Hampton was taking batting practice Wednesday at the Braves’ complex while the team was playing the Detroit Tigers in nearby Lakeland. He fell to the ground in pain after a swing, prompting fears that he broke a rib. X-rays were negative and team doctors determined that he strained his left oblique, still a serious injury for a pitcher. Major League Baseball announced its $700 million, seven-year agreement with DirecTV and said the deal contains a provision that allows its “Extra Innings” package of out-of-market games to remain on cable television if the other incumbent providers agree to match the terms. Around the horn Frank Thomas made his first appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays, going 1-for-3 with an RBI in a “B” game against the Phillies. “I prefer to start late like this because you know what you’re doing out there,” said Thomas, who signed an $18.12 million, two-year contract. “You’ve had enough BP, enough cage work to know what you’re doing out there.” Mike Hampton’s comeback took a major blow. And, no, it has nothing to do with his reconstructed elbow. The Atlanta Braves left-hander injured his left side during batting practice, of all things, and won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Hampton, starting the seventh season of a $121 million, eight-year contract, will miss the rest of spring training and could be out as long as two months. The Braves had been counting on him to bolster a rotation that includes John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Chuck James. “I think I pulled it pretty bad,” Hampton said Thursday. “There’s nothing you can do about it now except try to get it healed up and get it better.” Outfielder Jody Gerut was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates after nearly two years of inactivity due to a knee injury. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Kinney needs elbow ligament-replacement surgery and will likely miss the entire season. Kinney was a top candidate for setup relief pitcher this year. He first tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching forearm one year ago. Team physician Dr. George Paletta said Thursday the torn ligament has grown increasingly worse. The torn ligament in Kinney’s right arm should be surgically replaced with a tendon from his left wrist, Paletta said. Kinney’s recovery should take about 10 months. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
boost gameday cracker REVEALED How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures 1 smart causal Solskjaer gives Pogba fitness update and calls him world’s best all-round midfielder RANKED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won silverware Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January United have now been drawn to face the Old Lady in the group stage of the 2018/19 Champions League, which prompted questions to the Red Devils’ boss about why the 33-year-old will be lining up against him, rather than for him, this season.Speaking about the draw after United’s 2-0 win at Burnley, Mourinho declared: “Juventus is one of the teams in Europe that invested to win the Champions League because they don’t need to invest to win the Scudetto.“They win the Scudetto for six or seven years. The objective is clearly to win the Champions League, which they were close twice when they reached the final.“They are a top team in Europe that made one of the biggest spending – I think after Liverpool it must be them.” England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Latest Manchester United News Ronaldo spent six years at Manchester United between 2003-2009 REVEALED Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland possible standings Jose Mourinho has explained that never had the option to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United in July.CR7 instead signed for Juventus in a £99m deal which brought his legendary spell at Real Madrid to a close. Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade deals Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT IN DEMAND Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? The Manchester United manager then went on to assess the summer business of the Italian champions.“Fantastic players. Cristiano, [Emre] Can and [Leonardo] Bonucci. Absolutely top, but they are going to have two very difficult matches against us.”When asked directly whether Cristiano Ronaldo could have returned to Old Trafford in the summer, Mourinho replied: “Cristiano was never on my table to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Cristiano to come to us.“It was never on the table.”