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Sources — Forecast rain for Wednesday could alter NLCS, ALCS schedules

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The schedule for both the AL and NL Championship Series could be altered because of the forecast of heavy rain in New York on Wednesday, sources told ESPN.

With the possibility that ALCS Game 4 between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees is a washout for Wednesday night, Major League Baseball is considering moving a potential NLCS Game 5 between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals to that night, sources said. The NLCS game is currently scheduled to start at 4:08 p.m. ET, but on days there is only one game, MLB prefers to have the game in prime time.

If the rainout occurs, the Yankees and Astros — who play Game 3 Tuesday in New York with the series tied at 1-1 — would be rescheduled to play Games 4 and 5 on Thursday and Friday in New York, before returning to Houston for a potential Game 6 on Saturday.

Sources said MLB would likely announce any change in an NLCS Game 5 prior to Wednesday, giving the teams and fans time to adjust. The Nationals lead the series, 2-0, heading into Monday night’s Game 3, so that series could be over as soon as Tuesday night.

If the Yankees and Astros are delayed a day, it could affect pitching plans for both teams. The Astros could bring back Zack Greinke for Game 4 on regular rest, and the Yankees — who are planning a bullpen day for Game 4– could instead go back to Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest.

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Ex-Dodgers star Carl Crawford arrested on assault charge

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HOUSTON — Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Carl Crawford has been arrested after his former girlfriend accused him of assaulting her during an argument over a man she had begun dating.

An arrest affidavit filed Wednesday by Houston police states that Crawford went to the home of Gabriele Washington on May 8, produced a handgun from which he unloaded the ammunition in her presence, then demanded information on her latest dating relationship.

Washington told investigators Crawford pushed her to the floor, slammed her head against a wall and choked her. Crawford is free on $50,000 bond.

When her year-old daughter walked up, she distracted Crawford, who is her father, and Washington ran to call police. Crawford then fled but followed up with threatening cellphone texts to Washington, according to the affidavit.

A message to his attorney, Rusty Hardin, seeking comment was not returned immediately.

The incident happened a week before a 5-year-old boy and a woman drowned in the backyard pool at Crawford’s Houston home.

From Houston, the 38-year-old Crawford was a four-time All-Star outfielder. He last played in the major leagues in 2016 with the Dodgers.

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MLBPA stands firm against additional pay cuts, ‘resoundingly’ rejects league’s plan

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Baseball players reaffirmed their stance for full prorated pay, leaving a huge gap with teams that could scuttle plans to start the coronavirus-delayed season around the Fourth of July and may leave owners focusing on a schedule as short as 50 games.

More than 100 players, including the union’s executive board, held a two-hour digital meeting with officials of the Major League Baseball Players Association on Thursday, a day after their offer was rejected by Major League Baseball.

“Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless players negotiate salary concessions,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement. “The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon. This threat came in response to an association proposal aimed at charting a path forward.”

“Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless players agree to further salary reductions,” Clark added.

MLB last week proposed an 82-game season with an additional sliding scale of pay cuts that would leave a player at the $563,500 minimum with 47% of his original salary and top stars Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole at less than 22% of the $36 million they had been set to earn.

Players countered Sunday with a plan for a 114-game regular season with no pay cuts beyond the prorated salaries they agreed to on March 26. That would leave each player with about 70% of his original pay.

MLB rejected that Wednesday, when Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote in a letter to union chief negotiator Bruce Meyer informing him “we do not have any reason to believe that a negotiated solution for an 82-game season is possible.”

“Nonetheless, the commissioner is committed to playing baseball in 2020,” Halem said in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press. “He has started discussions with ownership about staging a shorter season without fans.”

Management officials have threatened proposing a shortened slate of perhaps 50 games or fewer. There has not been a schedule averaging fewer than 82 games per team since 1879.

“The overwhelming consensus of the board is that players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well,” Clark said in a statement. “The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.”

While baseball has reverted to the economic bickering that led to eight work stoppages from 1972-95, the NBA, NHL and MLS have moved ahead with plans to resume their seasons.

“In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, players want nothing more than to get back to work,” Clark said. “But we cannot do this alone.”

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Ranking every No. 1 overall pick in MLB draft history

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On June 10, the evening of the 56th MLB first-year player draft, some happy amateur baseball star — probably Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson — will become the 55th player to be picked first overall. Yes, there have been more drafts than players picked first. We’ll get to that.

Assuming he eventually reaches the majors, Torkelson will become the third Torkelson to play at the highest level of his sport. There was Red, a pitcher who won two games for the 1917 Cleveland Indians. There was Eric, who was a running back for the Green Bay Packers in the 1970s. I bring up the history of Torkelsons for two reasons. First, when I was a kid, one of my favorite nuggets of trivia was that Eric Torkelson was the brother of Peter Tork of The Monkees. The second reason I bring it up is that the trivia nugget was wrong: It traced back to an on-air gaffe by Howard Cosell.

Whether it’s Torkelson or someone else whose name is called first, we know a couple of things about that player, whoever it will be. One, he’s talented. He is viewed by people in the know as the best draft-eligible ballplayer in the country. Two, that doesn’t necessarily tell you what kind of career he is going to have.

The career outcomes of top overall picks have been wildly disparate. There have been Hall of Famers. There have been All-Stars. There have been average players who lasted a long time. There have been average players who didn’t last very long at all. There have been a few players who never even played in the big leagues. Let’s rank them.

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