For all the jokes about baseball being a slow-paced game, the first weekend of the season was certainly loaded with as much drama as you might fit into a full postseason. There were walk-off wins courtesy of Javier Baez in Detroit; the first baseball caught in a cup of beer in a Rays game (and the fine team at Budweiser bought the guy tickets to another game); and even the first bench-clearing brawl of the season thanks to Francisco Lindor getting plunked in the Mets/ Nationals game.
Baseball most certainly is back, and with it all the excitement, twists and turns, and great plays we were so afraid of missing during the lockout.
It’s so great to be back, now let’s see what was worth writing about this weekend.
- ESPN has a quick guide to everything you might have missed on Opening Day.
- First, whoever decided it was riveting television to mic umpires was not correct, except in this case and this case only.
I genuinely can't believe this was game 1 of a very long regular season and not, like, the ALCS https://t.co/wrT0M1druN— ruhee on rails (@ruhee_) April 9, 2022
- No, it wasn’t just you with feed issues on Apple TV+, but hey, at least the picture quality was good while it worked.
- The Red Sox wanted to keep Garrett Whitlock around, so they signed him to a four-year deal writes Nick Selbe.
- After Rays’ mascot Stinger went semi-viral on Twitter this weekend, I had to explain that he is not, in fact, a new mascot at all.
- Rhett Bollinger brings us a look at the hardest hit of Shohei Ohtani’s career.
- Stephanie Apstein looks at Logan Webb’s evident return to form.
- Richard Deitsch interviews Joe Davis about Davis’s new role as the voice of the World Series. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- It’s George Brett deja vu as a college HR is overturned due to excessive pine tar. Story by Manny Randhawa.
- Ron Grossman takes us back to 1890, when strife between players and owners caused the players to form a brand new league.
- Maybe those owners should have bought Bose headphones to soothe their players.
Rob Manfred has said he needs to repair his relationship with MLB players following the lockout. Here’s a small gesture from Opening Day. Each player had a gift box waiting at their locker with Bose headphones and this “note of appreciation” from Manfred inside. pic.twitter.com/kxHnGcoaQT— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) April 10, 2022
- Zach Koons offers a little more insight into those gifted headphones.
- I have never in my life seen a bat break like this before.
- Minor league manager Rachel Balkovec is off to a pretty darned good start after the Tarpons opened their season with a win while the crowd chanted her name. (AP)
- Are things improving for minor leaguers? Yes. Is there still room for improvement? You better believe it. Sam Blum looks at how things are really going in the new minor league housing. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Speaking of minor leaguers, a three-year study has proposed that they should all be getting a minimum salary of $35,000, reports Brittany Ghiroli. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Buster Olney looks at what’s left to prove in Aaron Judge’s career if he goes the free agent route, as he seems inclined to.
- Ken Rosenthal says that there’s a strong case to be made that Judge is worth more than what the Yankees offered him. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- After the Nationals debuted their genuinely lovely cherry blossom uniforms this weekend, the Astros were up next to unveil their City Connect jerseys and they are very, very retro.
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.