David Wright thinks he's going to bounce back

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This isn’t a “best shape of my life” article, it’s simply David Wright talking frankly about his bad 2009, his approach at Citi Field and talking confidently about 2010:

“I felt very uncomfortable in the batter’s box . . .I think one of my greatest strengths as a hitter is going the opposite
field and hitting with power to the opposite field. Obviously Citi
Field is going to take a lot of that away because it is spacious out
there . . . I’m not using Citi Field as an excuse. I’m not using the lineup as
an excuse.  It’s up to me to go out there and do what I’m
capable of and I think there were times last year that I did not do
that.

“You just have to adapt to the ballpark, whether it’s
learning to pull the ball a little bit more, getting stronger, doing
things that will help you hit the ball out of the ballpark . . . I’m ready to go.  I’m excited. We have a lot to prove. I have some things to prove.”

Wright may not be blaming Citi Field, but he is exaggerating its impact on him just a bit.  Like most hitters, he has always pulled more home runs than he’s hit the opposite way. Indeed, he only hit eight of his 33 home runs in 2008 to right field, so it’s not like the large right field of Citi is killing him that much. He’s probably far more on point with that stuff about being uncomfortable at the plate, having his swing all messed up and everything.

All that said, I think the “what’s wrong with David Wright” stuff has been a bit overblown.  No, he wasn’t himself last year, but he still got on base at a healthy clip. Indeed, he got on at an identical clip to his 2008 season.  If I had to wager on anyone having a bounceback season this year, Wright would be near the top of my list.

DOJ settles antirust lawsuit against cable companies who don’t carry Dodgers games

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Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.

Now that lawsuit is over. The DOJ settled with AT&T last night.

The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” an AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.

When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.

As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.

An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not to file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.