Jim Bouton, the former New York Yankees pitcher who shocked and angered the conservative baseball world with the tell-all book "Ball Four," has died. He was 80.
Bouton's family said he died Wednesday at the Great Barrington, Mass., home he shared with wife Paula Kurman. He fought a brain disease linked to dementia and was in hospice care. Bouton also had two strokes in 2012.
Published in 1970, "Ball Four" detailed Yankees great Mickey Mantle's carousing and the use of stimulants in the major leagues. Bouton's revealing look at baseball off the field made for eye-opening and entertaining reading, but he paid a big price for the best-seller when former teammates and players and executives across baseball ostracized him for exposing their secrets. He wasn't invited to the Yankees' Old-Timers' Day until 1998.
Throwing so hard that his cap often flew off his head, Bouton was 21-8 with six shutouts in 1963, his second season in the majors and his only year as an All-Star, and went 18-13 with four more shutouts in 1964. The Yankees lost the World Series both years, with Bouton losing his lone start in 1963 in New York's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers and winning twice the following year in the Yankees' loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bouton was a television sportscaster in New York City with WABC and WCBS, wrote other books, appeared in the 1973 movie "The Long Goodbye" and starred in a 1976 CBS sitcom based on "Ball Four" that lasted only five episodes. He and a former teammate developed Big League Chew, a bubble gum alternative to tobacco.
Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick was suspended for two games by Major League Baseball after his violent home plate collision with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
The suspension was announced Thursday before the AL West-leading Astros played a series opener at Texas in their first game after the All-Star break. Marisnick also was fined.
Lucroy was carted off the field Sunday after the collision at the end of the eighth inning. The Angels catcher sustained a concussion and broken nose.
Around the bases
The St. Louis Cardinals placed catcher Yadier Molina on the injured list with a strained right thumb and activated infielder Matt Carpenter as part of a series of roster moves. St. Louis also brought up left-hander Chasen Shreve from Triple-A Memphis, optioned left-hander Tyler Webb and outfielder Rangel Ravelo to Memphis, and transferred pitcher Jordan Hicks to the 60-day IL update ahead of their series against Arizona beginning Friday night. ... The Los Angeles Dodgers activated shortstop Corey Seager from the 10-day injured list Wednesday and optioned infielder/outfielder Matt Beaty to triple-A Oklahoma City. Seager was placed on the injured list June 12 after straining his left hamstring against the Los Angeles Angels the previous night.