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Little League softball team ejected from World Series over offensive Snapchat photo

The Little League International Tournament Committee disqualified the Atlee Little League softball team of Mechanicsville, Virginia, for unsportsmanlike conduct only a few hours before they were set to appear at the Junior League World Series. The decision resulted from a Snapchat picture featuring the players making an obscene gesture toward a rival team from Kirkland, Washington.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Atlee manager Scott Currie was made aware of the picture after it was posted. Though it was deleted soon after, he arranged for his players to apologize to the rival team, a move that was praised by the Kirkland team manager.

>> Read more trending news

Kevin Fountain, spokesman for the Little League, confirmed the disqualification in a statement:

"After discovering a recent inappropriate social media post involving members of Atlee Little League’s Junior League Softball tournament team, the Little League International Tournament Committee has removed the Southeast Region from the 2017 Junior League Softball World Series for violation of Little League’s policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate use of social media, and the high standard that Little League International holds for all its participants."

The decision to disqualify the girls has since been criticized as an overreaction in Forbes and the Times-Dispatch.

“It’s a travesty for these girls,” said Currie. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”

“We are deeply disappointed this social media post did not reflect the core values of Little League International or Atlee Little League,” wrote Jamie Batten, president of Atlee Little League.

Chris Mardigian, coach for the Atlee team, suggested that the move was retaliation, as the girls were responding to some hostilities in their game against Kirkland. During last week’s game, a Kirkland player and coach were ejected at various parts of the game for their conduct.

Batten’s statement, published in the Times-Dispatch, reflected Mardigian’s sentiments:

"We expect Little League International will take the time to fully investigate the matter, and we will comply with this investigation by providing all information about unpleasant interactions including the social media post and the time leading up to that event — not all of which were on the part of those on the Atlee softball team."

He said there was a desire “to protect youth who are recipients of inappropriate behavior both on and off the field,” adding, “We take very seriously our charge to impart the value of good sportsmanship.”

Read more here.

Diamondbacks, Cubs stage hilarious competition during rain delay

Rain delays during baseball games can become tedious, but not when the bullpens of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs get creative.

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While waiting out a 2½-hour rain delay in the top of the second inning Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field, both bullpens competed against one another with dance-offs and mime acts. 

The Cubs got it started with a variety of masks -- horses, chicken, an owl, a zebra and a unicorn. Then the Diamondbacks countered with T.J. McFarland putting on his uniform upside-down and dancing. But Arizona really gained an edge when four pitchers did their version of bobsledding, using chairs and leaning to the right and left, using their hands in sync to “steer” the vehicle properly.

The Cubs answered back with Carl Edwards casting a line from a chair and “fishing,” catching a teammate who futilely flopped as he tried to disengage the hook.

But the Diamondbacks won this battle with room to spare.

Rubby De La Rosa became a human bowling ball as Arizona tried to convert a 7-10 split. De La Rosa rolled into Archie Bradley (the 7-pin) with the proper spin, causing the right-handed reliever to topple to his left and into Andrew Chafin. After an agonizing wobble, Chafin tumbled to the ground and the Diamondbacks converted the split.

At that point, the Cubs’ bullpen conceded defeat.

At least the bullpen pitchers fared better than a member of the Wrigley Field grounds crew, who tripped and got stuck on the tarpaulin as it was hauled over the infield.

When the game resumed, the Diamondbacks also got the last laugh, winning 10-8 thanks to three home runs by Paul Goldschmidt.

Pete Rose accused of sex with underage girl in 1970s in court filing

Via a court filing in a lawsuit, Pete Rose has been accused statutory rape.

>> Watch the news report here

WCPO reports that lawyers for John Dowd obtained a sworn statement from a woman claiming she had sex with the former Cincinnati Reds star player and manager in the 1970s when she was under 16, the age of consent in Ohio.

>> On MyDaytonDailyNews.com: Rose’s lawsuit against Dowd allowed to move forward

According to court documents, Rose admitted to a sexual relationship with the woman but claimed it did not begin until she was 16 or take place outside of Ohio, another accusation leveled against him. Rose was 34 and married with children at the time.

>> Pete Rose's record-breaking ball sells for $403K

Rose filed a defamation suit against Dowd after Dowd told a radio station in 2015 that Michael Bertolini, Rose’s business partner and alleged bookie, told him he used to arranged relationships with underage girls for Rose during spring training.

Bertolini has denied saying that to Dowd, who compiled the report that led to Rose accepting a ban from baseball in 1989.

Rose denied that allegation and filed a defamation suit in federal court in Pennsylvania. Earlier this month, a judge ruled the suit could proceed.

>> Read more trending news

Dowd, a longtime high-powered lawyer who joined President Donald Trump’s legal team in June, is reportedly intending “to discredit Rose as a serial liar and a womanizer who regularly had sex with teenagers,” according to WCPO.

Martin Garbus, a lawyer representing Rose, told WCPO that the woman lied in her statement and “Dowd has sent out a number of investigators, and he has spoken to many, many women in an attempt to get them to falsely claim that Pete had statutorily raped a girl.”

Yankees’ rookie Aaron Judge cracks tooth during celebration

After Brett Gardner cracked a game-winning home run for the New York Yankees on Thursday night, rookie slugger Aaron Judge cracked a tooth.

>> Read more trending news 

Gardner’s home run in the 11th inning gave the Yankees a 6-5 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays. As Gardner neared home plate, he took off his helmet and rolled it toward the group of players celebrating, ESPN reported.

Replays showed the helmet bouncing up and hitting Judge in the mouth, knocking the 6-foot-7 player back as he recoiled in pain.

Video replays were inconclusive, but it appeared as if the helmet bounced off the back of catcher Austin Romine as he jumped up and down with Gardner. The force of Romine’s leap caused the helmet to smack Judge in the mouth, ESPN reported.

“Somehow he got hit in the celebration," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told ESPN.

A Yankees spokesman announced that Judge had chipped a tooth. Judge was unavailable for comment but was expected to start Friday night's game against the Rays.

WATCH: Reds turn triple play on Yankees, Todd Frazier

Todd Frazier’s home debut for the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium could have gone better.Facing the Cincinnati Reds organization that drafted him, he hit into a triple play in the second inning on Tuesday night. 

Another former Red, Didi Gregorious, didn’t help Frazier with his own base running.

The Reds first turned their first recorded triple play when the team was still the Red Stockings, on June 6, 1882 - 62 years before D-Day on the same date. The team turned three that season.

The last time the Reds turned a triple play was in 1995, according to Baseball-Reference.com. The team turned two of them within four days, the first on July 13 against the San Diego Padres and again on July 17 against the Florida Marlins. 

Photos: Highlights from the 2017 MLB All-Star Game

The American League topped the National League 2-1 in the MLB All-Star Game on July 11, 2017.

Wife creates special baseball card to tell husband she is kidney donor match

The anticipation of opening a pack of baseball cards remains exciting for collectors of all ages, but a Tennessee man pulled an extraordinary card last week, and it was an emotional, life-changing moment.  

>> Read more trending news

Steve Winfree of Knoxville began dialysis for kidney disease in November and needs a transplant. On Thursday, Winfree, an avid collector, opened a pack of Topps cards. A special insert revealed that his wife, Heather Winfree, would be donating a kidney to him.

As Heather filmed the event Winfree, 32, pulled cards of Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard and Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier.  Then he found a special Topps card with his own likeness on the front. As he read the back of the card he began to choke up, because he learned his wife was a match and would be donating her kidney.

“Heather will be pitching a new kidney to him,” the card read. “They are sure to hit it out of the ballpark together!”

“She kept saying, ‘You have a special insert there,’” Winfree told MLB.com. “I knew something was up because she never films me.”

Winfree is an Atlanta Braves fan who collected cards as a youth. He said he stopped during high school but resumed his hobby “once I could afford it.”

Opening packs of cards has been therapeutic for Winfree, his wife said. “There were a lot of times where we would be in the hospital and I would grab a pack and we would open them,” Heather Winfree told MLB.com. “The low-key fun gets our minds off the everyday stresses.”

When he saw the special card, which resembles the 2016 Topps design, Winfree noticed the word “recipient” in place of where a player’s position was on the card.

“I saw it coming,” he said. “But I lost it and I asked her, ‘You want to save my life?’”

The emotional video of Steve Winfree reacting to the card has gone viral. He will receive the transplant at the Vanderbilt Transplant Center in Nashville.

Steve Winfree said the response to the video has been gratifying.

“Heather and I have been so overwhelmed with the kindness of people,” he said in a Twitter message Sunday night.

Twitter user criticizes ‘KKK’ sign at baseball game, learns baseball tradition

A woman at a baseball game didn’t have all the facts when she complained about the “KKK” sign in the outfield. 

>> Read more trending news 

The Atlanta woman was at a Braves baseball game when she noticed the sign in the outfield and tweeted her distaste, writing “definitely NOT ok.”

“Really disappointed with this sign at the new #BravesStadium,” she wrote Tuesday in a now-deleted Twitter post. But what the woman saw was the “K-Corner.” Almost every stadium has one of them -- the so-called “living scorecard” where fans in the outfield keep track of the home pitcher’s strikeouts. 

She was ridiculed online for not knowing about the tradition.

But she wasn’t backing down.

“They should figure out a different way to record it (because) that’s offensive,” she argued. “Just because it happens everywhere doesn't make it right. You can say and feel how you want. But I’m entitled to my opinion too. And I don’t want to look up and see that. Period.”

Her tweets garnered more than 1,400 responses.

Two days later, the woman apologized for potentially upsetting baseball fans. 

“I never meant for my comments to offend anyone. I was bored and noticed something that I felt like should be changed to be more sensitive,” she wrote on Twitter. 

The woman later deleted her Twitter account

New York Mets fan Dennis Scalzitti came up with the idea of the K-corner, according to the New York Daily News. It started as a way to celebrate rookie pitching sensation Dwight Gooden. The rest is history.

Former pro baseball player's son hospitalized after being hit in face with baseball

The son of former Atlanta Braves second baseman Keith Lockhart has been placed on life support after he was hit in the face by a baseball, according to media reports.

>> Read more trending news 

Jason Lockhart, 15, was hit Saturday, June 17, during a baseball tournament in South Carolina as he touched home plate. The catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher when it hit Jason in the face and broke his nose.

Jason originally received stitches. While at a doctor’s office for a follow-up two days later to remove the tubes and packing in his nose, his nose began to bleed uncontrollably. A CT scan showed the fracture was worse than realized and there was a tear inside his nose, The Associated Press reported. Since then, doctors were working on controlling the bleeding.

Keith Lockhart, who played with the Braves from 1997 to 2002 and is now a scout with the Chicago Cubs, has provided updates on social media and asked for prayers for his son.

Jason underwent surgery to repair the fracture in his nose, but the bleeding persisted. 

According to a Facebook post by Lockhart’s daughter, Sydney, who also has been providing updates on her brother’s condition, Jason was placed on life support Friday. 

In part, she wrote on Facebook:

“Last night they were able to put Jason into a paralytic state through meds and machines. This has helped stop any movement that could encourage or cause a bleed to begin.”

The bleeding, however, continued.

On Sunday night, Keith Lockhart wrote on Twitter that doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite hospital were closing in on a possible cause for the bleeding:

Late on Sunday, Sydney Lockhart wrote on her Facebook page:

The doctors decided to take Jason into surgery to do an endovascular embolization today. They went in to his arteries and blood vessels and found the two most practical areas that could be feeding the areas where Jason has been bleeding. They went into both arteries on each side of his nose and cut off the blood supply. They are hopeful that this is the source of the bleeding. The surgery was a couple of hours long and Jason is now resting still on the ventilator to keep his vitals monitored and keep him comfortable. They will watch him for 24 hours and then he will go into surgery tomorrow to have his nose repacked and this will give them an opportunity to look back behind the packing to make sure there are no other areas bleeding. We are tired here but hopeful. The prayers and support that everyone has given to us is overwhelming and we are truly touched. Thank you so much. WE FEEL SO SURROUNDED

This article contains information from The Associated Press.

Son of Charleston church massacre victim drafted by Cubs

Nearly two years after his mother was killed by white supremacist in a South Carolina church, Chris Singleton realized his dream of playing professional baseball when the outfielder was drafted by the Chicago Cubs.

>> Read more trending news 

Singleton, a right-handed center fielder at Charleston Southern University, was chosen by the defending World Series champions with the final pick of the 19th round Wednesday (No. 585 overall). 

Singleton’s mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, was one of nine people killed by Dylann Roof on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study class at Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, WLTX reported. Coleman-Singleton, 45, had taught her son at Goose Creek High School and also was a pastor.

Roof was convicted of 33 federal hate crime charges and acknowledged he was hoping to incite a race war.

Despite the tragedy, Singleton continued his college baseball career. He batted .276 with four home runs for Charleston Southern this season.

“It’s a lot of God and a little bit of me right now,” Singleton told the Post and Courier of Charleston. “It’s timing itself up perfectly in my eyes, so it’s really a blessing.”

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