Drew Fairservice

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MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays

Mashiro Tanaka made his highly-anticipated debut tonight for the New York Yankees, starting against the Blue Jays in Toronto’s home opener. With a throng of Japanese media on hand on top of the typically large New York contingent and a sold-out crowd, it was the perfect storm.

#TANAK did not disappoint under the watchful eyes of the Yankees “universe.” His final line looks great (7IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 8 strikeouts, 0 walks) but failed to capture how truly in control Tanaka appeared for most of the game.

The Jays poked and slapped their share of singles through the Yankees’ infield in the early going but Tanaka really settled in after the second inning and mowed down the Blue Jays for the next five frames, only failing to retire Edwin Encarnacion (one of the AL’s premier sluggers, it should be noted.)

What did we learn about Masahiro Tanaka tonight? Splitters. There will be lots and lots of splitters. As far as the eye can see, splitters on splitters on splitters.

There will be splitters because the splitter is an insane pitch for Tanaka, especially against hitters seeing him for the first time.According to Brooks Baseball, Tanaka threw 24 total splitters, 10 of which the Blue Jays swung through and four others that went for hits.

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MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox

MLB.tv is in its 12th season of existence, a wonderful service and piece of technology that allows fans to watch their favorite team no matter their geographic location.

That is what and how MLB.tv should primarily be used – to follow your favorite team. So do that, watch them with hope in your heart.

But it also enables hardcore baseball fans to watch all the other, out-of-market games. They can track their fantasy players or watch their second favorite team, provided their parents did a poor enough job raising them to allow for such trite weakness.

While MLB.tv allows for a mosaic mode to watch multiple games at once, this is for degenerates or crazy people only.

Most people want to pick one game and watch it. Enjoy it. Get into it. But which game?

That’s a matter of personal preference. If you need some guidance, allow this list to determine the ten teams you most want to AVOID on your MLB.tv surfing, starting with the least desirable option in baseball right now.

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MLB: San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Paul Goldschmidt owns Tim Lincecum. Paul Goldschmidt hits Tim Lincecum hard every time they face off. Every. Time. This is not a new phenomenon, as last season in this space we examined the impact of Goldschmidt’s Timmy tuning on his career line.

The beat went on yesterday afternoon, as Goldschimdt homered in his first plate appearance of the year against Lincecum. He later singled but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. It was the sixth career home run for Goldschimidt off the two-time Cy Young winner in just 21 career plate appearances to that point. Goldy can claim 12 hits and two walks in his 26 career PAs versus Timmy. That’s a lot.

It is unusual for one hitter to dominate a pitcher as great* as Tim Lincecum, one would think. In fact someone asked me just that on Twitter: do other great pitchers have hitters who own them as Goldschimdt owns the Giants former ace?

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MLB: Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

The video replay system isn’t perfect. It’s better than what came before (nothing) and will be improved upon as the years go by. For now, it works. It isn’t pretty but for now, it’s a success?

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Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays

One day, somebody is going to sign one of these (relatively) cheap deals for a young player and everyone will hate it. It will look bad from the start and only get worse as the years go on. The Manny Corpas Corollary, let’s call it.

This isn’t that deal. Chris Archer is pitcher with a bright future. Another triumph of the Rays “low and slow” development program, Archer made nearly 40 starts at AAA before the Rays called him up for good in 2013, when he started 23 times for Tampa Bay and pitched well, putting up a 3.07 ERA over 128 innings.

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mlbam wapo

What do you want out of a baseball broadcast? When most fans turn on their TV or fire up MLB.tv to watch their favorite teams and players, they want to watch the game first and foremost. The game, the athletes – they are the draw. The broadcasters? Little more than white noise, most of the time.

There are exceptions to the rule, of course. Good broadcasters add to the experience, enriching the game with their insights and anecdotes. Vin Scully is the gold standard to which all aspire.

But watching a game on TV is more than just the talking heads yammering away during breaks in the action. It is a visual medium so new bells and whistles are constantly introduced to keep viewers engaged and entertained.

Increasingly, this means the introduction of advanced stats over the more traditional airways. While the intentions are admirable, it might be a case of putting the cart before the horse.

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MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Texas Rangers

Despite what some of the soulless ghouls known to inhabit the press box will tell you, “it’s still early” is a false flag. It is never too early to worry. It is never too early to read the writing on the wall.

After just one game, it isn’t too difficult to see the problems that will rear their ugly head for the rest of the season.

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