The luckiest fan around

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I’ve been going to baseball games since the Carter administration and I’ve never even sniffed a foul ball. I think the closest I’ve ever been to getting a souvenir was six or seven rows. So you’ll understand my jealousy of one Brian Cardis:

While most fans go a lifetime without catching a foul ball, Cardis caught two in the upper deck in a span of four pitches with the Dodgers’ James Loney batting in the ninth inning Sunday.

Both plays were nearly the same – high popups that floated over the first deck, carried three rows deep into the club-level seats behind third base in the second deck and directly into Cardis’ glove.

I’d understand if he had to scramble for ’em. It’s Pittsburgh in late September, so there’s maybe three dozen fans in the whole joint. But these went right to his glove. He was taking a picture of the first one with his phone when the second one came his way.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m jealous. It’s one thing to show off a foul ball back at school on Monday, but I’m in my mid-30s now and there really isn’t anyone who would be all that impressed if I flashed a James Loney foul ball at a staff meeting at work or at a party or something.

But I am jealous. And given that lightning seems to like to strike there, I’m going to see if this Cardis guy puts any of his season tickets on StubHub next summer.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.