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Yasiel Puig

As Barack Obama watches Rays in Havana, Cuban baseball in crisis

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When President Barack Obama watches the Tampa Bay Rays play Cuba’s national team Tuesday, it will come at the deepest moment of crisis in more than 50 years for the island’s famed state-run baseball league. A flood of high-profile defections to the U.S. has gutted the country’s teams. Stadiums and fields are run down, and experts and fans say quality of play is too. The national team hasn’t won a major international tournament in nearly a decade. “It’s going through…

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MLB studying raise of strike zone’s bottom

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Baseball’s strike zone could be getting a slight lift. Major League Baseball is studying whether to raise the bottom of the strike zone from the hollow beneath the kneecap back to the top of the kneecap. “I’m not in a position to predict whether it’s going to happen or not,” Rob Manfred said during an interview with The Associated Press on Monday on his anniversary as baseball commissioner. “I think that the interest in the topic is really driven by…

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