ESPN just announced that they will televise 10 spring training games. The schedule breaks down as follows:
March 3: Detroit vs. Atlanta – 1 p.m. ET
March 14: N.Y. Yankees vs. Boston – 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
March 16: Boston vs. Atlanta – 1 p.m. ET
March 21: Boston vs. Philadelphia – 1 p.m. ET
March 22: N.Y. Yankees vs. Baltimore – 1 p.m. ET
March 23: N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis – 1 p.m. ET
March 24: Chicago White Sox vs. Cubs – 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
March 25: Atlanta vs. Philadelphia – 1 p.m. ET
March 26: Chicago Cubs vs. Texas – 4 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
March 29: Detroit at N.Y. Yankees – 1 p.m. ET
Yes, the World Champion Giants are mysteriously absent here, although they do kick off the Sunday Night Baseball schedule on April 3, if that means anything. The bigger issue for me is that only two Cactus League games will be televised. That’s a bummer. While we’re all crazy-go-nuts baseball fans here, remember that ESPN is trying to appeal to as many viewers as possible with a bunch of games that really have no impact on anything, hence three appearances each by the Red Sox and Yankees. So while that’s not fair to the rest of the country, it’s the reality of the situation. Hey, at least ESPN is trying to make Craig happy.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.