Willie Mays calls in sick for ceremonial first pitch

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The Giants invited six legends from the franchise’s past to throw out the first pitch Wednesday before Game 1 of the World Series at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.  Unfortunately, only five could make it.

Willie Mays, called the greatest player of all time in some circles, had to call in sick for the pre-game ceremony.  This according to the Associated Press.

Orlando Cepeda, Monte Irvin, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry delivered their pitches and the Giants are out to a commanding lead in Game 1 against Texas, but it would have been nice for the 79-year-old Mays to make an appearance.

If the Giants stick around long enough in this seven-game Fall Classic, perhaps “The Say Hey Kid” will get the chance.

Bobby Thomson’s daughters, Megan Armstrong and Nancy Mitchell, are scheduled to throw out ceremonial pitches for Game 2.  But the Giants probably don’t have anything planned for a potential Game 6 or 7 back in San Francisco.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.