I never went to Gonzaga University nor have I ever been to Spokane. (I’ve been to Seattle a few times, so at least I’ve been in the state of Washington.) However, Gonzaga University considers me a member of the Gonzaga Alumni Association because my wife is a graduate. She went there before I met her. That was also before the school became famous for basketball but after Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton went there. She was totally unaware the school even had a basketball team when she attended, which tells you how far the school has come in the past two decades.
So what I’m saying is that we were both Adam Morrison on Saturday night.
If you don’t hear from me after tonight, it’s probably because tonight’s title game went like Saturday night’s game and we’re both dead.
- Evan Drellich explains why commissioner Rob Manfred pulled the All-Star Game from Georgia. (The Athletic sub. req.) Could Wrigley Field end up hosting the game instead?
- Jack Baer has a collection of reactions to the moving of the All-Star Game.
- David Schoenfield has ten observations from Opening Weekend.
- Katherine Acquavella has the winners and losers from Opening Weekend.
- One of the losers is certainly the Red Sox, who were swept by the Orioles (of all teams) at Fenway. It’s the first time since 1948 that the Red Sox have opened 0-3 at home.
- A winner has to be White Sox rookie catcher Yermín Mercedes, who went 8 for 8 to start the season. That’s the most consecutive hits to start a season since at least 1900.
- Tigers rookie outfielder Akil Baddoo homered on the first pitch he ever saw in the majors on Sunday. Baddoo was a Rule 5 pick from the Twins this past winter.
- In case you weren’t watching Sunday Night Baseball, the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani threw a pitch at 101 mph and hit a home run that left his bat at 115 mph. Ohtani left the game in the fifth inning after a collision (see photo above) at the plate with José Abreu and received a no-decision. The Angels announced that his ankle is merely sore and he’ll be re-evaluated on Monday. The Angels won last night on a walk-off three-run home run by Jared Walsh.
- Angels reliever Ty Buttrey announced that he’s retiring from baseball in an Instagram post that explained that “his love and passion for this game started to diminish.” Buttrey also said that he was looking forward to just being “Ty” and not “Ty, the baseball player.” I’m glad he’s stepping away from the game if it’s making him miserable and I wish him the best in retirement.
- The Angels also signed infielder David Fletcher to a five-year, $24.5 million deal. Dan Szymborski looks back at Fletcher’s career and what the Angels can expect out of him going forward.
- And a quick reminder that we’re still in a pandemic. The Nationals/Mets Opening Series was postponed and now the Nationals game with the Braves today has been postponed as well. However, the two teams are scheduled to open the Nats season on Tuesday.
- Benches cleared and outfielder Nick Castellanos was ejected as the Reds and Cardinals got into an argument over the unwritten rules. Castellanos did say that if Yadier Molina punched him in the face, he’d still ask him for a signed jersey.
- Adam Berry has a deep look at the Rays’ one secret trick for pitching success. It’s basically “throw strikes,” but of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. A lot of it is making the complicated sound simple.
- Clinton Yates has a profile of Brewers reliever Devin Williams, who isn’t your traditional baseball player. For one, he’d like baseball players to have more freedom to express themselves.
- The Athletic has an interview with Red Sox owner Tom Werner about the role that new minority investor LeBron James will play with the Red Sox and with Liverpool FC. (The Athletic sub. req.) There’s also a lot of reporting on the situation both teams on opposite sides of the Atlantic find themselves in at the moment.
- Dayn Perry hates the “runner on second in extra innings” rule and endorses my alternate solution: just end the games in ties after 12 innings. This is the rule in place in Japan and Korea and it works just fine.
- As we wait for minor league Spring Training to start, some teams in Arizona have started an informal “co-op” league. The Cubs are not among the teams listed as participating.
- Umpire Angel Hernandez has lost his discrimination lawsuit against MLB.
- Peter Dreier has an all-time, all-star team of Jewish ballplayers.
- And finally, Benoit Morenne has the story of Edward Bennett, the batboy and good-luck charm for the great Yankees teams of the 1920s and early 1930s. Morenne also has the story of his unmarked grave in New York and how some people fixed that injustice.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Unless Gonzaga wins. Then today will be awesome. Go Zags.