That incessant Manny-chatter was further proof that nationally broadcast
games are now pitched only to baseball-ignorant audiences who know zip
about the game, the teams, and the history of the game. It makes
televised games virtually unwatchable. Every game has to have a
pre-agreed “story line,” and that’s its context—not the pennant race,
not the real team issues. This game was, according to ESPN, about Manny
Ramirez. It was crucial not to let him get to the plate as the tying
run…that was all we heard. Disgusting, boring, and incompetent.
— Jack Marshall, Red Sox fan, perfectly capturing what I think about the direction the commentary so often takes in the big nationally-broadcast games anymore.
Drop the incessant harping on the “storylines,” networks. Thanks to the blogs and the nightly recaps on Baseball Tonight and MLB Network and everywhere else, most of them are old news by the time Saturday and Sunday roll around anyway. When it comes to the game itself, let’s talk about . . . the game itself.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.