first_imgThe Latest: Heavy rain before All-Star game, good derby TVCINCINNATI — Here are the latest developments from the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, the summer showcase where stars from the American League and National League compete for home-field advantage in the World Series (all times local):4 p.m.Here comes the rain. The sunny morning with streets filled with red-clad fans has suddenly turned into a colossal summer storm ahead of the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.Wind is blowing, the tarp is out and visibility at Great American Ball park is so bad, the Ohio River beyond the outfield isn’t visible from the press box.Here’s video of the tarp going on the infield: https://youtu.be/gCbZlKOPJZk___3:45 p.m.A new format and Todd Frazier’s performance in the Home Run Derby that electrified the home crowd helped bring in big overnight ratings for the event.ESPN’s telecast got a 4.9 rating, up 26 percent from last year’s derby in Minnesota that received a 3.9.___3:40 p.m.With all the talk this week about Pete Rose, banned from baseball for gambling on the Reds when he was their manager, it only makes sense to ask Commissioner Rob Manfred about baseball’s relationship to Draft Kings.The daily fantasy baseball site pays cash to winners who wager on nightly lineups (you’ve seen all the ads plastered around ballparks this season, right?).Manfred says he’s made clear to players and front office personnel that playing daily fantasy sports isn’t appropriate for them. But he says baseball sees a clear distinction between people who can affect the outcome of a game and fans who want to engage through daily fantasy sports.The players union is keeping tabs on the new association with the website.Union head Tony Clark said Tuesday at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America meeting that they’re walking a very delicate line that can easily be muddled.___3:30 p.m.How’s this for quick: MLB is running an advertising campaign this season meant to attract a more youth-orientated audience using the hashtag #THIS.In addition to spots focusing on young stars such as Mike Trout, Yasiel Puig and Chris Archer, the league has been running ads based on specific moments on the field. Todd Frazier earned his own ad for his win in the Home Run Derby in front of his home fans Monday night, just a few hours after he knocked out Joc Pederson in the final round.Check the ad out here: http://atmlb.com/1dZ3MV7___2:25 p.m.MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says there is no meeting set yet with Pete Rose, who remains a celebrated presence in Cincinnati.Rose is being allowed on the field for pregame ceremonies before the All-Star Game on Tuesday night.Before meeting with Rose, the first-year commissioner wants to get a grasp of all the evidence presented from when the hits king was banned from baseball in 1989 and additional material gathered since then.Players’ association head Tony Clark later says the commissioner will make the decision about whether Rose should be re-instated but he feels it’s “a travesty” that whenever Rose is brought up in baseball conversation, it’s tied to his banishment. Clark would not give his opinion on whether Rose should be re-instated.___2 p.m.The head of the MLB Players Association turned to the NFL for an example when asked about his concerns on releasing more medical information to teams ahead of the MLB draft.Tony Clark says it’s a “travesty” that medical records belonging to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul were apparently leaked to the public after the New York Giants star had a fireworks accident on July 4.Clark says giving unmitigated access to such information is a problem when it shows up in blogs and social media. He says “opening a Pandora’s Box and hoping everyone plays nice in it is not something we are interested in doing right now.”So, that’s a no.___1:45 p.m.Before the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spent more than 30 minutes answering questions from reporters. He even got an assist from baseball executive Joe Torre. Here are some highlights:— Manfred said no changes to address fan safety are coming soon. The subject has been a hot topic since a woman in Boston was hospitalized after being struck by a flying bat. MLB is still evaluating ballpark safety features and, if there are any changes, they will be implemented before next season.— Strike three! Asked if umpires are calling a lower strike zone, Manfred deferred to Torre, who is in charge of on-field operations.Conspiracy theorist fans can rest easy, Torre said there’s been no change in strike zone compared to last year. Two years ago umpires began calling lower strikes. Torre insisted there has been no effort to call more strikes overall to speed up pace of play.— Manfred says the commissioner’s office is continuing to work on a new domestic violence policy and will have an announcement shortly.___1:40 p.m.MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says he’s encouraged by pace of play changes and reports that games are moving along better.He told reporters on Tuesday before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati that it’s hard to ignore that the average game time is down 9 minutes, even though average length of game was not the priority in speeding things up. Manfred says the most important issue involving pace of game is player support.He says he’s talked to 29 of 30 teams about pace.MLB has been experimenting with a 20-second pitch clock in Double-A and Triple-A. Manfred says the results are encouraging but bringing the clock to the big leagues would require negotiated changes with the players union.MLB Players Association head Tony Clark doesn’t sound too interested in using the clock in the bigs.He says the clock’s success in the minors has no bearing on how it would work in the big leagues.The game is fundamentally different at the highest level, he says.___1:30 p.m.Don’t count on any postseason expansion in MLB.Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday before the All-Star Game in Cincinnati that he likes baseball’s playoff format, including the one-game play-in for wild-card teams. He says the selectivity of baseball’s postseason is one thing that sets the game apart from other sports.One instance in which fans may get their best-of-three wild-card series is if MLB goes to a shorter schedule someday — perhaps after 2016 collective bargaining. It would be one way to offset revenue losses from the regular season.On league expansion, Manfred says he thinks MLB is a growth business. He says he’s open to the possibility of expansion at some point.When asked about Montreal, where the Expos once played, Manfred said he believes the Canadian city has a rich history and showed major interest during two exhibitions.But he says it’s a long way from two exhibitions to 81 home games in a facility that meets major league standards.___11:30 a.m.It’s All-Star Game day and the sun is shining on Cincinnati — although thunderstorms are in the forecast for game time (8:15 p.m.) at Great American Ball Park.It’s a sea of red in the streets of downtown Cincinnati as fans start to line up for the All-Star parade.Commissioner Rob Manfred is going to hold a Q&A with members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Baseball Writer TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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