Baseball notebook | Indians championship gear to be destroyed – Columbus Dispatch

Clothing and other items celebrating a 2016 Cleveland Indians World Series championship that
never happened will be destroyed instead of donated to those in need.

Championship merchandise is produced for both teams when a major title is on the line so items
can be immediately sold to the winning team’s fans. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Indians in the
Series last week.

ESPN and The Huffington Post report Major League Baseball is asking retailers to give back
Indians championship gear so it can be destroyed. MLB had donated clothing to needy countries
through the charity World Vision since 2005. MLB says it has opted to destroy the items to “protect
the team from inaccurate merchandise being available in the general marketplace.”

Majors will continue push into Latin America

Commissioner Rob Manfred does not think Donald Trump’s election as president will slow the
sport’s plans to stage more events in Latin America.

Expanding international play has been one of Manfred’s goals since succeeding Bud Selig as
commissioner in January 2015. San Diego and Houston played a two-game spring training series this
year in Mexico City, where the sport opened an office last March and which Manfred has mentioned as
a possible expansion site.

Tampa Bay met Cuba’s national team in Havana on March 22. MLB hopes to establish a process that
would allow Cuban residents to sign big league contracts.

“Haven’t heard anything with respect to the Cuba issue that would suggest that there’s going to
be any change, and I think we’re all familiar with things he said about Mexico,” Manfred said at
the annual general managers meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I think we need to wait and see what
actually happens.”

Players’ union reportedly fires arbitrator

The baseball players’ union has fired arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, The Associated Press
reported, citing a person who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Dan Halem, Major League Baseball’s chief legal officer, informed general managers at their
meeting this week. The players’ association made the decision after Horowitz ruled against it in an
injury assignment case involving Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Charlie Culberson.

Horowitz, 68, started as baseball’s neutral arbitrator in June 2012. In his most notable
decision, he reduced Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension to 162 games, a penalty imposed for
violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.

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