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Jimmy Rollins goes on disabled list

Jimmy Rollins, the Philadelphia Phillies’ three-time All-Star shortstop, went on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right calf.

“It’s unfortunate,” Rollins said before Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Nationals. “From Monday to today, it’s much better. I thought it was torn.”

Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, was injured during warmups before Monday’s game against the Nationals. The 31-year-old leadoff hitter was off to a hot start, hitting .391 and scoring eight runs in seven games. Rollins was also showing more patience at the plate, drawing seven walks.

Juan Castro will replace Rollins at shortstop and Shane Victorino will take his spot atop the batting order.

Tobacco ban?

After hounding Major League Baseball and its players union over steroids, Congress now wants the sport to ban smokeless tobacco.

“Good luck,” San Francisco Giants reliever Brandon Medders said. “Guys do what they do. We work outside. It’s been part of the game for 100 years.”

At a hearing Wednesday, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, and Health Subcommittee chairman Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, called on baseball and its players to agree to bar major leaguers from using chew, dip or similar products during games.

MLB executive VP Robert Manfred and MLB Players Assn. chief labor counsel David Prouty told lawmakers they agree that smokeless tobacco is harmful — Manfred said a ban in the majors is “a laudable goal” — but both pointed out that any ban would have to be agreed to through collective bargaining.

Smoking cigarettes while in uniform and in view of the public is not allowed in the majors. Smokeless tobacco has been banned in the minors since 1993 but is allowed in the majors, and players and managers often can be seen using products during games or carrying a tin of dip in a back pocket.

Etc.

UCLA professor Dr. Gary Green has been hired as Major League Baseball’s medical director and will evaluate the sport’s drug programs. Green has been a consultant to baseball on steroids since 2003. He will be the commissioner’s primary liaison to team doctors and trainers, will recommend updates to the major and minor league programs and help develop educational programs. … The Baltimore Orioles have placed struggling closer Mike Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left shoulder. … A hamstring injury has landed St. Louis Cardinals backup catcher Jason LaRue on the 15-day disabled list.


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