Good to see everyone in a good mood this morning.
I’m sure Gonzaga exists, but I do admit that it’s a little fishy that I’m apparently a member of the Gonzaga Alumni Association and I never went there. I’ve never even been to Spokane.
But go ‘Zags! Make that degree I never got there worth something.
- Richard Justice has the 11 most memorable moments of Opening Day. Except Javier Baez’s two home runs isn’t on it, so he’s just flat-out wrong.
- One moment was when Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain robbed Cardinals pinch-hitter Jose Martinez of a game-tying home run with two outs in the top of the ninth. I don’t know how to feel about that.
- Another one was the terrific pitchers duel between the Mets’ Jacob deGrom and the Nationals’ Max Scherzer. The Mets won 2-0.
- The one thing the Mets have done well over the years is win on Opening Day. Over the past 50 years, the Mets are 38-12 in their first game of the year. That’s not only the best in MLB, it’s the best record of any North American major professional team.
- The Dodgers hit eight home runs and Tim Brown examines what that means other than the Dodgers will hit a lot of home runs.
- New Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper played his first game for Philadelphia and got into the spirit by wearing bright green Phillie Phanatic cleats.
- Of course, Harper went 0 for 3 with a walk in his first game and because it’s Philly, he got booed. Hannah Keyser thinks it would be a shame if Philadelphia’s big win on Opening Day got remembered only for Harper getting booed.
- Harper was also asked about that poll of players where he was named the “most overrated” player in the game. Harper said “I don’t really know what to say. I mean, I have no answer.” Yeah. it was a clown poll, bro.
- Former Phillies outfielder Doug Glanville explains what it’s like to play in Philadelphia. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- More news about Glanville. Glanville will return to working as an analyst for ESPN in the 2019 season. Don’t worry. Glanville will continue in his role as a Cubs analyst for NBC Sports Chicago.
- Craig Calcaterra has some random thoughts about things to expect in the 2019 season.
- Tom Verducci also has some things to expect from the 2019 season.
- Ben Lindbergh writes that if you were hoping to see more balls put into play and fewer walks, strikeouts and home runs in 2019, you’re likely to be disappointed.
- Ken Rosenthal has 30 “extremely unserious” predictions for 2019, one for each team. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Craig Calcaterra also loves Opening Day because that’s the day that 15 teams get hit in the mouth. By that he means boxer Mike Tyson’s famous quote that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
- On that front, Anthony Castrovince examines nine overreactions to Opening Day.
- Ray Ratto says that Angels outfielder Mike Trout is now the face of baseball and that’s just fine. He says that for all the problems baseball has, it will survive just fine.
- Max Scherzer will be the highest-paid player in the game in 2019 and the Red Sox will have the highest payroll in the game. For all the complaining around here about the Cubs being cheap this winter, the Cubs have the second-highest payroll in the game.
- However, the overall payroll of all 30 teams is down an average of $8 million over 2018.
- Bob Nightengale looks at these figures and notes that the middle class in baseball is disappearing.
- Craig Calcaterra thinks that the White Sox manipulated the service time of outfielder Eloy Jimenez to get Jimenez to sign a team-friendly long-term contract. He also thinks that an MLB kangaroo court of owners should fine the White Sox for being so blatantly obvious about it.
- When commissioner Rob Manfred was asked if the moving the pitching mound back could lead to more injuries, he flippantly responded “That’s why we’re doing it in the Atlantic League.” A lot of people feel like Manfred was saying he really doesn’t care about the health of the Atlantic League players. On the one hand, there isn’t really any evidence at the moment that moving the mound back will cause more injuries, although perhaps that conclusion will change after this experiment. On the other hand, when we see how much MLB pays minor leaguers in affiliated ball, what makes anyone think that MLB would care if Atlantic League pitchers had their arms literally fall off?
- MLB is bringing back the much-hated “Papa Slam” promotion for 2019 with Papa John’s pizza. The promotion was discontinued when now-former company CEO “Papa John” Schnatter was revealed to have made several racist comments.
- Sports Illustrated published the thoughts of an “anonymous scout” and a lot of people think what this scout said about Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera was racist. SI must somewhat agree since they have edited the original comments about Herrera.
- And Pirates GM Neal Huntington said that the comments of an “anonymous scout” that Sports Illustrated published about first baseman Josh Bell were racially-charged as well.
- Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor has suffered a setback in his recovery from a strained calf when he sprained his ankle in a minor league game.
- The Blue Jays traded first baseman Kendrys Morales to the Athletics for a minor league pitcher and international pool space. Current A’s first baseman Matt Olson is out with a broken hamate bone.
- For the first time since 1900, there is no player in MLB right now who has played in MLB during the twentieth century. (The twentieth century started in 1901, folks. Look it up.) Also, if you want to feel old, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Elvis Luciano is the first MLB player born in the year 2000. (Still the twentieth century, though, despite what the link says.) Although he didn’t play on Opening Day, so I guess there’s still time for someone else to beat him to the punch.
- Henry Olson, a man, explains how “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” is actually a feminist anthem.
- Craig Calcaterra thinks that MLB should sell the beef from cows whose leather is used to make baseballs as “MLB Steaks.”
- Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon took out a full page ad saying “thank you” to Ichiro Suzuki.
- As you no doubt noticed during yesterday’s game, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus changed his walk-up music to “Baby Shark” and he had a big game. So the song is staying.
- Here is a list of other players’ new walk-up music.
- And finally, for the love of god, would someone teach Yankees first baseman Luke Voit how to eat sunflower seeds?
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.