13) Good to hear live baseball on TV again; in a normal season, I watch ball most every night for six hours a night for six months- the familiar voices who call the games are like old friends coming back to visit. It has been good to hear those voices again the last few days.
12) San Diego Padres are back to wearing brown caps/jerseys, which is a good move.
11) Angels-Padres staged an “extra inning” after the Angels won their exhibition game 1-0 Monday night; they pretended the game was tied and played an extra inning, which started with a runner on 2nd and no one out.
Angels didn’t bunt, try to steal or use a pinch-runner, but they scored two runs in the top of the 10th. San Diego then had to play for a big inning to tie/win the game; they scored a run, had bases loaded with two outs, then they just ended the half-inning there for no reason. Kind of like in basketball scrimmages when coaches create situations to learn stuff from.
10) Chris Paddock will be the Opening Day starter for San Diego, the 8th different starting pitcher for the Padres the last eight years. Not much continuity there.
Baltimore Orioles will start Tommy Milone, their 5th different Opening Day starter the last five years.
9) Baseball quirks: Saturday night, with Zack Britton pitching to the Mets’ #9 hitter, a slow-footed catcher, Bronx used a 5-man infield. Tomas Nido hit an opposite field single just in front of the right fielder. Not sure what the reason for that is, but they tried it.
Monday night in Oakland, Giants played four outfielders against A’s 1B Matt Olson, who struck out. Rumor has it the Giants will try lot of different things this season.
8) Trainers/equipment guys will be the unsung heroes of this baseball season; all the extra work they have to do to keep things sanitized/healthy for players/coaches. They did a ton of work anyway before this, but this pandemic has to have to have multiplied their workload.
7) Can’t remember where I read this over the weekend, but the old Polo Grounds in New York City, where the Giants played before moving to San Francisco, was a weird ballpark.
The deepest part of centerfield was 484 feet away; the right field foul pole was only 258 feet from home plate. No bueno.
When they built lot of new ballparks in late 60’s/early 70’s, they got mocked for having mostly the same dimensions (cookie-cutter parks, they were called), but would rather have that than 258-foot home runs.
6) If they play college football this fall, the Egg Bowl should be pretty interesting; Ole Miss hired Lane Kiffin as its new coach, Mississippi State hired Mike Leach. Their recruiting battles should also be fun. And their press conferences.
5) High school football in California was moved back to next spring; next spring could be very busy, but that would be a good thing, since that means they got a vaccine and life can start getting back to normal. But there’s going to be a lot of stuff going on next spring.
4) Recommend NBC’s new streaming service, peacockTV, which started last week. Lot of old TV shows and movies. What I saw was free; not sure what additional content you get at a premium level, but I was watching the old TV show The Rockford Files the other night- good stuff.
3) RIP to longtime Congressman John Lewis 80, who died over the weekend; Lewis fought a long battle as a civil rights leader- he served in Congress for 33 years. RIP, sir.
ESPN’s Tim Kurklian lost his 96-year old mom over the weekend; couple years ago, he did a video with his mom, who was in a wheelchair, talking about how much his parents love baseball.
I’ve read lot of stuff about how all of Kurkjian’s ESPN co-workers think the world of him; had to be a very sad thing to finally to say goodbye to his mom. RIP ma’am.
2) Dodgers radio guy, former ESPN voice Charley Steiner turned 71 last week; his doctors have advised him that he is high-risk for COVID-19, so he’ll be calling games from his living room this season. Steiner and Rick Monday are an excellent radio team.
1) Listening to announcers from National League teams talk about the DH is funny; they talk about it like it is some mysterious new thing they know nothing about. DH has been around since 1973, it shouldn’t be that foreign to anyone in the major leagues.
TV highlights of the day: Live baseball games on TV; real games start Thursday.