The Baseball Road Trip of a lifetime

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CAC Road Trip.jpgThere’s someone who does the whole visit-all-30-parks-road trip every year, but (a) I never get tired of hearing about it; (b) I never stop being jealous; and (c) I always root for the guy(s) to finish, whether or not they’ve given themselves a time limit.

The latest is Navin Vaswani, a journalist/blogger who is chronicling his trip in The Globe And Mail. So far he’s made it to Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and both New York
parks. He hits Fenway tomorrow and then points south and west.  I’ll be following his progress, and you should too because these kinds of things are fun.

Whenever I see this I like to drag out my proposal from a couple of years ago: a road trip show akin to Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” but for baseball.

The premise: a half hour travel show in the host hits up a Major League city for a weekend in an effort to convey the
history, flavor, and general milieu of a given team, its park, its fans,
and its city. He meets up with a couple of knowledgeable locals, goes to a couple of games, hits a couple of loyalist bars, stores or a museum or two and gives viewers a
taste of what it means to be, say, a Brewers fan. Or a Dodgers fan. Or whatever.

I figure you have at least 40 ready-made shows there once you do all the Major League teams, a trip to Cooperstown, the All-Star Game, some select minor league parks, and some side trips to Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Japan and stuff.

If only I knew someone at a network who could get this sort of thing off the ground . . .

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.