Adam LaRoche calls the Diamondbacks his "first choice"

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adam laroche.jpgDuring an introductory conference call on Friday, new first baseman Adam LaRoche called the Diamondbacks his “first choice.”

‘This all came together obviously really fast,” LaRoche said. “There
were some other options out there and to be honest with you, this was
at the top of the list if we could work it out. From a contract
standpoint, this was my first choice.”

Or, um, the only reasonable offer left on the table? LaRoche pretty
much says as much, stating that that “offers started dwindling fast”
and that he heard of Arizona’s interest early in the offseason, but
didn’t hear much about them again until the past week.

LaRoche signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with a $7.5 million
mutual option for 2011. The option includes a $1.5 million buyout, so
he is guaranteed $6 million. LaRoche earned $7.05 million last season.

It’s a pretty small sample size, but the 30-year-old hasn’t had much
luck at Chase Field during his career, batting .238 with two home runs
and eight RBI in 42 at-bats. Still, he should provide a tremendous
offensive boost to a team that combined to hit just .229/.321/.398 with
19 home runs, 88 RBI and a league-worst .718 OPS out of the first base
position last season.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.