Hey look, a Hank Steinbrenner sighting

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Hank Steinbrenner.jpgAll of the Yankees brass is in the far east on a goodwill tour, leaving Hank Steinbrenner back home to mind the store.  A reporter caught up with him, no doubt hoping that with his minders away Hank would revert to 2008 form and bring the crazy.  Take it away Hankenstein!

“The two trades that Brian did, I was really pleased with and very proud of,” Steinbrenner said. “I think that is going to make a big difference for us.”

Steinbrenner was particularly supportive of the deal for Vazquez, in which the Yankees gave up Melky Cabrera and minor league pitchers Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. The general partner and co-chairman of the Yankees believes that the acquisition of Vazquez was more critical toward defending their championship than not bringing back Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui.

“We needed another top-notch starter and got one,” said Steinbrenner.

He also said that Derek Jeter is a good baseball player and is important to the Yankees and everything. He probably also said that the sky was blue, water is wet and cornbread is tasty.

In other words, it appears as though Hal left his brother with enough medication to last until he returns. A shame, really. I miss the old Hank.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.