You have lots of choices at Target Field

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Gonna buy tickets to the Twins’ new ballpark? Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan:

The old Metrodome may have had questionable sightlines, but at least
the ticket pricing was simple. The new Target Field, meanwhile, has 120
single-game ticket variations–more than five times what was available
in the old park. The Twins aren’t alone–the New York Mets and Florida
Marlins both offer more than 100 choices.

The choices come from the facts that rather than be limited to the bleachers vs. the box seats, you can now choose to sit in the Gold Bond Medicated Powder Loge, the Planters Corn Nuts Reserved Boxes, or any other number of sponsored (or not) sub-sections in a given ballpark. And the prices of those seats can be one thing on a Wednesday night and something altogether different on Saturday. And of course, if the Yankees are in town you can expect to pay more than you would if the Royals are visiting.  With X number of potential seats times Y number of days of the week times Z number of opponents, and I’m not at all surprised that there are 120 different variations.

But it makes a lot of sense.  Some tickets are hotter than others. The way the prices and the options vary on the secondary market reflect this. Sure, it may be potentially-aggravating to try and find the cheapest possible seats, but as long as teams aren’t being deceptive in their pricing practices, I have no problem with them creating dozens if not scores of pricing tiers based on how great or how little demand there is for given seat at a given game.  To do otherwise would be to throw money away.

But yes, it does seem kind of silly at first blush. Indeed, when I read the article I was instantly I’m reminded of this old gem.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.