Red Sox, Angels take over seven hours to get through last night’s game

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The time of play was “only” five hours. Tack on a two and a half hour rain delay, however, and it pushed the end of this game to 2:45 AM.  By the end of it all there was hardly anyone in the stands,* the Angels announcers were wearing wrestling masks and Daisuke Matsuzaka was taking the loss in his first ever relief appearance, losing it in the 13th inning on a two-run, bases loaded single by Bobby Abreu.

And the best part?  These two teams get to turn around and play a day game today. First pitch is 1:35.  There is no word if Bud Selig is going to impose a one-game moratorium on the greenies ban.  Because really, stuff like this is why they were so popular in the first place.

Know what else used to be popular? A balanced schedule that meant that a west coast team like Anaheim visited Fenway more than once, thereby allowing more opportunities for makeup games. If that were still the case today, they probably would have called last night’s game for rain and made it up later. As it is, they can’t, because the Sox and Angels have no more common off days and the Angels won’t make it back to Fenway. Progress isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

But hey: at least Anaheim fans can get their own wrestling masks soon.

*Some people thought that, during the game, NESN was intentionally avoiding crowd shots which would reveal how empty Fenway Park was. If that is the case — and if anyone was watching, chime in — it’s kind of sad. I know Fenway is a hot ticket and all, but only those who have zero obligations on a Thursday morning or the truly deranged could be expected to stay through all of that nonsense. If NESN was trying to hide that simple fact they probably need a perspective infusion.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.