Potent quotables: Everyone loves bobbleheads

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“Bobbleheads are our most expensive giveaway item. And they have the most perceived value.

– Dennis Lehman, executive vice president of business for the Indians, takes bobbleheads very seriously.
The team went ahead with their “Victor Martinez Bobblehead Night” on
Saturday, despite him being traded to the Red Sox on Friday.

“We have to have a special type of
veteran pitcher, who is willing to give of himself as a teacher and
mentor type of guy. We have to get a team-oriented person, a person
that is going to give his time and his knowledge. It’s not an easy
task.”

– Nationals interim general manager Mike Rizzo is currently casting the “big-brother type” to his boy-band of starting pitchers.

“I’m just depressed that this isn’t
progressing the way I want it to progress. I’m throwing, playing catch.
There are different symptoms now. I’ve got zero strength in my left
calf due to the nerve. I’m just waiting for it to get better.”

– Tim Wakefield, who turned 43 years old on Sunday, isn’t likely to return from the disabled list anytime soon.
He went 11-3 with a 4.31 ERA, earning his first trip to the All-Star
Game, before landing on the disabled list with a lower back strain on
July 21.

“I know I’ve got to go out there and
pitch one or two innings. I’ve got to throw strikes and keep the ball
low. That’s exactly what I have to do.”

– Top-prospect Neftali Feliz knows what he has to do in order to be successful in the bigs.

“It just seemed like one thing after
another. [It] just seemed like every one of the surgeries he had, as
soon as he got healthy from one of those, something else kind of crept
in and happened.”

– Jeff Niemann speaks about his friend Wade Townsend, who was released by the Rays on Monday.
Now 26-years-old, numerous arm injuries resulted in the 2005
first-round draft pick posting a 5.59 ERA over 211 1/3 innings in the
minors.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.