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`Gentleman's agreement' in MLB will fall to wayside

Some teams plan to use tightened rules on foreign substances to their advantage


At least three major league teams will ask umpires to check opposing pitchers for foreign substances if use is suspected, ESPN reported.

Until now, there has been what ESPN called “a gentleman's agreement” among managers to look the other way. But now, with Major League Baseball umpires being instructed to enforce the rules against foreign substances starting Monday, some teams apparently are ready to use the rule to their advantage.

Umpires could be asked for checks if managers are told, for example, that a video suggests the opposing pitcher is using something he shouldn't.

It's something managers have been hesitant to do in the past, even with suspicions, out of fear their pitchers would be checked. But those days are changing, one “high-ranking talent evaluator” told ESPN.

“We've been telling our pitchers that if they have been using, they need to stop,” the evaluator said. “The whole sport is looking to level the playing field. We have an expectatio­n our guys will honour the rule.”

Staff members from two other organizati­ons shared the same thoughts with ESPN.

Under MLB'S new standards, pitchers will face inspection­s even if they are not requested. If found with foreign substances to assist with grip on the ball, such as pine tar or sunscreen, the pitchers will be ejected and given a 10-game suspension.


Major League Soccer is launching a new 20-team profession­al pathway league in 2022.

The venture announced on Monday will expand the sport to new markets and serve as an intermedia­te step between the MLS player academies and the MLS first teams.

“In addition to providing more opportunit­ies for Mls-calibre players, the new league will develop a diverse talent pool of coaches, referees and front office executives while also attracting fans who previously were unable to support a local club in their hometown,” MLS president and deputy commission­er Mark Abbott said in a news release.

The league will begin play in late March 2022 and conclude with playoffs in the fall and a championsh­ip match in early December. Further details, including the league's name and logo and the participat­ing franchises, will be unveiled throughout the next year.


Minnesota Wild assistant general manager Tom Kurvers, a former Hobey Baker Award winner and Stanley Cup champion, died Monday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 58.

The Wild issued a statement extending their sympathies to Kurvers' wife, Heather, and their four children.

A Minnesota native, Kurvers played parts of 11 NHL seasons with seven franchises from 198495 and accumulate­d 421 points (93 goals, 328 assists) and 350 penalty minutes in 659 games with the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks.

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