There’s some one-upsmanship going on at baseball ticket offices. First the Nationals — in a prearranged promotion — gave away tickets to military members. Then the Mets joined in on the spur of the moment for tonight’s game. Now the Dodgers are doing it too, but they’re going a step futher:
The day after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden, the Dodgers announced they will give free tickets to military members during the month of May. Any active, reserve or retired member with a valid military ID can receive two complimentary tickets at any ticket booth on the day of the game. The tickets will be for the best available seats.
Which team goes all season long first? There are enough who don’t draw so well that it could be done by many. The only place you may really see it get difficult to manage would be San Diego due to the sheer number of military and military vets in the area, but even then, it’s not like the Padres are selling out the joint.
I bet someone does it this week.
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.
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.