27.7 percent of players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born

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Major League Baseball released some interesting data regarding player birth places, noting that the number of foreign-born players on Opening Day rosters is at a four-year low.
Of course, “four-year low” is probably misleading given that this year’s rate of 27.7 percent isn’t all that far from the all-time high of 29.2 percent in 2005. In a sample of around 825 players (30 teams with 25-man rosters, plus some guys on the disabled list) the difference between 27.7 percent and 29.2 percent is a dozen players.
This season 231 of 833 players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born, led by the Dominican Republic with 86 and Venezuela with 58. In fact, if you remove the United States and Venezuela from the mix there are as many players from the Dominican Republic as there are from every other country combined.
Pretty amazing for a country that ranks 80th in total population with around 10 million (or roughly the same as Michigan, Georgia, and North Carolina). Torii Hunter was unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, the Mets have the most foreign-born players with 18, and the only other teams in double digits are the Cubs, Angels, Rockies, Dodgers, and Rangers.

Jose Fernandez’ high school jersey was returned

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09:  Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.

Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.

Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.

The Tigers have an interesting weekend ahead of them

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 08:  A general view of outside the stadium ahead of the Philadephia Phillies versus Atlanta Braves during their opening day game at Turner Field on April 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.

Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.

Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.

So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.

If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.