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HEY! The Sun-Times went up in price from 35 cents to 50 cents while I was away.

They always put this up as one great advantage to the Tribune -- that they were cheaper.

No big deal, I suppose, since nearly every metropolitan paper is that price (or more) these days.

And what's with the Friday day off for teams that opened Thursday (Tigers/Twins and Giants/Padres)? Why wouldn't they have opened on Friday, taking advantage of a potential larger TV audience?

Granted that these were home openers for both teams (Detroit and San Diego) and that the Padres were going to sell out anyway, since it was the first ballgame in their new ballpark.

But I cannot remember a ballclub giving up a Friday date during the season. At least the Padres don't have to share their stadium with the Chargers any more -- the Chargers always had first call and there was a situation a couple of years ago when the NFL set their schedule after the baseball season had started and forced the Padres to swap home dates with the Giants.

They had a heck of a great game for the first one in the ballpark, too.

Finally, two position players (Cody McKay, a catcher for the Cardinals, and Dave McCarty, a first baseman for the Red Sox) have already pitched this year.

McKay threw two scoreless innings.

McCarty gave up a run in 2/3 of an inning and has a 13.50 ERA. That's better than Mike Timlin, a real pitcher on the Red Sox staff (16.20).