The Athletics name their new pitching coach

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You may want to sit down for this, but the A’s have named Ron Romanick their new pitching coach. He was formerly their bullpen coach.

I know. I reacted the same way. In fact, I’ll always remember where I was when I heard the news. Everything is different now. It’s like, everything that happened before I heard this news was in black and white and everything since is in crisply-rendered high definition.

Let’s see, what else . . . Romanick pitched in the big leagues for parts of three seasons with the Angels. They used to be called the California Angels then. His last game was on July 21, 1986. I was on a family vacation to Nova Scotia then. I remember this, because we left right after my 13th birthday, and that was a week before Romanick’s last game. So yeah, we were probably on Cape Breton looking at lobster traps or something around then.  Fun trip, though. We took the car ferry from Yarmouth back to Portland, Maine and since we were in international waters then, 13 year-old kids could play the slot machines. That’s about all I got on Romanick, folks.  If anyone has anything more to add, I’ll consider updating.

Oh, and, um, sorry about the weird pic of him. I know it kind of looks like a hostage “proof of life” photo, but it was the only one of him in an Athletics uniform I could find on the whole Internet.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.