The Astros are installing a gigantic new video board

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Coming soon to Minute Maid Park: kiss cams in even larger, higher-definition!

The new primary video board will be located in right field and will
measure 54 feet high and 124 feet wide, making it the second-largest
board of its kind in the Major Leagues. The Astros current video board
is 26 feet high and 45 feet wide.

Click through to Maury’s post to see the size comparison between the new board and the old. It’s pretty shocking, actually.

But, as these things tend to go, size isn’t all that important — it’s what you do with it that matters. Advertisements and kiss cams and awkward public service announcements by players aren’t really any more useful just because they’re big. Indeed, I’ve yet to go to a ballpark where the video screens are really optimized.

More replays — not just of good plays by the home team — would be helpful.  I’d actually love to see a team use the board for the center field camera shot we’re accustomed to seeing on TV so I can follow the balls and strikes better when I’m not blessed with great seats.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.

Wanna feel old? Dusty Baker’s son Darren is graduating from high school

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Remember Darren Baker, the son of Nats manager Dusty Baker? If you do, it’s because you remember him as a three-year-old bat boy for the San Francisco Giants who, during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, was almost run over at home plate only to be saved by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow. Simple math makes it obvious that the kid is now 18, but it still feels weird that so much time has passed.

Now Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, so father Dusty will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend the ceremonies and festivities. Baker will rejoin Washington when they begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties.

Time flies, man.