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.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.