SS Ramirez injures thumb
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be sidelined for more than two months or maybe just two weeks because of an injured left thumb.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says doctors have described both recovery scenarios for Ramirez. The All-Star was set to have an MRI when he returns to the Dodgers’ camp on Wednesday.
Ramirez was hurt diving for a ball at third base Tuesday night in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. He stayed in the game and helped the Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico 3-0 for the title.
Luis Cruz, who was projected to play third base, started at shortstop Wednesday against Kansas City.
Norris will start for Houston
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Bud Norris is all set to throw the first pitch of the 2013 major league season.
The Houston Astros said Wednesday that Norris will start on March 31 in the opener against Texas Rangers on March 31.
The Astros will host Texas in their first game since joining the American League in that Sunday night opener.
“You don’t have an opportunity like this all the time, to go out there and throw the first pitch of the season,” Norris said. “When I say it’s a childhood dream come true, that’s truly what it is.”
The 28-year-old righty was 7-13 last year. He is 2-0 with a 5.52 ERA in four spring training starts.
Norris will be the Astros’ fourth different opening-day starter in four years.
Milwaukee lands 3B Parker
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers acquired third baseman Stephen Parker from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-handed pitcher Darren Byrd on Wednesday.
Over four seasons in the minors, the 25-year-old Parker has batted .277 with 43 home runs and 262 RBIs in 448 games. His best season was 2010, when he batted .296 with 21 homers and 98 RBIs in 139 games at Class-A Stockton.
The 26-year-old Byrd spent three seasons in the Brewers’ farm system and appeared in one game this spring.
Team to honor Newtown
TAMPA, Fla. — The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will honor the community of Newtown and the memory of those killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School when the teams play opening day April 1 at Yankee Stadium.
Pregame ceremonies include a joint honor guard of Newtown police and firefighters, and a moment of silence at which time a list of the victims’ names will be recognized on the center-field scoreboard.
“On opening day, we will reflect upon more important things and the play the game to honor the community of Newtown,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “Since the day of the tragedy, our hearts and thoughts have been with those who were affected.”
The Yankees and Red Sox will wear a special ribbon on their uniforms. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has asked that all other 28 major league teams wear the ribbon during their opening games.
“Months have passed, yet we are still trying to come to grips with this incomprehensible tragedy,” Red Sox principal owner John Henry said in a statement. “As our teams look to face each other on opening day, we will stand united in support of the families affected as we remember and honor those who were lost.”
-- The Associated Press