going to be dearly missed by family, friends and all his fans,'' Liz Banks said. The Cubs and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced that the statue of Banks that has stood outside Wrigley Field since 2008 will be placed in Chicago's Daley Plaza this week, remaining there from Wednesday morning through Saturday.


Posted: January 26, 2015, 12:15 am

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig looks on during an interview with The Associated Press in New York, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. On the final day of his nearly 22 1-2 years in charge of baseball, Selig talked about his legacy. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Bud Selig began his 8,173rd and final day in charge of baseball by waking up in a Manhattan hotel, having breakfast and working out. ... If one uses a lot of vision it could.'' Selig headed the group that forced Commissioner Fay Vincent's resignation in September 1992. Owner of the Milwaukee Brewers since 1970, he was put in charge as chairman of the executive council and finally elected commissioner in July 1998 after years of saying he would never take the job. His reign saw expanded playoffs and wild-card teams, interleague play, video review to aid umpires, expansion to Arizona and Tampa Bay, the formation of baseball's Internet and broadcast companies and the start of drug testing - too late for some critics.


Posted: January 25, 2015, 12:59 am

Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez follows the flight of his half-court shot during a timeout as the Boston Celtics faced the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, in Denver. The Celtics won 100-99. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

This has almost become an annual rite of impending spring: Troy Tulowitzki insisting he is healthy and can stay that way for an entire season. The Colorado Rockies often-injured shortstop realizes everyone is wary of such talk. ''Honestly, I can say I feel as good as new,'' Tulowitzki said Saturday at Rockiesfest, an event in which fans mingled with players at Coors Field. ''That stuff fuels me,'' said Tulowitzki, who hit .340 with 21 homers before shutting it down because of his balky hip.


Posted: January 25, 2015, 12:35 am
The Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with left-hander Brian Duensing on a $2.7 million, one-year deal to avoid arbitration. The Twins announced the deal on Saturday. It also allowed the Twins to reach deals with all six of their arbitration-eligible players without going to a hearing. He has been with the Twins all six of his years and asked for a raise from $2 million to $3.1 million.
Posted: January 24, 2015, 9:58 pm

Alan Trammell, former Detroit Tigers shortstop and current assistant to the general manager, answers a question from the crowd during the team's Winter Caravan event in Frankenmuth, Mich., Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Jeff Schrier)

Despite making plenty of changes in the offseason, the Detroit Tigers still expect to be a contending team in 2015. Team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski spoke at the team's annual TigerFest event at Comerica Park and addressed those issues. ''Our expectations are to win the division and try to win a world championship,'' Dombrowski said. ''It's just a less-certain club.'' Dombrowski said fans are not sure if shortstop Jose Iglesias and reliever Bruce Rondon can come back from missing time with injuries, if Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez can bounce back and what to expect from new pitchers Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene, plus new outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Anthony Gose.


Posted: January 24, 2015, 9:36 pm

FILE - In this May 30, 2013, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ted Lilly walks through the dugout during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif. The former major league baseball player has been charged in California with three felonies related to insurance fraud, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Former Major League Baseball player Ted Lilly has been charged in California with three felonies related to insurance fraud, according to a newspaper report. The charges stem from allegedly false insurance claims filed last year connected to Lilly's damaged recreational vehicle, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1L6bb1y ). An investigation by the state Department of Insurance found the RV sustained damage in a collision, and Lilly sought an estimate from a body shop on March 19, 2014. Lilly then bought insurance from Progressive on March 24 and claimed the damage on March 28, said Nancy Kincaid, a spokeswoman for the agency.


Posted: January 24, 2015, 8:16 pm
The Chicago White Sox have hired six-time National League steals champion Vince Coleman as a baserunning instructor. General manager Rick Hahn announced the hiring Saturday at the team's annual fan convention. Coleman, the last player with 100 steals in a season when he finished with 109 in 1987, will work with major leaguers and minor leaguers throughout the season. The White Sox hope he can help Adam Eaton and others.
Posted: January 24, 2015, 7:23 pm

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2014, file photo, San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series in San Francisco. A person with knowledge of the contract says free agent right-hander Ryan Vogelsong has reached agreement on a $4 million, one-year deal to stay with the Giants. Vogelsong's contract with the defending World Series champions is pending a physical, the person said Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced the deal. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Free agent right-hander Ryan Vogelsong reached agreement Friday on a $4 million, one-year deal to stay with the San Francisco Giants. Vogelsong passed a physical and reached the deal three days after general manager Brian Sabean said Vogelsong was close to joining another team - thought to be the Houston Astros. The 37-year-old adds depth to a rotation that features ace Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, who is working back from elbow surgery that ended his season in July.


Posted: January 23, 2015, 10:24 pm

New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki during the eighth inning of the baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Ichiro Suzuki has decided to play for the Miami Marlins. Suzuki and the team have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract, pending a physical, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. Suzuki's signing is just one of many eye-catching moves by the Marlins in this offseason, starting with the record $325 million, 13-year contract given in November to slugger Giancarlo Stanton. He topped the 200-hit mark in his first 10 major league seasons and has 2,844 MLB hits in his 14 seasons with the Yankees and Seattle Mariners.


Posted: January 23, 2015, 7:24 pm

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