Finding common ground between San Francisco and Dallas

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I’m a bit surprised we haven’t heard as much about the San Francisco-Dallas culture clash leading up to the World Series. I mean, really, what is a sporting event without people reducing two large, diverse, mutli-cultural metropolitan areas to their most crude and basic stereotypes?  I want to hear more about how this is a battle between gun-toting, meat-eating, God-fearing Texas wackos on the one side and drug-abusing, tofu-loving commie perverts on the other.

Joe Eskenazi of SF Weekly has a guest post in the the Dallas Morning News today, and when I saw it I figured we’d be getting some good red culture war meat.  Sadly he’s pretty even handed about it and is in on the joke.  But he does rattle off my favorite line of day so far:

Though I haven’t visited Dallas, I have been to Houston. And I think residents of San Francisco and Dallas can certainly bond – over making fun of Houston.

Someone start throwing bombs, will ya? There isn’t nearly enough outrage floating around this World Series yet, and it’s making me kind of antsy.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon. Leave it to the New York Times.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.