HBT Weekend Wrapup


Craig is on vacation all week so you’ll see a bigger helping of posts from the less familiar names around here.  It’s like a parent has left town, and has left us access to a stocked fridge and liquor cabinet.  We intend to have a good time.  Bonfire!

Here is your weekend wrap-up:

  • Cubs manager Lou Piniella retired suddenly on Sunday afternoon to be with his ailing mother.  He enjoyed a good amount of success in Chicago, leading the club to two division championships in four years, but ‘Sweet Lou’ will leave behind a fifth-place team.
  • We should all know more about his immediate future when the MRI results are examined on Monday afternoon, but it appears that Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg avoided major injury on Saturday night.  He has been diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in his forearm and was able to play catch on Sunday morning.
  • Brewers setup man LaTroy Hawkins has opted to undergo exploratory surgery on his shoulder and is likely to miss the rest of the season.  Here’s a quick lesson for bad teams with major holes: Don’t spend big money on middle relief.
  • Angels rookie outfielder Peter Bourjos is going to be a great defender in this league for a long time, and now he’s beginning to do some things right at the plate.  With those powers combined…

And with that, we’re off…

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.