This is the final OTC of the winter. Starting tomorrow, we’ll have real games to talk about.
I don’t care who has the best major league ballpark giveaways this summer. I just want to know who can get me an Iowa Cubs Caitlin Clark bobblehead giveaway this summer and how much I’m going to have to pay them.
- Here’s one thing we learned in Spring Training about each MLB team.
- One player from each MLB team that impressed during Spring Training. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Brady Kopler examines one of the oddest Opening Day trends in MLB: how the Giants have had a different starting left fielder for each Opening Day over the past 17 years. We’ll see if that trend is extended in 2023. Joc Pederson returns from last season, although he’s expected to be the DH.
- Joe Trezza has a look at two highly-touted rookies who are expected to make their major league debuts on Opening Day: the Yankees’ Anthony Volpe and the Cardinals’ Jordan Walker.
- Michael Baumann examines whether the provisions in the new collective bargaining agreement are having the expected effect of discouraging the manipulation of service time.
- Mike Axisa has 23 “bold” predictions for the 2023 season.
- Thomas Boswell believes that the pitch clock will save baseball.
- Axisa also argues that Spring Training stats are meaningless. Except maybe these four stats might be telling us something. One of them is Adrian Sampson’s home run issues. The Cubs might agree with him there as they sent Sampson down to Iowa.
- Davy Andrews goes down a similar path as he analyzes the exit velocities leaders from Spring Training.
- Will Leitch and Mike Petriello draft each MLB team based on how likely they are to win the World Series in 2023.
- Dan Moore writes that Athletics fans are dreaming of the end of the Moneyball era in Oakland.
- Sam Miller looks at the past and present of the Rockies and notes that they are still an expansion team.
- Sam Blum believes the Angels will make the playoffs if these 10 things happen. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will make an estimated record $65 million this year, between his salary and his endorsements.
- The Guardians and second baseman Andrés Giménez agreed to a seven-year, $106.5 million deal with a team option for an eighth year.
- Guardians right-handed starter Triston McKenzie will start the season on the IL with a shoulder injury.
- Ben Clemens examines the Cardinals starting rotation after the team signed Miles Mikolas to an extension.
- Do-Hyoung Park writes about why the Twins are planning to bat Joey Gallo leadoff to start the season.
- The Braves unveiled their City Connect jerseys, which honor Hank Aaron and evoke the Braves uniforms of the early-seventies.
- The video game MLB The Show 23 will feature several greats from the Negro Leagues.
- Matt Snyder ranks every team by their best ballpark promotions this summer.
- C. Trent Rosecrans looks at the Reds program to get their Latin American minor leaguers a high school equivalency degree. (The Athletic sub. req.) Three Reds just graduated the team had a big graduation ceremony for them. As one proud minor leaguer who got his degree said, it may seem normal in the US but a high school diploma is a big deal in the Dominican Republic.
- Jim Callis has the four farm systems that have improved the most over the last year.
- Dayn Perry has a very detailed history of old Yankee Stadium on its 100th anniversary.
- The Dodgers keep retired Andrew Toles on the payroll at $0 a year so that Toles can keep his health insurance. His career ended because, in large part, because of his struggles with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
- Matt Gelb has Bryce Harper break down each pitch of his epic pennant-winning at-bat that ended with a home run off of Robert Suarez. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Zach Crizer looks at the recent trend of hiring coaches who never played professionally. Such coaches used to be quite rare, but they are now becoming more common.
- Home plate umpire Randy Rosenberg ejected Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto for . . . well, you tell me because I’m not sure and neither is Realmuto. Check it out.
Homeplate umpire Randy Rosenberg ejects JT Realmuto for this pic.twitter.com/dkQtpU1bHt— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) March 27, 2023
- And finally, reliever Sergio Romo played one last exhibition game before retiring in San Francisco on Monday to an adoring crowd at Oracle Park. Romo was an important part of the bullpen for all three Giants World Series championship teams
- Before the game, Romo looked back at his career and thanked Giants fans in The Players Tribune.
- And Romo had another touching way to thank fans. He had every kid who asked for an autograph to sign his cap first.
- Here’s the cap.
Every time a kid asked Sergio Romo for an autograph in spring training he asked them to sign his hat first. He wore this to the mound tonight: pic.twitter.com/O3CXB5BLyr— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) March 28, 2023
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Play Ball!