LEADING OFF: Racial justice protests reverberate through MLB

MLB

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

PLAYER PROTESTS

After three games were called off while players used their platform to call attention to racial injustice, the question is whether more postponements or a wider boycott in baseball are possible.

Three games that weren’t played Wednesday were set to be made up as part of doubleheaders on Thursday. Those games will be between the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.

The Brewers were the first team to decide not to take the field as a protest over the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the team’s home state of Wisconsin. Other MLB games had finished, were in progress or just about to start as the Brewers’ decision was announced.

Braves star Freddie Freeman said he expected his team would discuss the boycotts during its off day. Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez, in emotional postgame remarks, said he would talk to his players about how to proceed amid a pause in play by teams and players in several sports including basketball, soccer and tennis.

”I’m proud of the NBA. I’m proud of all the people who stand for justice. You know the way I feel about all this stuff. It’s horrible,” Martinez said. ”We need change. We’re people. We have to come up with some kind of conclusion because this is bad. I’m going to talk to the players. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

JUDGE HURT AGAIN

Aaron Judge’s return was brief for the hurting New York Yankees, who lave lost five straight.

Playing for the first time since being activated from the injured list after battling a strained right calf, he was in the lineup in the second game of a doubleheader against the Braves. He went 1 for 3 and left in the middle of the sixth inning. Manager Aaron Boone said Judge’s calf ”tightened up again” while running to second base following his fourth-inning single.

”Obviously he’s very frustrated,” Boone said.

MOVING ON

The Pittsburgh Pirates are happy to be leaving Chicago after getting no-hit by Lucas Giolito of the White Sox on Tuesday night and then getting routed 10-3 on Wednesday.

At least they never were in danger of having another no-hitter thrown against them. Cole Tucker hit Dallas Keuchel’s first pitch up the middle for a single.

”I pretty decided this morning when I rolled out of bed that I was swinging first pitch today,” Tucker said. ”Just because I wanted to get the bad juju off of us from last night.”

The Pirates head to St. Louis, where they are scheduled for a doubleheader on Thursday.

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