Jays, Rangers ready to slug it out in ALDS

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays have slugged their way back to the AL Di­vi­sion Se­ries, and now they get an op­po­nent clearly not afraid to swing back. The Jays and Rangers open a re­match of last year’s ALDS, which in­cluded Bautista’s homer and em­phatic bat flip in Game 5. The cel­e­bra­tion irked Texas, and sec­ond base­man Rougned Odor punched Bautista in the face fol­low­ing Bautista’s hard slide the last time the teams met on May 15. Toronto right-han­der Marco Estrada and Texas lefty Cole Hamels will pitch in Game 1.

Hello old friend

In­di­ans man­ager Terry Fran­cona is en­ter­ing his sev­enth post­sea­son, but he’s yet to get a task quite like this — com­pet­ing against his for­mer team. Bos­ton and Cleve­land be­gin their ALDS, pit­ting Fran­cona against a close friend in Red Sox man­ager John Far­rell and for­mer play­ers like David Or­tiz and Dustin Pe­droia. “I don’t think I’d want to ig­nore it,” Fran­cona said Wed­nes­day of his ties to the Red Sox. “There’s a lot of his­tory there, a lot of peo­ple I really care about. But I’ve been here four years. It’s not a bad thing when you move on. Some­times it’s just time to move on.” Bos­ton’s 22-game win­ner Rick Por­cello starts Game 1 against Cleve­land righty Trevor Bauer.

Keystone de­ci­sion

Daniel Mur­phy still hasn’t re­vealed whether he’ll be ready for Game 1 of Wash­ing­ton’s NLDS against the Dodgers on Fri­day. Mur­phy is re­cov­er­ing from a strained mus­cle in his but­tocks and hasn’t played since Sept. 17. The sec­ond base­man worked out with team­mates, run­ning the bases while tak­ing live bat­ting prac­tice and grounders on Wed­nes­day. Af­ter­ward, he said he “felt really good,” and Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker’s said “he’s mov­ing around with more con­fi­dence.”

Robo-call

Ro­bot umps could be com­ing to the ma­jor leagues ... one day. Com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred said at Citi Field on Wed­nes­day that he can en­vi­sion a day when me­chan­i­cal um­pires could be tested to call balls and strikes. “As tech­nol­ogy con­tin­ues to im­prove and those sorts of ad­just­ments can be made real time, that tech­nol­ogy will be­come more fea­si­ble for use on the field,” Man­fred said. “I don’t be­lieve we are there yet.”

Po­lice ID Toronto fan who threw beer

Toronto po­lice say they are con­fi­dent they have made a pos­i­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the fan who threw a beer at Bal­ti­more out­fielder Hyun Soo Kim dur­ing the sev­enth in­ning of Tues­day night’s AL wild-card game.

The man al­leged to have thrown the beer has come for­ward, telling the Cana­dian Press he con­tacted po­lice Wed­nes­day evening af­ter po­lice re­leased a photo of him. Po­lice have not con­firmed his name.

Post­media Net­work spokes­woman Phyl­lise Gelfand con­firmed that Ken Pa­gan is a copy ed­i­tor for the news or­ga­ni­za­tion and says it is con­duct­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Toronto po­lice de­tec­tive Pat Al­berga has said security cam­era footage in­side the sta­dium helped iden­tify the sus­pect.

Richard W. Ro­driguez — Star-Tele­gram via AP

In this May 15, 2016, file photo, Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista is hit by Texas Rangers sec­ond base­man Rougned Odor, right, af­ter Bautista slid into sec­ond dur­ing a base­ball game at Globe Life Park in Ar­ling­ton, Texas.

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