Dodgers to Ron Belliard: be slim, or be gone

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About that Ron Belliard deal?Yes, it’s for $825,000, and yes, the Dodgers are likely counting on Belliard to win the second base job, but according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, it’s not guaranteed.  But it can be:  All Belliard has to do is to weigh in at 209 or less at some point during spring training.

Why 209? Because that’s what the Dodgers say he weighed at the end of last year when he was really effective.  If that’s what he weighed a mere three months ago, it seems fair enough to me that he be expected to get there sometime within the next two months.

What would be unfair? Expecting him to weigh 180, which is what Baseball-Reference, the Nats’ media guide from last year and presumably his driver’s license and all of his baseball cards say.  I’m guessing he hasn’t been within donut-sniffing distance of 180 since Clinton’s first term.

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.