MLB releases the 2012 schedule

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Major League Baseball has announced the 2012 schedule this morning. The season begins on Wednesday, April 4.  It ends on Wednesday, October 3. In between: lots of baseball games.

There will be a single game at the Marlins new stadium — make that the Miami Marlins new stadium —  on the 4th, with the Cardinals coming in to visit. Presumably a prime time game.  There will be six games on Thursday the 4th and ten games on Friday the 5th.  The first day with a full slate of games will be Saturday the 6th.  Which means I won’t have a full night of red-eye-scanning box scores for “And That Happened” until Sunday evening the 7th.  Nice way to ease our way into things.

Weirdness: a full four-days off for the All-Star break. Games will resume on the Friday after the Midsummer Classic, not Thursday. Which makes a lot of sense. The press release says this about the interleague schedule:

 The 16th season of Interleague Play will feature many renewals of past World Series, including Reds-Yankees and Pirates-Tigers (starting May 18th); Mets-Yankees, Phillies-Orioles, Astros-White Sox, Blue Jays-Braves, Tigers-Reds and Rangers-Giants (starting June 8th) …

So for those Tigers fans who have been waiting since 1909 for some sweet revenge against the dreaded Pirates, you now have your chance! Vengeance shall be yours!

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.