Here are several go-to links that will make your Monday a bit more bearable:
- The 2012 regular season got underway last week in Tokyo, but the first game that counts stateside takes place Wednesday evening in Miami’s new ballpark.
- Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the Mets’ Opening Day starter will be Johan Santana, whose last regular-season appearance was on September 2, 2010.
- Chad Jennings of LoHud Yankees discusses Michael Pineda’s shoulder injury, which has landed him on the disabled list to start the season.
- Jamie Moyer, 49, will start the Rockies’ second game of the season, according to D. J. Short of Hardball Talk. Like Santana, Moyer missed all of last season due to injury.
- Dave Studeman of the Hardball Times comes up with the most critical plate appearances in MLB history. Here is No. 2:
In 1979, the Pirates were leading the Orioles by one run in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was the year of Family in Pittsburgh, when Willie Stargell set the bar and tone for Dave Parker and the rest of Chuck Tanner’s team. The Orioles also had a terrific year, led by switch-hitting sluggers Ken Singleton and Eddie Murray.
The O’s threatened by placing runners on second and third with two out in the bottom of the eighth. Singleton was up, but Tanner chose to walk him to have Kent Tekulve pitch to Murray. It was an understandable but still dubious move, registering a slight decrease in the Pirates’ win expectancy and adding significantly to the criticality of the situation.
Like McCovey, Murray came close to a big hit, hitting a long fly to Parker on the warning track in right field for the final out of the inning. The Pirates scored two more runs in the top of the ninth to seal their world championship, and the moment was ultimately forgotten by all but the most rabid, disappointed, Baltimore fans.
- Via Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors, the Royals signed Alex Gordon to a four-year contract extension worth $37.5 million with a fifth-year player option valued at $12.5 million.
- Why would the Indians attempt to trade for Bobby Abreu when Johnny Damon remains available? Dave Cameron of Fangraphs tackles the question.
- Beyond the Boxscore’s Lewie Pollis asks, “Do Spring Training Records Matter?”
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!