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For the Record
April 26, 2010
Tossed
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April 26, 2010

For The Record

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Tossed

Last Saturday by the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez (above), the first no-hitter in team history. In a 4--0 win over Atlanta the 26-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic struck out seven and walked six. Perhaps the biggest threat to Jimenez's no-no was his soaring pitch count: He threw an MLB season-high 128 pitches and by night's end sat atop the majors with 114 per game. "Because it's only his third start of the season, I start looking at [that]," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. "Is the pitch count intact enough to the point it doesn't become ridiculous and you run the risk of jeopardizing a young man's career?" After Jimenez's effort, only the Mets, Padres and Rays are without a no-hitter in franchise history.

Requested

By Congress, that Major League Baseball ban smokeless tobacco, which studies have shown causes mouth and throat cancer. In an April 13 hearing Democratic congressmen Henry Waxman (Calif.) and Frank Pallone (N.J.) called upon MLB to follow the lead of minor league baseball, where smokeless tobacco has been banned since 1993. Following the revelation that one third of all major leaguers report that they chew, Waxman (who was one of the leaders of the Reform Committee hearings on steroid use in 2005) asked, "We don't let players stand in the field and drink beer [or] smoke cigarettes ... so why should they be out there—in sight of all their fans—using smokeless tobacco?" MLB executive VP Robert Manfred, who was on hand, called such a ban a "laudable goal" and said the league would put the issue on the table in future labor negotiations.

Revealed

By Royals outfielder-DH Jose Guillen, that this past off-season doctors discussed with him the possibility that he would die from blood clots in his legs. The 33-year-old opened this season with five home runs in his first nine games, but only, he told The Kansas City Star, after medication helped him bounce back from the clots, which left him confined to bed for 20 days and caused him to lose 35 pounds. Guillen spent more than three months on the DL in 2009 before undergoing off-season surgery on his ankle and lower back. Shortly after those procedures, Guillen says, his legs swelled and turned purple, and doctors compared the severity of the clots with those that claimed the life of former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas in 2000.

Approved

By the NCAA's D-I Legislative Council, a measure requiring the testing of all its athletes for the sickle-cell trait, which is believed to increase the risk of death from intense exercise. Since 2000 at least eight NCAA football players who have died during training possessed the trait, which is estimated to be present in 8% of African-Americans and less than 1% of Caucasian Americans. The plan, which still needs approval by the D-I board of directors, has yet to receive the full support of the Sickle Cell Disease Association, whose members would prefer that teams alter their training methods rather than rely on testing. Right now, "the onus is still on the student," the association's skeptical chief medical officer, Dr. Lanetta Jordan, told The New York Times. "It's not on changing the [extreme exercise conditions] of the institutions."

Died

In a Carabobo, Venezuela, prison, where he hung himself by tying his clothes together, former lightweight champion Edwin Valero (below, left). Last Friday, Valero was arrested on suspicion of murdering his 24-year-old wife, Jennyfer, who had been found dead in a Valencia hotel room. (Police say Valero admitted the crime to a hotel employee.) On Monday morning Valero was found dead at age 28. At the time of his death the southpaw was 27--0 and considered one of the world's hardest hitters. Born into squalor in the Andean state of Mérida, he had dropped out of school at age 13, becoming a street fighter and petty thief. (He told SI in 2008 that he was the only survivor of a group of 30 friends from those years.) He took up boxing, and by 17 he was a three-time amateur national champion. Alas, Valero never truly changed his street ways: He earned at least 14 stints in jails, was charged in September with assaulting a neighbor's mother and wife, and last month entered rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.

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