I almost got free Padres tickets by flirting with Heath Bell

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I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Probably too much, but it’s OK, because my boss rarely walks by my desk.  Anyway, today I was letting my eyes glaze over at the screen when Padres closer Heath Bell tweeted the following:

“Whoever can tell me why they love the Padres the most gets two tickets to tomorrow night’s game.”

My impulsive response: “Because their closer is dreamy!”

Turns out I came in second.  The winner — a guy named “tdr43” — should have been disqualified in my opinion, what with him using some third party Twitter software to go way, way over the 140 character limit. Granted, his response was passionate and more comprehensive than mine was, but where I come from simple butt-kissing gets you places. What is this world coming to?

Oh well. It’s not like I could have got to San Diego by tomorrow night anyway. And even if I could have, I just would have gone there to root against the Padres so that my Braves could take the wild card.  I’m guessing Heath Bell wouldn’t have liked that too much. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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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.