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.

Moises Alou pledges to help Cubs give “closure” to Steve Bartman

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 7:  Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the first inning against thye Florida Marlins during game one of the National League Championship Series October 7, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”

Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.

Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.