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Atlantic League ends trials with 61-foot mounds, robo umps

NEW YORK (AP) — The Atlantic League is restoring its pitching mound to 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate and returning strike zone judgement to umpires after experimenting with moving the rubber back a foot and using an automatic ball-strike system.

The independent league announced the changes Thursday as part of its partnership with Major League Baseball. The sides have been paired since . . .

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MLB talks resume after 42-day gap, little progress evident

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball labor talks to end the lockout resumed Thursday for the first time in 1 1/2 months with little evident progress during a bargaining session that lasted about an hour, jeopardizing a timely start to spring training,

Major League Baseball imposed the lockout on Dec. 2 as soon as the five-year collective bargaining contract expired, a few hours after talks broke off.

The discussions Thursday were the first on core economic issues following a 42-day gap, and MLB made proposals it hoped would at least start to generate momentum.

After MLB made its proposal, the sides caucused. The players’ association . . .

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Yanks’ Balkovec living ‘American dream’ with manager role

NEW YORK (AP) — Rachel Balkovec is aware of the negativity in her social media feeds and tries to leave it there. Her sisters see it, too, and can’t help but pass along certain disparaging reactions to her barrier-breaking journey.

“It’s hilarious to me,” Balkovec said. “Because it’s the American dream.”

In the clubhouse? She hasn’t seen any of that toxicity there.

Balkovec was introduced Wednesday as manager of the New York Yankees’ Low A affiliate in the Florida State League. In taking over the . . .

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Former Cubs, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester announces retirement

CHICAGO (AP) — Jon Lester, a durable left-hander who won three World Series titles during 16 years in the majors, has announced his retirement.

Lester, who turned 38 on Friday, finishes with a 200-117 record and a 3.66 ERA in 452 career games, including 451 starts. He also has been a reliable postseason performer, compiling a 2.51 ERA in 26 appearances.

The 6-foot-4 Lester helped Boston win the championship in 2007 and 2013, and led the Chicago Cubs to the title in 2016. The championship . . .

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Dave Gettleman out as Giants GM, says he is retiring

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Dave Gettleman knew exactly what the struggling New York Giants needed in taking over as general manager in late 2017.

The four-time Super Bowl champions needed some “hog mollies,” those big, mean road graders who opened holes for the running backs and gave quarterbacks time to throw.

If a team has them, they have to chance to challenge. Add in a couple of hog mollies on the defensive side and a franchise can . . .

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Former Mets acting GM Zack Scott acquitted of DUI charges

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Mets acting general manager Zack Scott was acquitted Thursday of drunken-driving charges stemming from his arrest last August after he attended a fundraiser at team owner Steve Cohen’s house, his attorney announced.

“Today, after hearing and seeing all the evidence against our client, a judge in the White Plains City Court acquitted Zack Scott of all criminal charges against him,” lawyer Bruce Bendish said in a statement. “We are grateful for the . . .

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