This press release is . . . interesting:
YES Network, FSN Northwest and DIRECTV will present the first-ever Major League Baseball telecasts in 3D on Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11 when the New York Yankees take on the Seattle Mariners. DIRECTV and Panasonic will be presenting sponsors of the two 3D telecasts.
The historic 3D broadcasts from Safeco Field in Seattle, will be made available to DIRECTV HD customers, who have 3D TV sets and live within the YES “home team footprint,” which includes all of New York State and Connecticut, north and central New Jersey, and northeast Pennsylvania.
As Roger Ebert recently wrote, “3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension.” 3D — be it in movies, sporting events or what have you — adds basically nothing to the experience. When you watch a ballgame (or a movie or anything else) on a screen, your brain automatically accounts for the two dimensionality of the picture and adjusts. Really: have you ever watched a game on TV in which you couldn’t follow the action because it wasn’t in 3D? Of course not. Technically speaking the picture may be in 2D but, thanks to your brain, you really are experiencing it in three dimensions.
So why bother? The sponsorship of this little experience tells you all you need to know: Panasonic sells 3D televisions. They’d like you to buy more of them, thank you. If they can do so by providing a product that absolutely no one is screaming out for, more power to them, but I personally hope this falls flat.
Now, if they want to add gimmicky and antiquated “technology” to baseball broadcasts, they can add smell-o-vision and give me the aromas of the ballpark. I’d pay for that. 3D, though? No thanks.
The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.
Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).
A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.
The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:
A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.
The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.
Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.