The Rays have jumped all over the Red Sox

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Everyone I know who has ever lived in Boston tells me that Patriots Day is their favorite day in the city. They get the day off work and school, the Marathon is run and best of all the Red Sox play a game at 11 in the morning.

Sadly for Sox fans, however, they were losing 6-0 by noon.  That’s where it stands right now as the fourth inning is just getting underway, as the Rays have jumped all over John Lackey. The big blow: a three-run homer from B.J. Upton that Bill Hall chased to that short bullpen wall, which he smashed into.  Hall took a long time getting off the ground after it hit him low. With Cameron and Ellsbury out, they don’t need Hall getting hurt too. Thankfully he seems OK.

For the Red Sox part, they have continued to not hit with runners in scoring
position (as I hit “post” they are now 0 for their last 29 in that
category).  There’s still plenty of time for the Sox to stage a comeback, but the way they’ve been playing lately, Bostonians will be taking advantage of the early end time of today’s game to drown their sorrows as opposed to prolonging the celebration.

UPDATE: Make it 8-0 on a Jason Bartlett double on which he made it to third on a Bill Hall error, after which Carl Crawford hit a deep sac fly.

DOJ settles antirust lawsuit against cable companies who don’t carry Dodgers games

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Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice sued AT&T, accusing its subsidiary, DirecTV, of being the ringleader in a plot in which it conspired with Cox Communications, Charter Communications and AT&T cable (then a separate company), to refuse to carry SportsNet LA, the Dodger-owned TV channel in violation of antitrust laws.

Now that lawsuit is over. The DOJ settled with AT&T last night.

The bad news: no part of the settlement obligates DirecTV or any of the other alleged co-conspirators to carry Dodgers games or to even negotiate to that end. There is likewise no fine or truly substantive penalty. It’s basically a “do not do this again!” agreement with some antitrust training requirements for executives and some orders to monitor their communications about these things.

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter to the satisfaction of all parties,” an AT&T spokesman said yesterday, likely in the tone of a guy who is pretty happy to have had a major antitrust suit against him settled so quickly.

When the suit was filed, I anticipated a settlement, as most antitrust suits brought by the DOJ are settled. Such a settlement could’ve featured a cash penalty or, more significantly, a brokered agreement between the parties in question in lieu of a cash settlement that could’ve led to Dodgers games being carried on more channels. After all, more competition is the end game of the Antirust Division.

As it is, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a surrender by the DOJ and a victory for the those carriers who coordinated their efforts to not carry the Dodgers.

An open question, unanswered in anyone’s statements yesterday, is whether this settlement is 100% about the merits of the case — keeping in mind that the DOJ tends not to file antitrust suits unless they think they can win, instead preferring to negotiate first — or whether it represents a new set of laxer priorities when it comes to antitrust enforcement from the Trump Administration and AG Jeff Sessions.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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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.