If you’ve kept up with the World Cup at all, you’re well aware of what a vuvuzela is by now. The plastic air horns blown by South African natives have now infiltrated the United States, and in the least likeliest of places.
The Marlins gave away 15,000 mini vuvuzelas on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium and encouraged fans to blare them throughout the Feesh’s interleague game against the Rays. It didn’t go over well with some people — namely the media attempting to craft stories about the game with constant buzzing fluttering around the park — but the fans in south Florida sure seemed to like the things.
MLB.com beat writer Joe Frisaro was in attendance, and says that Sun Life Stadium “vibrated loudly” after Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan homered in the fourth inning. Dan Uggla threw in earplugs at one point and first base umpire Ed Rapuano did the same.
The Marlins have averaged a major league-low 16,213 fans this season and yet still caused a ruckus. Imagine if vuvuzelas were distributed in Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium, where over 43,000 fans stream in on most nights. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.