Sunday is Hall of Fame Induction Day

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Hall of Fame Induction Day always sneaks up on me. I rarely read or hear about it until the week leading up to it.  Which, in today’s media environment is kind of strange when you think about it. But it has done it again: Hall of Fame Induction Day is this Sunday.

For those who totally tuned out the crazy arguing back and forth back during election time or simply buried it deep, deep down somewhere where the vitriol can’t hurt you, please recall that Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick are going into the Hall.  It will be a joyous occasion.  Well, at least until the ceremony is over. At that point the members of the Blyleven-for-the-Hall Industrial Complex which has grown over the years may find themselves empty and adrift.  What these brave warriors will do with no battle left to fight frightens me to some degree, I’ll admit. And that’s the case even though I consider myself to be a low-ranking foot soldier in that army.

Actually, now that I think about it, this will be one of the last inductions which will not be accompanied by cries of bloody murder on behalf of those who should be in but aren’t because of the PED mess, so I presume that — if we can make it past this next year — the Blyleven Brigade can scale up to fight that battle and thus won’t be loose and aimless on our city streets. Probably safe for all of us.

That business aside, congratulations, inductees.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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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.