Zimmerman's homer in 8th lifts Nats over Padres

Zimmerman's homer in 8th lifts Nats over Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Ryan Zimmerman's opposite-field homer broke an eighth-inning tie Thursday night, sending the Nationals to a 2-1, series-opening victory over the Padres at Petco Park.

With two outs and the bases empty in the eighth, Padres reliever Kirby Yates grooved a 1-1 fastball that Zimmerman crushed 414 feet, per Statcast™, onto the home-run deck in right field. His 29th home run made a winner out of Edwin Jackson against his former club, and it moved the Nationals 14 games above the second-place Marlins in the National League East.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego and covered the Nationals on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Familiar spot paying off for resurgent Jackson

Veteran tosses seven innings of one-run ball vs. Padres on Thursday

Familiar spot paying off for resurgent Jackson

SAN DIEGO -- Edwin Jackson has been with 12 Major League teams, but the Nationals are the first he's played for twice. For Jackson, a rare sense of familiarity is paying off.

In Washington's 2-1 victory over the Padres on Thursday, Jackson matched a season high by going seven innings, holding the Padres to one run on eight hits. In six starts with the Nationals, he has a 2.92 ERA, flashing effectiveness and consistency that the veteran right-hander hasn't often displayed the past few seasons.

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Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lerner has leg amputated, now cancer free

Nationals players, coaches learn of condition of principal owner

Lerner has leg amputated, now cancer free

SAN DIEGO -- Washington players and coaches learned Thursday that Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner had his left leg amputated after efforts to remove cancer in the leg.

Lerner, 63, wrote in a letter to The Washington Post that he learned in January he had spindle cell sarcoma above his left knee. He completed radiation in March and underwent surgery in April, but "the radiation treatment eventually caused the wound not to heal properly," Lerner wrote.

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Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nationals players excited for Players Weekend

New event to take place during all games from Aug. 25-27

Nationals players excited for Players Weekend

WASHINGTON -- Nationals players will have the opportunity to inject a bit of their personality and style when Major League Baseball and the Players Association introduce their inaugural Players Weekend event from Aug. 25-27.

Players Weekend gear available at MLBShop.com

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kelley activated; Madson goes on disabled list

Kelley activated; Madson goes on disabled list

SAN DIEGO -- The Nationals got a reliever back Thursday, but at the cost of another.

Washington activated right-hander Shawn Kelley from the disabled list before opening a four-game series against the Padres at Petco Park. To clear room on the roster, right-hander Ryan Madson, who hadn't pitched since Saturday, was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right index finger sprain.

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Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego and covered the Nationals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer looks to stay in groove vs. Padres

Scherzer looks to stay in groove vs. Padres

Max Scherzer looks to continue his push for another National League Cy Young Award, while Luis Perdomo tries to find his groove, when the Nationals continue their series against the Padres on Friday at Petco Park.

After a start that lasted only one inning because of neck spasms, Scherzer has returned with a pair of seven-inning, two-run outings. Since allowing five runs in five innings against the D-backs on July 21, he has a 2.14 ERA in four starts.

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Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roark rounding into form for Nationals

Roark rounding into form for Nationals

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark is starting to look like his old self after another strong start Wednesday afternoon, even though the Nationals came up short in a 3-2 defeat to the Angels.

Roark surrendered three runs in seven innings to spin his fifth quality start in six outings since the All-Star break. He has settled in nicely since his disastrous first half, posting a 3.13 ERA since the break, compared to a 5.27 ERA prior.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmerman's HR not enough as Nats fall

Zimmerman's HR not enough as Nats fall

WASHINGTON -- Ricky Nolasco looked like his recent self in the first inning, giving up a two-run homer to Ryan Zimmerman. But the righty then settled down for one of his best starts over the past two months, not allowing another run over 5 2/3, and the Angels offense took advantage.

After Luis Valbuena got the Angels on the board with a solo shot off Nationals starter Tanner Roark in the fifth, Kole Calhoun belted a two-run homer in the sixth to push the Angels to a 3-2 win.

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Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington who covered the Angels on Wednesday.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eaton ahead of schedule, not ruling out return

Outfielder has progressed to light activity in recent weeks; calls Harper 'a freak'

Eaton ahead of schedule, not ruling out return

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton was sitting in the dugout watching when Bryce Harper slipped over the first-base bag and fell violently to the ground, and like so many Nationals fans, he was sick to his stomach.

Just months after he tore the ACL in his right knee on a similar play, Eaton could not bring himself to watch. He waited to greet Harper with a huge hug when he made it back into the clubhouse. So count Eaton among those amazed that Harper came away with only a bone bruise in his left knee on a play where many feared the worst.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goodwin to DL; De Aza recalled to Majors

Kendrick starts in right; Werth nearing rehab assignment

Goodwin to DL; De Aza recalled to Majors

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals' outfield absorbed another blow Wednesday morning when they placed outfielder Brian Goodwin on the disabled list with a left groin strain, retroactive to Aug. 14. In a corresponding move, the Nats selected the contract of outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who was signed in June to provide outfield depth, and moved Trea Turner to the 60-day DL to clear room on the 40-man roster.

Goodwin becomes the latest Nationals outfielder on a crowded DL. Their entire Opening Day starting outfield is sidelined -- right fielder Bryce Harper (hyperextended left knee), center fielder Adam Eaton (torn left ACL) and left fielder Jayson Werth (fractured left foot) -- along with Ryan Raburn and now Goodwin. When he appears in a game, De Aza will become the 13th outfielder to play for Washington this season.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Read stays hot for Harrisburg

Read stays hot for Harrisburg

The White Sox announced on Monday that they were promoting Eloy Jimenez and Zack Collins to Double-A Birmingham. On Wednesday, it was the powerful prospect duo making an immediate impact and pacing the Barons' offense to a 9-4 win over Montgomery in their Southern League debut.

Jimenez, MLB Pipeline's No. 7 overall prospect (White Sox No. 2), homered in his first Double-A at-bat in the first inning, when he hit a 1-1 offering just inside the right-field foul pole to give Birmingham an early lead.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick's HRs, Gio help stop Angels' streak

Kendrick's HRs, Gio help stop Angels' streak

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Angels entered Tuesday night as two of the hottest teams in baseball, with a combined 13 wins over 16 games between the clubs. But Washington snapped the Halos' six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory at Nationals Park, using two home runs from Howie Kendrick, who spent his first nine seasons with the Angels.

Kendrick, who hit .292 in Los Angeles, is batting .386 (17-for-44) with four homers and 11 RBIs since being traded to the Nationals on July 28. The Angels couldn't counter his burst due to another brilliant performance from Gio Gonzalez, who threw six scoreless innings and didn't surrender a hit until the sixth.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Angels on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top moments from each year of Harper's career

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Top moments from each year of Harper's career

There was never a doubt that the Nationals would draft Bryce Harper with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 Draft. The Las Vegas native was gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, hitting 500-foot moonshots at Tropicana Field and putting up junior college stats so gaudy that even a video game would blush -- all at 16 years old.

Whether or not they'd be able to sign him in time, however, was very much in doubt. Washington had until the stroke of midnight on Aug. 17 to get a deal done, or else Harper would simply reenter the Draft next year. And as the clock ticked down, it looked like that just might happen ... until, at exactly 11:59:34 p.m. ET on Aug. 16, he and the Nats came to an agreement: a five-year deal for $9.9 million, including a $6.25 million signing bonus and eight semesters of college tuition.

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Another near no-no part of Gio's renaissance

Joining Scherzer and Strasburg, lefty would give Nats formidable postseason trio

Another near no-no part of Gio's renaissance

WASHINGTON -- This is becoming the norm for left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who has developed into one of the Nationals' most consistent and reliable starters during his stellar 2017 campaign. Gonzalez carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of Tuesday's 3-1 victory against the Angels, the second time he has flirted with a no-no in the past two weeks.

Even though Angels outfielder Cameron Maybin spoiled his shot at history with a two-out infield single, Gonzalez turned in another strong outing in what has been a season full of them. He kept the Angels' offense off balance and induced weak contact for six shutout innings of two-hit ball, lowering his ERA to 2.49 on the season. That gives him the third-lowest ERA in the Majors, trailing only Clayton Kershaw and teammate Max Scherzer.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats pave path for Stras return, option Cole

Righty likely to start Saturday in San Diego

Nats pave path for Stras return, option Cole

WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker would not commit to it fully Tuesday, but it appears almost certain that right-hander Stephen Strasburg will be activated from the disabled list and rejoin the team's rotation for his next start.

After Strasburg made it through his 64-pitch Minor League rehab outing Monday night with Class A Advanced Potomac unscathed -- before throwing extra pitches in the bullpen -- Baker said Strasburg's next start could possibly come for the Nats if things go well during the next few days. Moments later, the team announced it optioned Strasburg's replacement in the rotation, right-hander A.J. Cole, to the Minors and recalled catcher Pedro Severino.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trio from '08-champion Phils reunited in DC

Madson, Werth, Blanton share special bond from title run

Trio from '08-champion Phils reunited in DC

WASHINGTON -- Sean Doolittle's friends were elated when the Athletics traded the lefty to the Nationals in July. But not only because Doolittle would have the chance to become the closer on a contending team.

Doolittle and his friends are from Southern New Jersey, so they rooted for the Phillies growing up. They couldn't believe Doolittle was going to play with three members of the Phils' 2008 World Series championship team -- Ryan Madson, Jayson Werth and Joe Blanton -- in Washington.

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Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick's walk-off grand slam lifts Nats in 11

Kendrick's walk-off grand slam lifts Nats in 11

WASHINGTON -- In what had been a marathon 24 hours for the Giants and Nationals, which included long rain delays, Washington losing its MVP candidate to the disabled list and a three-game series played in the span of about a day at Nationals Park, Howie Kendrick capped off the nightcap of Sunday's split doubleheader against the Giants with a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning to give the Nationals a 6-2 victory to cap off this series.

"Long day," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It would have really been long had we lost a doubleheader, but boy, that was a great ending."

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Daniel Shiferaw is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Giants on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper relieved to have no ligament damage

Outfielder put on 10-day disabled list with left knee bone bruise

Harper relieved to have no ligament damage

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper admitted he feared the worst. His mind raced and his season flashed before his eyes in a combination of shock and pain as he grabbed his left knee in agony after he fell violently to the ground upon making contact with a wet first-base bag -- "it felt like I slipped in the shower," he said -- in the first inning of Saturday night's 3-1 Nationals victory.

Harper was carried off the field by team athletic trainers, but once he got to the dugout steps leading toward the clubhouse, he told the training staff to go away. It was time to see if he could walk or if he would again crumple to the ground. Those steps, that slow walk up more stairs into the clubhouse, helped assure Harper that he had avoided his worst fears.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nationals held in check to open doubleheader

Nationals held in check to open doubleheader

WASHINGTON -- Chris Stratton was originally scheduled to start Friday night before thunderstorms washed away that game and the Giants reshuffled their rotation, pushing his third career start to Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park.

And it ended up being his best performance as he spun 6 2/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts to help the Giants beat the Nationals, 4-2, in Game 1 of Sunday's split doubleheader. It was the first double-digit strikeout performance of Stratton's Major League career and just the fifth time this season a Giants pitcher has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in a game.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Daniel Shiferaw is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Read makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Read makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

Many scouts believed Nick Senzel was the best pure hitter available in the 2016 Draft, which is a major reason why the Reds selected him second overall and signed him for $6.2 million. He has lived up to that reputation, batting .317/.390/.519 with 89 extra-base hits in his first 177 pro games.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmerman, Murphy pick up slack with HRs

Zimmerman, Murphy pick up slack with HRs

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have been one of the top offensive teams in the Majors this season despite the fact that their lineup has been hammered by injuries. The latest injury came to their potential MVP candidate in Bryce Harper, who landed on the disabled list Sunday morning with a bruised left knee.

And yet the Nats have been resilient, including in their 6-2 victory in the nightcap of Sunday's split doubleheader after a marathon 24 hours with the Giants. After waiting out a 3:01 rain delay, Washington lost Harper for the time being to the injury in the first inning of a game that began Saturday night and ended early Sunday morning. Then, they played a split doubleheader and after dropping the first game, Washington came away with a victory in Game 2 thanks to a grand slam from Howie Kendrick.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

With Harper, Nationals can exhale ... a little

Outfielder will be missed, but team is fortunate knee injury isn't worse

With Harper, Nationals can exhale ... a little

To use Joe Maddon's term, Bryce Harper was respecting 90 on Saturday night, busting it down the first-base line in damp conditions after a three-hour rain delay.

It was a great effort by a great player, and it shouldn't have ended with Harper sprawled in the outfield grass, grabbing his left knee in agony. But as Harper raced to try to beat first baseman Ryder Jones and Jeff Samardzija to the bag he hit the bag awkwardly, and now we don't know when he'll play again.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robles plates two for Harrisburg

Robles plates two for Harrisburg

Brent Honeywell kept the opposing team off the board once again on Sunday as he tossed turned in his second scoreless start this week for Triple-A Durham.

Honeywell, The Rays' top-ranked prospect (No. 14 overall), dominated over six innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five and generating six ground-ball outs. He did not issue a walk in the outing, throwing 52 of his 70 pitches for strikes, but received a no-decision as the Bulls ultimately fell to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 4-2.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats overcome Harper's injury to beat Giants

Nats overcome Harper's injury to beat Giants

WASHINGTON -- After thunderstorms washed away Friday night's game, the Nationals and Giants waited out a 3:01 rain delay before they finally began their three-game series late Saturday night at Nationals Park. The Nats used their newest winning formula -- six quality innings from their starter followed by an inning each from a new bullpen trio -- to seal a 3-1 victory early Sunday morning.

But the victory was bittersweet for Washington after slugger Bryce Harper left the game in the first inning with a hyperextended left knee. Harper injured himself trying to beat out a ground ball for an infield single, but his left foot slipped on the first-base bag, his leg buckled and he fell to the ground holding his knee.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

3-headed bullpen monster settling in for Nats

3-headed bullpen monster settling in for Nats

WASHINGTON -- The ninth inning at Nationals Park has so often been the subject of angst and frustration. Almost routinely through the first three months of the season, the ninth had been the site of blown leads and the disappointment that comes with missed opportunities to build upon what was already a dominant season.

But in the Nationals' 3-2 victory on Thursday night against the Marlins, even as the tying run sat 90 feet from scoring, the crowd at Nationals Park was not holding its collective breath as the ninth inning unfolded. Instead, that nervous energy was replaced by 23,904 people chanting "Doooo" in unison for the first time, a nod to the new closer of this revamped bullpen.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goodwin's homer, Stevenson's catch seal win

Goodwin's homer, Stevenson's catch seal win

WASHINGTON -- Even as the Nationals have been hammered by injuries, they have not missed a beat due to the contributions from their replacements. That continued on Thursday night, when Brian Goodwin hit the go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning and Andrew Stevenson made a game-ending catch to lead Washington to a 3-2 victory over Miami at Nationals Park.

Goodwin, who has been the team's leadoff hitter and center fielder for about a month since Michael Taylor landed on the disabled list, hit his 13th homer of his rookie season. Since July 17, 17 of his 24 hits have gone for extra bases, giving him a .576 slugging percentage during that span.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Marlins on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner begins throwing; hitting next step

Shortstop hopes to return with 30-40 games left in regular season

Turner begins throwing; hitting next step

WASHINGTON -- On a few occasions during the past few weeks, Trea Turner has run out to shortstop while the Nationals take batting practice. He would field grounders and go through the motions. However, he was unable to make a full throw to first base, still hindered by the fractured right wrist that has sidelined him since June 30.

But on Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park, Turner went on the field without a brace. As he took grounders at shortstop, he fired the ball to first base. He said he would not have been able to perform such activities even a week ago, and now he feels like he can make plays at shortstop.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rendon, Nationals promote active lifestyle

National PLAY campaign comes to Nationals Park

Rendon, Nationals promote active lifestyle

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is one of the familiar faces leading events to promote youth activities and involvement in baseball. He relishes participating in events like the one on Thursday morning, when the 2017 National PLAY campaign made its way to Nationals Park.

The event, featuring children ranging from ages 5-12, promotes the importance of children living a healthy lifestyle and disability inclusion. The children rotated through stations, some educational and some designed to let them play a little baseball, for about two hours prior to Thursday night's game between the Nationals and the Marlins.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.