News Flash: Zack Greinke to be the Royals' Opening Day starter

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I know it’s quite an honor for a guy to be given the Opening Day start — hell, if you listen to Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame supporters, Opening Day starts are more important than wins, strikeouts and ERA — but really, it’s just one game. And it’s one that you’re probably going to sell out anyway, because it’s, you know, Opening Day.

So if you have a box office draw as your ace like the Royals do in Zack Greinke, wouldn’t it make better economic sense to start him in the second Game of the season, thereby guaranteeing two sell outs instead of just one? As it is, Trey Hillman has decided to go with Greinke on Opening Day. What a terrible business decision.

OK, I can’t keep a straight face. If the Royals had implemented such a cynical line of reasoning, hadn’t made Greinke their Opening Day starter and deprived us of Greinke vs. Justin Verlander, I would have led the mob to the gates.  I’ve heard some people talk about such a thing jokingly, however, and wanted to try it on for size. It doesn’t fit very well. I don’t think there will be an Opening Day matchup as good anywhere else, and I can’t wait for it.

In other news, I’m starting to get really excited about the season.

Jose Altuve and Corey Kluber head list of Esurance MLB Award winners

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The 2017 MLB award season officially drew to a close on Friday with the Esurance MLB Awards, handed out to the best hitters, pitchers, front office members and moments in the 2017 season. Jose Altuve was crowned the Best Major Leaguer overall, beating out fellow finalists Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, while two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber took home honors as Best Pitcher.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Rookie: Aaron Judge
  • Best Defensive Player: Nolan Arenado
  • Personality of the Year: Adrian Beltre
  • Best Postseason Major Leaguer: Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander
  • Best Postseason Moment: Alex Bregman‘s 10th inning walk-off single in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best TV/Radio Call: Joe Buck and John Smoltz call Jose Altuve’s game-tying three-run blast in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best Play (Offense): Nolan Arenado completes the cycle with a walk-off homer (video)
  • Best Play (Defense): Austin Jackson‘s over-the-wall catch in the Red Sox’ bullpen (video)
  • Best Single-Game Performance: Anthony Rendon‘s six-hit, three-homer, 10-RBI game (video)
  • Best Player-Fan Interaction: Joey Votto gives Walter “Superbubz” Herbert a bat and jersey (video)
  • Best Fan Catch: Fan’s brother-in-law grabs Yasiel Puig home run ball and chucks it back on the field (video)
  • Best Manager: A.J. Hinch
  • Best Executive: Jeff Luhnow

No surprises here — the world champion Astros ran away with seven awards, including those for Best Manger and Executive and a dual award for Best Major Leaguer of the Postseason. Altuve added to an impressive run this offseason after earning a Silver Slugger, two Players Choice Awards, Hank Aaron Award and MVP Award for his outstanding work in 2017, while Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge continued to be a lock for all AL rookie-based awards after locking down the Rookie of the Year title earlier this week.