Former MLB star Bouton dies at 80

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) - 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 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 injured his right arm in 1965, going 4-15 that season, and saw limited action the next three seasons with New York. He worked on "Ball Four" in 1969, a season spent with the expansion Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros, his fastball replaced by a knuckleball as he tried to prolong his career.

PRO BASEBALL

YORK, Pa. (AP) - "Robot umpires" have arrived.

The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game. Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar.

He crouched in his normal position behind the catcher and signaled balls and strikes.

It didn't appear deBrauwere had any delay receiving the calls at first but players noticed a delay at times. Infielder L.J. Mazzilli said a few times hitters who struck out lingered an extra second or so in the batter's box waiting on a called third strike.

CHICAGO (AP) - Work crews have begun extending the protective netting to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field, a step the Chicago White Sox are taking following a couple of high-profile injuries this season.

The White Sox say the the netting will be in place when the team returns home July 22 to host the Miami Marlins.

The White Sox are the first major league team to take the step after a liner by Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. struck a 4-year-old girl in Houston in May.

PRO SOCCER

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. women's national soccer team celebrated its Women's World Cup victory on both coasts, honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City before jetting to the West Coast and collecting trophies at The ESPYS in the evening.

Alex Morgan won female athlete of the year and shared the best team award with her soccer mates.

As she got up from the front row, Megan Rapinoe's black tuxedo jacket opened and exposed her left breast, which was caught by cameras showing the in-house feed of the show. An ABC spokesperson said the show would be further edited for the Mountain and Western time zones.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The NCAA has charged North Carolina State with four violations, accusing a former assistant coach of providing payments and benefits connected to the recruitment of one-and-done basketball player Dennis Smith Jr.

The school said its notice of allegations was received Tuesday, and now has 90 days to respond.

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