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: Spring Training-New York Mets at Toronto Blue Jays

When I decided to buy a ticket to this past weekend’s exhibition games at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, I wasn’t expecting to get much out of the actual baseball. Spring training baseball is never about the baseball, and I expected that to be the same in Quebec as it is in Arizona.

But everybody, even the foreigners like myself, could tell as we filed into the stadium and the sections deep into the outfield and deep into the top deck filled up that this was a little more than an exhibition game. By the middle of the first inning most of the 45,000 fans in attendance were parked in their seats. If you didn’t know better, you’d think this game counted.

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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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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

No matter how hard Major League Baseball tries to cheapen and devalue Opening Day, it can’t do it. For a sport/industry so adept at making money, its continued effort to turn the annual baseball holiday into a made-for-TV event has mostly failed.

Because despite MLB’s push for growth into foreign shores, Opening Day is today. Not last week in Sydney or last night in San Diego. Those games count in the standings but only today counts in the hearts and minds of baseball fans the world over.

It isn’t really a holiday and it will never receive official designation as such. It’s the business-as-usual aspect that makes Opening Day so appealing. No other sport asks more of its supporters and fans. No other sport demands attention for longer and with more regularity. Other major sports play their games on weekends and in prime time. Baseball combines tradition and utility to play games during the day, during the week. It fights for your love and affection.

On Opening Day, every single year, baseball goes undefeated.

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres

People don’t like Brian Wilson. Baseball fans are straight up put off by Brian Wilson’s whole…thing. His shtick or his persona or the cut of his jib; whatever it is, it is unpopular with a large swath of the baseball watching public.

This widespread antipathy towards Brian Wilson thirsts for comeuppance and, in the 8th inning of the lid-lifter in San Diego, got exactly what they wanted.

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SO RICH

SO RICH WOOOOOO

Mama, let your boys grow up to be baseball players. Mike Trout on Friday signed a contract that will pay him more than the career earnings of LeBron James. It is half the length and nearly 50 percent higher than Sidney Crosby’s contract.

Mike Trout just walked away from, roughly, $100 million. By signing a contract that buys up his first three years of free agency, he might have left $100 million on the table.

And yet he signed one of the 20 or so biggest contracts in baseball history. A guy with 336 career games played. He’s probably going to be okay.

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