Maybe not officially or anything, but the big slide in the Coke bottle at AT&T Park may not be around much longer:
The famous Coca-Cola bottle slide at the San Francisco Giants’ waterfront ballpark is becoming known for another reason: lawsuits. The team, which starts
its season Monday, is facing a $6 million suit by Chad Mello, who
injured his left knee and ankle in July 2008 on the slide, which shoots
people through a green, 60-foot Coke bottle via metal tubes.
At least 55 people have
been injured on the slide, known as the Guzzler, which failed two safety
inspections in recent years, the Giants said.
I was dismissive of the risks when the first lawsuit was filed a couple of years ago — and I haven’t seen the lawsuits or the evidence, so who knows if this Mello guy has a case — but if that many people are busting their ankles on the thing, it just might be inherently dangerous.
In other news, ballparks are for baseball games. Not carnival rides and other assorted amusements.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.