A pitch clock will be used this season during minor league games at Class AAA and Class AA, but it has been ruled out for the major leagues this year.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday the decision to use the pitch clock in the minors followed a successful experiment in the Arizona Fall League.

MLB officials said details will be announced later, such as how much time will be allowed between pitches and other speed-up measures to be tested in the minors.

In the Fall League experiment, pitchers had to throw within 12 seconds with no runners on base and within 20 seconds when a base was occupied. There was a maximum of 2:05 between innings and a 2:30 limit for a pitching change. Additionally, hitters were required to have one foot in the batter's box at all times.

Selig is to retire Jan. 25 and be replaced by Rob Manfred.

In other MLB news:

• San Diego's Petco Park will host the All-Star Game in 2016.

• Former Twins righthander Anthony Swarzak agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians. Swarzak, 29, became a free agent in November when he refused an outright assignment to Class AAA Rochester of the International League.

• St. Louis pitcher Lance Lynn was among 17 players who avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to contracts Thursday, reaching a $22 million, three-year deal with the Cardinals.

• The Chicago White Sox will retire Paul Konerko's No. 14 jersey before their May 23 game against the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field.

• Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was named the winner of the 25th Tony Conigliaro Award. The honor goes to the player who demonstrated spirit, determination and courage. The former Twin survived a kidnapping in his home country of Venezuela in 2011. Since then, he has come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, a broken hamate bone in his left hand and repeated hamstring strains.

• A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of antitrust claims in a lawsuit by the city of San Jose against Major League Baseball, which accused the sport of illegally blocking a proposed move of the Oakland Athletics to the area.


Life after belly putter for Simpson

Webb Simpson made his debut with a conventional putter Thursday at the Sony Open in Honolulu and might have wished he had used one sooner.

One year away from the new rule that outlaws anchored strokes, Simpson ditched his belly putter for a regular one for his 2015 debut and ran off eight birdies over his last 10 holes for an 8-under 62 that gave him a share of the early lead with Paul Casey.

"Today was a big day for me," Simpson said. "I was extremely nervous — first round on the PGA Tour with a short putter. But I just had a couple [Bible] verses in my yardage book today that I kept reading, and I stayed calm. All thanks to God for giving me strength to just get through today.

"Today was a hurdle I felt like I needed to get over, and just real thankful."

Kaymer shoots 64

Martin Kaymer rekindled his fondness for the Abu Dhabi Championship by rolling in 10 birdies to shoot an 8-under 64 in the first round, giving the German a one-stroke lead in an event he has won three times.

Top-ranked Rory McIlroy and American star Rickie Fowler were also playing their first tournaments of 2015, and fed off each other's brilliant putting on their back nines to shoot 67s.


Ali is back in the hospital

Muhammad Ali was back in the hospital Thursday for follow-up care related to a severe urinary tract infection, his second stint in the hospital in the last four weeks.

The three-time former heavyweight champion was admitted to an undisclosed hospital earlier this week, Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell said. Ali is in stable condition.

Ali turns 73 on Saturday.

around the horn

Soccer: For the second straight season, a University of Connecticut player was chosen first overall in Major League Soccer's draft. Canadian forward Cyle Larin went first to Orlando City, an expansion team. ... MLS has renamed its Most Valuable Player award after Landon Donovan, its career scoring leader who retired last month.

Downhill skiing: Bode Miller will skip the classic Lauberhorn downhill on Sunday in Switzerland, delaying his World Cup comeback after back surgery. The 37-year-old Miller chose the caution option on Thursday after a second training run confirmed his lack of fitness.

Horse racing: The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission cleared one of the sport's winningest trainers, Steve Asmussen, of abuse allegations made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA claimed it had videotape evidence that Asmussen mistreated thoroughbreds in his care. Asmussen ranks second among trainers in career racing victories, with more than 6,900. He has earned more than $224 million in purses — fifth on the career list.

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