Here’s the Rangers’ lineup for Game 1 of the World Series tonight against Tim Lincecum:
1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Michael Young, 3B
3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
5. Nelson Cruz, LF
6. Ian Kinsler, 2B
7. Bengie Molina, C
8. Mitch Moreland, 1B
9. Cliff Lee, P
Playing under NL rules means no designated hitter to hide Guerrero’s bad knees, so he’s playing the outfield for the first time this postseason and just the second time since September 1. Of course, he started 16 games in the outfield overall this year and has logged a total of nearly 14,000 career innings in right field, so Guerrero having to play defense isn’t such a big deal beyond his poor range.
David Murphy is the odd man out despite a) being a left-handed hitter, b) having a higher OPS against right-handed pitching than Guerrero this year, and c) being a vastly superior defender. Of course, Ron Washington won’t even move Guerrero out of the cleanup spot, so whether or not you think it would have been the correct decision there was zero chance of the Rangers’ manager actually benching him.
Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.
Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.
The big item, though, is this one:
It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.
Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.
Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.
[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.
He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.
Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.