How the teams got their names

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There’s not a heck of a lot happening this afternoon — that is, unless you (a) have MLB.TV; and (b) are a masochist. If so, you can listen to Chip Caray call the Braves-Brewers game.  At least until you realize that you can just switch to the audio feed and listen to Bob Uecker, which is what I just did.

Anywhoo: if you can’t do either of those things you can at least read this article from the Delco Times in which Jeff Edelstein gives the quick and dirty story of how each of the 30 teams got their names.  For example, you may be surprised at the complicated and colorful story behind the naming of the Colorado Rockies.

Well, fine. But I found it interesting.

One does get a sense, though, that we’ve lost something in naming conventions over the years. No more “Superbas,” no more “Perfectos.”  No more teams named after obscure little gentleman’s clubs in which drinks were taken and tales of the sea were told.  Alas.

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.