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Opening Day Newsbeat

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bundle up! 2020 MLB opening day is March 26, earliest ever

NEW YORK (AP)—The 2020 Major League Baseball season will open March 26, the earliest big league opening day.

The Texas Rangers announced Friday they will play the St. Louis Cardinals in an exhibition on Monday, March 23 as the first game involving major league teams at Globe Life Field, their new ballpark with a retractable roof.

A person familiar with the schedule then said the season will open on Thursday, March 26. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized.

And yet they wonder why so many early games suffer due to the cold…..

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: march madness, opening day

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Opening day winners and losers: Robinson Cano, Chris Sale and pace-of-play

It’s one game out of 162. One day out of months of them. So how much can you really take away from opening day in Major League Baseball? It’s a valid question. But have you ever known sports not to be a world of overreaction?

So, sure, we’re assessing the winners and losers of opening day. And, yes, the premise is somewhat flawed. But we also know that every baseball fan approaches opening day with slightly more optimism than the other days. Even people in Baltimore.

The winners aren’t just the teams that score more runs — even though that is also technically true. Being an opening day “winner” is about making a statement on the biggest day of the year when all 30 teams play. It’s also about being on the opposite side of expectations. So, no, the Orioles aren’t necessarily “losers” for losing.

The good news? Tomorrow is a new day. And so is the day after that.

Some commentary concerning opening day- wonder how many of these points will still apply at the end of the season….

 

QLE Posted: March 30, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, opening day, pace of play, robinson cano

Friday, March 29, 2019

Opening Day 2019: ‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’

Before he lost his air of invincibility — before he became a convicted rapist and then, ultimately, a side show — Mike Tyson was a greatly feared boxer. Whether it was because of his fierce style, the historic weakness of the post-Larry Holmes heavyweight division or some combination of the two, no one had an answer for him for the first four years of his career. He was simply unstoppable.

Back when Tyson was unstoppable, his opponents were invariably asked what they’d do against him. What they would do that the guy who was knocked senseless by Tyson a couple of months before did not do. They all had different answers.

Some said they’d use a lot of lateral movement. Some said they’d keep him at bay with jabs. Some said they’d get on their bike and use the whole ring in an effort to tire him out. Some said they’d tie him up. It never worked. At least it never worked until an out-of-shape and ill-prepared Tyson got knocked the hell out by Columbus, Ohio’s own Buster Douglas on February 11, 1990, but that’s another story.

One time, when Tyson was still invincible, someone asked him about his opponents’ strategies and how he intended to counter them. In response, he gave what is probably his most famous quote: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Somewhere, Malcolm “Flash” Gordon is shaking his head at this….

 

QLE Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:52 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: boxing, opening day

Astros SS Correa (neck) sidelined for opener

Houston Astros All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa is out of the lineup for Opening Day on Thursday as he grapples with a neck strain.

He took early batting practice before the Astros’ game with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field but declared himself a no-go. He told reporters he hopes to play at some point in the opening series.

Correa, 24, suffered the injury in a spring training game on Friday.

“I’m getting better, slowly better,” he said. “It’s day-to-day type of thing. I’m trying to feel great to where I can just swing and let it go. It happened — and obviously, bad timing — in one of the last games in Spring Training against the Mets. I went to tag (Michael) Conforto and tripped with him and fell on my shoulder. Thank God, (the injury) was not my shoulder; it was just my neck. I just recovered slowly.”

 

QLE Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos correa, neck, opening day

Nationals lose 1st game of 2019 with 2018-type miscues

WASHINGTON (AP) — In some respects, the first game of 2019 felt a bit like a remnant of 2018 all over again for manager Dave Martinez and the Washington Nationals.

As much as the roster has been reworked after missing the playoffs, with plenty of folks gone — most prominently, of course, Bryce Harper — and plenty arrived to replace them, the sorts of things that ailed the Nationals last season were again on display in a 2-0 loss to the New York Mets on opening day.

That included an up-and-down-the-lineup inability to hit in the clutch and one particularly bad example of baserunning by rookie center fielder Victor Robles.

Do you think Mike Rizzo ever regrets his hubris from 2012 at all?

QLE Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, opening day

Everybody’s journey is different: Merrill Kelly’s unique path to his first opening day

LOS ANGELES — On a day in which there would be 15 baseball games, hundreds of waving ballplayers lined along dozens of basepaths, thousands of souls in those ballparks, all ready to start over, to try it again, to be a little better this time, Merrill Kelly awoke Thursday morning in a hotel room in the clouds above downtown here. Bre, his wife of four months, was beside him.

Of all of those journeys to all of those basepaths in all of those ballparks, Kelly’s would conclude with a bus ride of two or three miles, up the hill, from where, perhaps, he would see his every step till now. Through the minor leagues, through four years in Korea, though the trials of time and distance, to a small patch of smoothed dirt saved between Archie Bradley and Alex Avila, teammates with the Arizona Diamondbacks, to his first opening day, his first day in the big leagues, his first recognition that what was maybe possible had happened.

“Some days, and I was telling these guys,” Kelly said, gesturing around him, “me standing here talking to you right now, this day was literally miles away. So many miles away.”

He turned 30 in October. He is a right-handed pitcher scheduled to start Monday in San Diego. But, for a day at least, he was a guy in a big-league jersey after years being an SK Wyvern, an Escogido Leon, a Durham Bull, a Salt River Rafter.

A reminder of the ways in which the beginning of the season serves as a beginning for many of the players on the field.

QLE Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cup o coffee, merrill kelly, opening day

Cubs, Rangers fans miss opening ceremonies due to long lines outside stadium

The final season at Globe Life Park in Arlington did not start the way anyone hoped. And that’s before the first pitch was thrown Thursday between the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.

David Tarrant, a reporter with Dallas Morning News, intended to talk to fans about the final season to be played at the park. He was even there for opening day in 1994.

Instead, he listened to angry fans stuck outside as lines extended down the block from the third base side to the home plate side.

It turns out the problems with Rangers management extend beyond the product on the field….

QLE Posted: March 29, 2019 at 08:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lines, opening day, rangers

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Baseball Savant | baseballsavant.com

If you haven’t been following the improvements to Baseball Savant, you’ve been missing out. Check out the Opening Day game previews.

Happy Opening Day!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2019 at 08:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

MLB notebook: Orioles’ Cobb (groin) lands on IL

The Baltimore Orioles placed scheduled Opening Day starter Alex Cobb on the 10-day injured list with a strained right groin, the club announced Monday.

Cobb departed his final spring training outing after one inning Saturday due to the injury.

Fellow right-hander Andrew Cashner likely will draw the season-opening assignment for Baltimore on Thursday against the host New York Yankees.

The Cleveland Spiders could use a good challenge….

QLE Posted: March 27, 2019 at 02:10 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cobb, groin, opening day, orioles

Mariners back to exhibition games after trip to Japan

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais didn’t need long to come up with one immediate advantage to playing exhibition games after having already opened the regular season.

“Yeah, the fact we’re 2-0 is not a bad thing,” Servais joked.

Servais could joke because the atmosphere around the Seattle clubhouse was relaxed, if not a little jet-lagged still, before beginning an awkward two-day stretch on Monday night with the first of two exhibition games against the San Diego Padres.

After the fanfare and excitement of traveling across the Pacific to Japan, opening the season with a pair of victories over Oakland, and bidding farewell to the professional career of Ichiro Suzuki, the Mariners returned home for a pair of games with little-to-no meaning that don’t count in the standings.

In case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to return to the pre-season after your regular season has already begun….

 

QLE Posted: March 27, 2019 at 01:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: exhibitions, japan, mariners, opening day

Familiar teams favored in MLB despite shifting stars

Washington (AFP) - Superstar sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will try to turn their new clubs into title contenders but mostly familiar teams figure to dominate this year’s Major League Baseball championship chase.

After a two-game debut in Tokyo that was basically a farewell celebration for Japanese legend Ichiro Suzuki, the major league campaign opens in earnest on Thursday in North American venues.

Harper, a six-time All-Star outfielder, never went deeper than four first-round playoff exits in seven seasons with Washington before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies for 13 years at $330 million earlier this month.

In other words, kind of what we’d expect after the last off-season.

QLE Posted: March 27, 2019 at 01:51 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, manny machado, opening day, same old same old

Top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. to be on Padres opening-day roster, reports say

While many MLB teams shy away from having their top prospects start the season in the majors, the San Diego Padres seem to be going in the opposite direction.

According to several media reports, shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., 20, who has never played a game above the Class AA level, will be on the Padres’ 25-man roster on opening day.

The news comes a day after 23-year-old right-hander Chris Paddack, who also hasn’t played above Class AA, was announced as the starting pitcher for San Diego’s fourth regular-season game on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.

Padres management has clearly gone mad with power! Run, everyone, run!!!!

 

QLE Posted: March 27, 2019 at 01:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando tatis jr., opening day, roster battles, service time

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

In data-driven age, ‘honor’ of opening day start still big

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As spring training neared its conclusion, a reporter mentioned to Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez that Max Scherzer was not precisely on schedule to start on opening day.

“He’s going to be lined up,” Martinez said with a laugh. “Come Thursday at 1:05, he’ll be on the mound.”

Of course he will. Scherzer is, after all, one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and runner-up last season. So it makes perfect sense that when Washington hosts the NL East rival New York Mets this week, Scherzer will take on the pitcher who topped him in the NL voting, Jacob deGrom.

Or, The (Symbolic) Importance Of Opening-Day Starting

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day, symbolism

Ranking all 30 of MLB’s opening day starters for 2019

Brace yourself, baseball fans. Opening day is almost here.

We got a small taste of meaningful baseball last week when the Seattle Mariners swept a two-game series against the Oakland Athletics in Japan. Now, though, we’re primed and ready for the season’s first full slate on March 28.

That’s right, all 30 teams will be in action on this year’s traditional opening day. And as always, one of the more interesting aspects leading into the big day is which pitchers will get the honor of throwing their team’s first pitch.

A listing of everyone scheduled to be (or, in two cases, already have been) opening day starters- curious to know what criteria you’d use and how your lists would look.

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day, pitching, rankings

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Giants confident massive new scoreboard will be ready for Opening Day

SAN FRANCISCO—When members of the local media were let into Oracle Park on Friday to see upgrades, it was easy to be concerned about the scoreboard. The new version appears nowhere close to done, but the Giants are quickly making progress, and in the few minutes it took three team executives to brief the media on the ballpark, one percent of the scoreboard panels got completed.

Bill Schlough, the team’s Chief Information Officer, said there are no concerns about Opening Day. The $10 million Diamond Vision board will be fully operational by April 5, when the team returns home to host the Tampa Bay Rays. Schlough said the scoreboard will be more than two-thirds finished by Monday’s exhibition game against the A’s, and since the Giants have been testing it as they install rows, they will be able to use the completed portion Monday.

Even that will represent a significant upgrade. The new scoreboard will be the first 4K version in the majors, and will be 153 feet wide and 70 feet high. It is more than three times the size of the previous one, with twice the resolution.

Doings at China Basin- would that I had either the time or money….

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: china basin, giants, opening day, scoreboard

Injured duo Lindor, Kipnis to miss opening day for Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and double-play partner Jason Kipnis have been ruled out for opening day by the Cleveland Indians.

The team said Friday night that neither player will be ready for Thursday’s opener at Minnesota. Lindor will start the year on the 10-day injured list. He has been recovering from a right calf strain that’s limited him during spring training. He has yet to appear in a Cactus League game but has participated in intrasquad minor league games. Potentially frigid weather in Minneapolis is an extra concern for Cleveland.

Kipnis had an MRI on Thursday which confirmed a mild right calf strain. He won’t do any baseball activities for 7 to 10 days before being re-evaluated.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 23, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, indians, injuries, jason kipnis, opening day

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mariners beat A’s 9-7 with help from homers, a bat flip, and endless love for Ichiro

The first pitch of the 2019 MLB season was thrown at 5:36 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, or 6:36 p.m. local time in Tokyo. Ladies and gentlemen, we have baseball.

There were a lot more 2019 firsts on the way to the Seattle Mariners’ 9-7 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday morning. A’s starting pitcher Mike Fiers threw the season’s first strike. Seattle’s Jay Bruce got the season’s first hit. Fiers’ teammate Stephen Piscotty scored the season’s first run and hit 2019’s first home run at the same time.

We’ll have to wait for our first pitcher’s duel, though. The crowd at the Tokyo Dome was treated to a bash fest, with 16 hits and five home runs between both teams. Seattle’s starter Marco Gonzales had a rough start, allowing four runs in his first three innings, but settled down and managed to throw three more scoreless innings.

After all those posts leading up to the game, it would be indecent not to link to an actual account of the game itself.

QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, mariners, neutral site games, opening day

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks to miss opening day with back injury

CLEARWATER, Fla. — New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks had a second cortisone shot for his ailing back and will not be ready for opening day.

Hicks was hurt while taking batting practice March 1.

New York manager Aaron Boone didn’t rule out Hicks returning during the second week of the season.

Depending, of course, on what’s actually in those shots….

 

QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron hicks, back, injury, opening day

MLB notebook: Kershaw will miss Opening Day start

For the first time since 2010, Clayton Kershaw won’t be the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The left-hander, who has started a club-record eight straight openers, was ruled out of the March 28 start against the Arizona Diamondbacks due to the persistent shoulder inflammation he has dealt with all spring. He has yet to pitch in a spring training game.

“When he’s ready to pitch for us is when he’s going to pitch for us,” said manager Dave Roberts, adding that it was unlikely Kershaw will begin the season on the active roster.

Roberts didn’t announce an Opening Day starter on Monday, but right-hander Walker Buehler is definitely in the mix. The last Opening Day starter for the Dodgers not named Kershaw was Vicente Padilla in 2010.

Fourth season with injury issues in a row- wondering if this means the decline phase is beginning…..

 

QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, opening day

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Ichiro arrives in Tokyo, a sure sign baseball only days away

Ichiro Suzuki has arrived in Tokyo, a sure sign the Major League Baseball season is only days away from starting.

Wearing a gray and black hat pulled down to cover most of his head, the 45-year-old Seattle Mariners star slipped quickly through the arrival gate on Friday at Haneda Airport with hundreds of reporters and fans getting only a quick glimpse.

The Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics arrived within hours of each other on Friday on charter flights from the United States. They play on Wednesday and Thursday at the Tokyo Dome in the first two games of the 2019 season.

Ichiro could have ended winter six weeks sooner, if he wanted to….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, japan, neutral site games, opening day

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Athletics excited about starting season in Japan next week

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Oakland Athletics pitcher Liam Hendriks wants to taste soy sauce ice cream. Teammate Marco Estrada is hoping to spend a day at Tokyo Disneyland. Athletics manager Bob Melvin just needs to pack.

Melvin and the Athletics head to Japan on Thursday for the major league opening series against the Seattle Mariners at the Toyko Dome on March 20-21. The A’s and Mariners also faced each other in the last opening series in Tokyo, splitting two games in 2012. The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets played there in 2000, the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2004, and the Boston Red Sox and Oakland in 2008.

Oakland went on to win the AL West seven years ago and reach the Division Series.

Billy Beane, meanwhile, is considering threatening to move the team to Tokyo if Oakland doesn’t have over half of downtown for a stadium.

 

QLE Posted: March 14, 2019 at 06:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, neutral site games, opening day

Monday, March 11, 2019

Mariners, Athletics name starters for Tokyo series

The Mariners and Athletics will kick off the regular season a week before the other 28 teams with a two-game series in Tokyo, Japan March 20 and 21. The clubs have announced their starters for both series.

For the Mariners, Marco Gonzales will start the first game, followed by Yusei Kikuchi. For the A’s, Mike Fiers will start the first game, followed by Brett Anderson.

In other news, it sure doesn’t feel like the regular season should begin by the end of next week….

 

QLE Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, mariners, opening day

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Felix Hernandez’s historic opening day streak is coming to an end

All good things must come to an end.

For longtime Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, that includes his decade-long streak of making opening day starts.

According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, manager Scott Servais has informed Hernandez that he will not be getting the ball when the Mariners open up the regular season against the Oakland Athletics on March 20 in Japan. The Mariners have not decided who will make the start. They just know that for the first time since 2008, it won’t be “King Felix.”

The King appears to be facing the threat of being deposed.

 

QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:32 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners, opening day

Friday, February 01, 2019

Shohei Ohtani won’t be ready for Angels’ opening day

NEW YORK - AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani has been medically cleared to resume full-strength training on his right arm following Tommy John surgery, although he will not be ready to hit for the Los Angeles Angels by opening day.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler provided a positive update Thursday on the recovery of his two-way star, who had surgery Oct. 1.

The Angels expect Ohtani to be their designated hitter at some point in 2019, but he will not be active when the Angels open the regular season in late March, Eppler says. Ohtani is not expected to pitch again until 2020.

The Angels need to find new ways to waste the prime of Mike Trout, after all….

QLE Posted: February 01, 2019 at 04:11 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, opening day, shohei ohtani

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Orioles-Yanks, Mets-Nats start MLB’s regular opening day

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees host Baltimore and Washington is at home against the New York Mets on March 28, the first games of the earliest regular major league opening day.

The commissioner’s office announced games times Wednesday for the schedule, which was released in August. The previous earliest regular start was March 30 in 2003, 2008 and 2014.

The season opens with a two-game series between Seattle and Oakland in Tokyo on March 20-21, MLB’s fifth opener in Japan after 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. MLB also has opened in Monterrey, Mexico (1999), San Juan, Puerto Rico (2001) and Sydney, Australia (2014).

MLB will be going all-in (in relative terms, at least) with neutral-site games- finally, a decision of theirs I can fully support!

QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: neutral site games, opening day, schedule

 

 

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