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The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 15, 2019 1:00 am

Briefs

MLB, union agree to changes to rules

Staff, news services

NEW YORK – Major League Baseball and its players' union reached an unprecedented agreement to discuss renegotiating their labor contract that has three seasons remaining. This is part of a deal that includes modest rule changes for 2020 and drops pitch clocks until 2022 at the earliest.

Players have been furious at slow free-agent markets during the first two offseasons of the five-year labor contract. The sides normally would start negotiations during spring training entering the agreement's final year. Management and the union agreed to discuss a renegotiation and extension of the current deal, set to expire Dec. 1, 2021.

The agreement announced Thursday eliminates all trades from July 31 through the end of the season starting this year, though players who clear outright waivers can still be claimed and will be eligible for the postseason if they are in the organization before Sept. 1.

Mound visits without pitching changes will be cut from six to five. MLB intends to cut half-inning breaks to two minutes this year, down from 2:05 for most games and 2:25 for nationally televised games.

BASEBALL

Tigers shut down pitcher Fulmer

Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer will not pitch in games in the near future, focusing on lower-body mechanics. Manager Ron Gardenhire declined to provide additional details about the decision.

COLLEGES

LSU wants to speak with coach

LSU will not allow Will Wade to resume his duties as men's basketball coach unless he speaks to university officials about the reports of an FBI wiretap that resulted in his suspension. LSU suspended Wade indefinitely last week in the wake of reports that an FBI wiretap captured his telephone conversations with a person convicted last year of funneling money to the families of basketball recruits.

Rutgers coach to miss postseason

Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer will not return for the postseason on the advice of doctors. The announcement comes nearly three weeks after Rutgers said the 70-year-old Hall of Famer would sit out the rest of the regular season and possibly return for the postseason.

HIGH SCHOOLS

Area signings

Carroll's Kate Schlatter will sign April 11 to play basketball at Grace. … Wawasee's Casey Schroeder signed to play basketball at Indiana Kokomo.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

McGregor accuser sues fighter

Mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor is facing a civil lawsuit after being charged in South Florida with stealing the cellphone of someone who was trying to take his photo. Miami-Dade County court records show that 22-year-old Ahmed Abdirzak filed a lawsuit seeking more than $15,000 on Thursday, accusing McCregor, 30, of battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Miami Beach police say McGregor was leaving the Fontainebleau Miami Beach early Monday when Abdirzak attempted to take a picture of McGreg­or. Police say McGregor slapped the phone out of Abdirzak's hand and then stomped on it several times. Investigators say McGregor then grabbed the phone and left the area. McGregor was later arrested on robbery and criminal mischief charges. McGregor's defense attorney called the lawsuit “a quick effort seeking a payday.”