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MLB enters a lockout for first time since 1995

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Well it’s official.

After failing to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement by midnight, the MLB has formally announced a lock out of its players. It’s the league’s first work stoppage in 26 years, which took place for nearly eight months between August 12, 1994 – April 2, 1995.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released a letter to fans, urging them to remain positive and hopeful as negotiations between the league and the players association get underway.

“We believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season,” wrote Manfred.

“We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the players’ association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive.”

During this process, teams will not be able to sign or trade players. However, clubs will be allowed to pay players any bonuses they are owed in the coming weeks or months. Players are not allowed to train or work out at club facilities, and are allowed to sign with other leagues assuming the strike lasts deep enough into the offseason.

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Nationals have “made it clear” they are not trading Juan Soto

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Washington Nationals fans can breathe a sigh of relief…for now.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo squashed recent rumours suggesting Juan Soto’s time in the Nation’s capital could be coming to an end, saying during an interview with a local radio station that the team will not be trading their superstar slugger under any circumstances.

“We are not trading Juan Soto…We have made it clear to his agent and to the player. … These journalists have to fill a blank sheet of paper every day. It’s a good thing to get some attention on a story. But we have every intention of building this team around Juan Soto.” said Rizzo.

“We’ve spoken to his agent many, many times (and) recently sat with him when he was in Washington, D.C. Made it clear to him that we are not interested in trading him, and I guess the rest of the world just doesn’t believe it.”

Lets face it: the Nationals are in rebuild mode and Soto’s contract expires in a few years. He reported turned down a massive 13-year, $350-million contract extension over the summer, and is in the prime of his career. Adding this all up, you would think the Nationals would at least explore the idea of trading him and getting a kings ransom for him in order to set themselves up nicely for their next contention window.

But if you believe in Rizzo’s words, the team feels they still have a chance at convincing him to stay and believe he will be able to still contribute in a big way once they get good again.

The 23-year old has amassed .294/.426/.539 slash line to go along with 107 homers and 328 RBI in just four-plus seasons in the majors. He has also won two Silver Slugger Awards, an NL batting title, a World Series title, and was recently a runner-up for NL MVP in 2021.

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Veteran lefty JA Happ retires from baseball after 15 MLB seasons

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Longtime MLB pitcher JA Happ is calling it quits after an exceptional career.

The 39-year old lefty officially announced his decision to retire from baseball during an appearance on the ‘Heart Strong Podcast’.

“I didn’t maybe feel what I needed to feel in order to think I wanted to keep doing this. I felt like that was a sign, like ’OK, it’s time to go,'” said Happ.

“I think I’m still processing it, but I do wake up feeling good about it, and I’m happy to start the process of being a full-time dad, for the time being, at the very least.”

Happ pitched 15 seasons in the MLB with eight different teams, most notably the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Houston Astros.

During his career, he posted an 89-63 record, 4.23 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 1095 strikeouts and 397 walks over a span of 1226.2 innings pitched.

He was noted for being a reliable and consistent back of the rotation type of starter who peaked later in his career, making his lone MLB All-Star appearance in 2018.

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MUST WATCH: Aaron Judge wins it for the Yankees with a walk-off three-run blast!

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The Toronto Blue Jays were up by two runs heading into the bottom of the 9th with one of the best closers in the game in Jordan Romano taking the mound.

You would think it was almost a 100% certainty that the Blue Jays would end up with the win.

Unfortunately for them, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had other plans!

Surprisingly, this was the first walk-off bomb in Judge’s career.

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