The Upper Deck

Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.

IT’S BACK, BACK, BACK

After four long days without a game played in anger—remember, the All-Star Game no longer counts—big league baseball returns tonight for the nominal second half. Trade deadline, callups, pennant races to come!


MAMA, THERE’S THAT MAN AGAIN

Say what you will about Tim Tebow’s longshot bid to reach the majors, but you can’t deny his appeal to fans, or what he’s done since being promoted to high Class A. After Thursday’s walkoff homer, Tebow is slashing .327/.421/.551.


FIGHT FOR TV RIGHTS

The ongoing Mid-Atlantic Sports Network battle is headed back to arbitration after a New York appeals court ruling Thursday. The appellate court ruled that a panel of big league owners and executives can determine the amount of rights fees the Nationals can earn from TV broadcasts of their games from MASN, which is controlled by the Orioles. The outcome was not what the Orioles wanted and the club said it will appeal. The Nationals labeled the decision as “a major legal victory.”


RASMUS STEPS AWAY

Colby Rasmus has decided to step away from baseball, the Rays said Thursday. Rasmus, who is hitting .281/.318/.579 with nine homers in just 37 games, was placed on restricted list and is not expected to return this season, BA correspondent Marc Topkin reported. Rasmus is on a one-year deal with the Rays and was placed on the disabled list because of a hip injury just before the all-star break. In the Tampa Bay Times, Topkin wrote that it appears, “Rasmus was frustrated from the injuries and the rehab and wanted to spend time with his family.”


HAPPENINGS AT BA

The first big deal of the July trading season seemingly came out of nowhere and involved the two Chicago clubs. Lefthander Jose Quintana went over to the North Side for four minor leaguers, including top Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez. JJ Cooper broke down the deal, and JJ, John and Kyle podcasted about it as well. . . .  The MLB draft was just a month ago, but work on the 2018 draft has already begun. Hudson Belinsky and Carlos Collazo have the 2018 watch list.

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