Yankees' clinch on hold after HRs off Tanaka

Yankees' clinch on hold after HRs off Tanaka

TORONTO -- Ryan Goins pulled off a hidden ball trick that caught Todd Frazier napping, then slugged a grand slam that ended Masahiro Tanaka's night as the Blue Jays trounced the Yankees, 8-1, on Friday evening at Rogers Centre, delaying New York's postseason clinch for at least one more day.

New York's magic number is down to one after the Angels and Rangers both lost Friday night. The Yankees can secure a postseason spot Saturday with a victory over Toronto or losses by both the Halos and Texas. New York fell four games behind Boston in the American League East with the Red Sox's win at Cincinnati. The club's lead for the first AL Wild Card spot stood at 5 1/2 games over the Twins after Minnesota's win at Detroit.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rogers that! Judge hits Toronto-best 469-footer

Longest HR in Jays' park this year; 2nd-longest of Yankees slugger's career

Rogers that! Judge hits Toronto-best 469-footer

TORONTO -- Aaron Judge's September surge continued on Friday evening with the longest home run hit at Rogers Centre this season, a 469-foot blast to the second deck in left field off the Blue Jays' Marco Estrada -- the lone run the Yanks scored in an 8-1 loss to Toronto.

Judge's American League-leading 46th home run gave the Yankees a quick lead in the top of the first inning, and it was the second-longest home run of his brief Major League career, behind only a 495-foot shot on June 11 at Yankee Stadium off the Orioles' Logan Verrett.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frazier reaches out to dad of fan hit by foul ball

Frazier reaches out to dad of fan hit by foul ball

TORONTO -- Todd Frazier had a conversation with the father of the young girl who was struck by a foul ball during the Yankees' 11-3 win over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, and the New York third baseman was encouraged to hear that she "is doing OK."

Frazier was shaken after connecting with the line drive against left-hander Nik Turley that sliced into the seats beyond third base. Play halted for four minutes as Frazier crouched outside the batter's box, saying a silent prayer while medical personnel provided assistance and transported the fan from the seating area.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray, Yanks seek postseason clinch in Toronto

Gray, Yanks seek postseason clinch in Toronto

The Yankees will have a chance to secure a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2015 when they face the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

With a magic number of one, New York can secure at least one of the two American League Wild Card spots with a win over Toronto. If they lose, the Yankees can still lock up a spot with an Astros win over the Angels and an A's win over the Rangers.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bernie Williams continues anthem tour

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Bernie Williams continues anthem tour

Bernie Williams was a five-time All-Star during his 16-year big league career with the Yankees. But clearly baseball wasn't his lone skill.

The 49-year-old also is a ridiculously good musician, as evidenced by his version of the national anthem on the guitar prior to Friday's series opener between the White Sox and the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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Inbox: Who's most trusted to start WC Game?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers Yankees fans' questions

Inbox: Who's most trusted to start WC Game?

If the Yankees find themselves in the American League Wild Card Game, who will manager Joe Girardi hand the ball to?
-- Skylar P., Warren, Vt.

Even though Luis Severino stumbled this week in his first look at the Twins, all indications are that Girardi is still leaning toward handing the young right-hander the ball if the Yankees wind up in a win-or-go-home postseason game, though that's less than certain. The idea behind shifting Severino to Wednesday was that he can now still pitch twice before the end of the regular season, should the Yanks have a chance to catch the Red Sox and avoid the Oct. 3 AL Wild Card Game altogether.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Joe Posnanski

Yanks over Twins in WC Game? Not so fast

Unpredictability of one-game format may negate years of New York dominance

Yanks over Twins in WC Game? Not so fast

There was a moment on Wednesday -- admittedly a brief and fleeting moment, but if you are a Minnesota baseball fan, you take them when you get them -- when it looked like the Minnesota Twins would beat the New York Yankees and even up the season series at three games apiece. This would have been a big deal. The Twins have not split a season series with the Yankees in more than a decade.

The Twins took a 3-0 lead in the third inning, thanks to a surprising flurry of hits against Luis Severino, the generally unhittable young Yankees starter. For the season, only Corey Kluber and Chris Sale have allowed fewer hits per nine innings among American League starters. But the Twins scraped together four hits and a walk and took a 3-0 lead. That gave them a roughly 80 percent expectancy of winning the game.

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Joe Posnanski is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, an Emmy Award-winning writer and has been awarded National Sportswriter of the Year. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge hits HR No. 45 as young Yanks rake

Slugger goes back-to-back with Sanchez; Gregorius passes Jeter

Judge hits HR No. 45 as young Yanks rake

NEW YORK -- The young Yankees busted out the bats in Wednesday afternoon's 11-3 win over the Twins, beginning with Aaron Judge's American League-leading 45th home run, as the rookie slugger went back-to-back with fellow "Baby Bomber" Gary Sanchez in the third inning off right-hander Bartolo Colon.

One inning later, Didi Gregorius connected for his 25th blast of the season as part of a six-run frame, a three-run shot that set a single-season record for homers by a Yankees shortstop. The previous mark had been set by Derek Jeter's 24 homers in 1999, and Gregorius made sure to bring the milestone ball home.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castro getting back in groove at plate

Yankees encouraged by 2nd baseman using whole field

Castro getting back in groove at plate

NEW YORK -- Starlin Castro says that he is a more dangerous hitter when he is able to use the entire field, which is why the Yankees have been encouraged to see the All-Star infielder get back to spraying balls around the diamond.

Castro had three hits in New York's 5-2 victory over the Twins on Tuesday evening, improving to 6-for-18 (.333) on the club's homestand entering Wednesday. Castro had endured a mild slide of late, carrying a 5-for-37 (.135) skid into the series against Minnesota.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gregorius apologized to catcher after bat flip

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Gregorius apologized to catcher after bat flip

Didi Gregorius smacked his 25th home run of the season on Wednesday, breaking the record held by Derek Jeter for most home runs in a season by a Yankees shortstop. And, in the process, he revealed himself to be quite the gentleman.

With the Yankees hosting the Twins, Gregorius' record-breaking home run resulted in an accidental flip of the bat - one which made contact with catcher Jason Castro. When Sir Didi realized what happened, he turned around to check on Castro, giving him a tap on the knee to make sure he was OK.

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Judge's 45th HR helps Yanks sweep Twins

Judge's 45th HR helps Yanks sweep Twins

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez launched back-to-back homers, and Didi Gregorius also went deep as the Yankees continued to fire on all cylinders in pursuit of a postseason berth, completing a series sweep of the Twins with an 11-3 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Judge connected for his American League-leading 45th homer and Sanchez hit his 32nd homer, tops among all big league catchers, as the Yankees thumped Bartolo Colon for six runs in 3 1/3 innings. Yankees batters collected 15 hits, eight for extra bases, as the Bombers (85-67) secured their 10th win in 12 games to move a season-high 18 games over .500.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees turn fan's thumbs-down into a T-shirt

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Yankees turn fan's thumbs-down into a T-shirt

By now you've no doubt heard about Gary Dunaier, the lifelong Mets fan who gave Todd Frazier a resounding thumbs-down after he went deep during the Yankees-Rays series at Citi Field last week. Just in case, and because this can never be seen enough, here's a reminder.

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Yanks back CC, cut playoff magic number to 5

Yanks back CC, cut playoff magic number to 5

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia recovered from a shaky first inning to provide six solid frames and Brett Gardner drove in a pair of runs on Tuesday evening, leading the Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Twins in another meeting of the top clubs in the American League Wild Card hunt.

Gardner and Starlin Castro each had three hits as the Yankees won their sixth straight series. Sabathia limited Minnesota to a solo homer and a run-scoring double-play grounder in a 77-pitch outing, helping the Yankees remain three games behind the Red Sox in the American League East chase while moving six games ahead of the Twins for the first AL Wild Card spot.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB, clubs redoubling efforts on netting

MLB, clubs redoubling efforts on netting

NEW YORK -- A young girl in the stands was struck by a batted ball in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 11-3 win against the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, briefly delaying play on the field while players looked on, clearly shaken by the situation.

Facing Minnesota left-hander Nik Turley, New York's Todd Frazier hit a foul ball down the left-field line that went into the stands. Frazier stepped out of the batter's box and crouched, saying a silent prayer and kissing his bat as medical personnel provided assistance and transported the fan from the seating area.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CC 3rd, behind Hall of Famers, on lefty K list

CC 3rd, behind Hall of Famers, on lefty K list

NEW YORK -- In the statistical category of strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher, CC Sabathia will eventually end his career clutching the bronze medal, and that sounds just fine to the longtime Yankees hurler.

Sabathia moved into third place all-time in the second inning of Tuesday's 5-2 victory over the Twins, striking out five to finish the evening with 2,836 career whiffs. Among lefties, he trails Hall of Famers Randy Johnson (4,875) and Steve Carlton (4,136).

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Overpowering Twins, Aroldis bails out Betances

Overpowering Twins, Aroldis bails out Betances

NEW YORK -- The therapy session took place in the first-base dugout after Aroldis Chapman bailed the Yankees out of a hairy situation, having been summoned to extinguish a bases-loaded, one-out jam. With the lefty's triple-digit heat doing so, Dellin Betances was relieved in more ways than one.

Off the hook after loading the bases on a hit batsman and two walks, Betances approached Chapman and told him, "My bad." Chapman smiled and offered a few encouraging words, then polished off a five-out save in a 2-1 Yankees victory over the Twins that provided the aroma of a postseason contest.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge belts 44th HR, continues to rule at home

Opposite-field blast vs. Twins is slugger's 28th at Yankee Stadium

Judge belts 44th HR, continues to rule at home

NEW YORK -- The Yankees play all but three of their remaining regular-season games at Yankee Stadium, and that is a welcome fact for Aaron Judge.

Judge blasted his American League-leading 44th home run off Twins right-hander Ervin Santana in the first inning of the Yankees' 2-1 victory on Monday evening, marking the 28th homer that Judge has hit in the Bronx this year. That is tied with the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, who has hit 28 of his Major League-leading 55 homers at Marlins Park, the latest also coming Monday night.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Adams on list of prospects with soaring stock

Adams on list of prospects with soaring stock

On Monday, we took a look at hitters who made the biggest leap forward in terms of prospect status in 2017. Now it's time to turn attention to the mound.

The pitchers on this list all turned in terrific seasons to jump much more firmly on the radar, pitching across multiple levels, often very young for the league they were in at the time. Some have gone from off the Top 100 prospects list to firmly on it, while others have leapt from the end of the list up close to the top.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge homers, Yanks top Twins on 5-out save

Judge homers, Yanks top Twins on 5-out save

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his American League-leading 44th home run and Jaime Garcia turned in his best start for his new club before Aroldis Chapman extinguished a threat in the eighth inning, converting his first five-out save in more than two years as the Yankees secured a 2-1 victory over the Twins on Monday at Yankee Stadium.

In what could have been a preview of the American League Wild Card Game, the Yankees remained three games behind the Red Sox in the AL East but padded their advantage to five games over the Twins for the first AL Wild Card. Minnesota leads the second AL Wild Card by 1 1/2 games over the Angels.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks hope Gardner powers up down stretch

Outfielder hasn't gone deep since belting 20th homer on Aug. 20

Yanks hope Gardner powers up down stretch

NEW YORK -- Earlier this season, Aaron Judge grinned and called Brett Gardner "a little ball of muscle," with the Yankees' power-hitting rookie observing that a home run surge had seemed long overdue and urging his teammate to continue hitting for power whenever possible.

"I was kind of tired of seeing him try to slap balls to start the game off," Judge said then.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray struggles as Yanks' win streak snapped

Gray struggles as Yanks' win streak snapped

NEW YORK -- After watching Aaron Judge thump his pitching staff all season, Orioles manager Buck Showalter decided that he wanted no part of him with the game on the line on Sunday afternoon, intentionally walking the rookie slugger to bring the potential winning run to the plate in the ninth inning.

Showalter's gamble paid off. Zach Britton struck out Gary Sanchez to pin two runners on, closing out the Orioles' 6-4 victory over the Yankees as Baltimore salvaged the finale of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Didi ties Jeter's club record with 24th homer

Didi ties Jeter's club record with 24th homer

NEW YORK -- Didi Gregorius arrived in The Bronx three years ago facing the daunting challenge of replacing Derek Jeter as the Yankees' starting shortstop. When it comes to hitting the ball out of the yard, he has now equaled The Captain's best single-season performance.

Gregorius homered for the third straight game in the Yankees' 6-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon and now has 24 blasts, matching Jeter's 1999 record for the most homers hit by a shortstop in franchise history.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hicks, Warren making strides in rehab

Hicks, Warren making strides in rehab

NEW YORK -- The Yankees are moving closer to welcoming a pair of important pieces back to their active roster, with outfielder Aaron Hicks and right-handed reliever Adam Warren showing progress in their respective injury recoveries.

On the disabled list since Sept. 6 (retroactive to Sept. 3) with lower back spasms, Warren played long toss on flat ground prior to Saturday's 9-3 victory over the Orioles and reported no issues on Sunday.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks keep rolling as Monty, HRs roast Birds

Yanks keep rolling as Monty, HRs roast Birds

NEW YORK -- Blending their rejuvenated power-hitting offense with some strong pitching, the Yankees clinched their 25th consecutive winning season while continuing to keep the heat on the Red Sox in the American League East race.

Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird hit a pair of three-run homers to support Jordan Montgomery's scoreless outing as New York secured a 9-3 victory over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, its 11th win in 14 games.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bird soars with confidence, consistency intact

First baseman slugs three-run homer, his fourth since returning from DL

Bird soars with confidence, consistency intact

NEW YORK -- Greg Bird knew there would eventually be nights like this again, but as weeks turned into months on the disabled list, there were times when the Yankees first baseman wondered how long it was going to take.

Bird homered for the second consecutive game on Saturday, slugging a three-run shot in the fourth inning off Jeremy Hellickson during the Yankees' 9-3 victory over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Playing in just his 36th game of the year, Bird believes he can still finish his year on a high note.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andujar recalled, looks to build on stellar debut

Girardi confident in young infielder, who went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs in 1st game in June

Andujar recalled, looks to build on stellar debut

NEW YORK -- There had been some temptation to keep Miguel Andujar around after the infielder's terrific first impression in June, when he went straight from the airport to the history books by becoming the first Yankee ever to notch three hits and four RBIs in his Major League debut.

With Andujar rated as the organization's No. 6 prospect and the No. 97 prospect in baseball overall by MLB Pipeline, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is among those who believe that the 22-year-old has even brighter days ahead. Now that Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's season is complete, Andujar was recalled on Saturday for his third big league stint of the year.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Thumbs-down' guy is a Mets fan

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'Thumbs-down' guy is a Mets fan

Earlier this week, with the Tampa area still recovering from Hurricane Irma, the Yankees and Rays played a three-game set at Citi Field in Queens. During Monday's game, Todd Frazier launched a three-run home run to left field -- and as he rounded the bases, one fan decided to express his displeasure via one very nonplussed thumbs-down.

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Didi's 4 RBIs lift Yanks in Girardi's 900th NY win

Didi's 4 RBIs lift Yanks in Girardi's 900th NY win

NEW YORK -- As far as the Yankees are concerned, the American League East race is far from over. New York, which manager Joe Girardi has repeatedly said is not content with the top AL Wild Card spot, used a four-RBI night from Didi Gregorius and another dominant eight-inning start from Luis Severino to win for the sixth time in seven games with Friday's 8-2 victory over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

The win -- Girardi's 900th as Yankees manager -- kept the Yanks from losing ground on the first-place Red Sox as they try to pull off a late surge. New York remained three games behind Boston, which beat Tampa Bay in 15 innings Friday night.

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Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Roger Rubin is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.