I want to say I heard someone talking about this once before, but in the New York Times today there’s a story about how Mariano Rivera thinks he’d be a pretty nifty center fielder. And about how he’d love a chance to get in at least one game in center before he’s done.
Joe Girardi actually entertains the idea from time to time, but the reality is that there is unlikely to be any truly meaningless game for the Yankees before Rivera retitres. Indeed, it’s exceedingly likely that Rivera’s last career game will be a playoff game of some type.
Personally, I’m trying to remember ever seeing Rivera run. I guess he covers first base on a grounder to the right side once in a while. But I bet Peter Bourjos runs more in one game than Rivera has in his whole career. Not that I think it wouldn’t be fun to see him try.
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 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.