Yankees' Sabathia waits to catch fly balls during workout day before their MLB American League Division Series against the Tigers begins in New York

ALDS Tigers-Yankees Game 1 Liveblog: POSTPONED

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10:24: Live blog over, kids. Back to some normal posting. And “Ghostbusters.” The boys just got arrested and the EPA man is going nuts. Enjoy!

10:21: They’ve postponed the game. Same game time tomorrow, but it will still be Game 1, picking it  up in the 2nd. Sunday will be Game 2 at 3:07PM. No day off, Monday in Detroit.

10:17: Worth noting: because of the rules changes from 2009, they won’t just scrub this game. Playoff games that are suspended have to be played to their conclusion, so they’d pick it up again in the third inning with the score tied 1-1.  No word on whether they’ll suspend it yet, but it’s still pouring in New York. Looks grim.

10:13: Sigourney Weaver in her Zuul phase: pretty important to me when I was, like, 11 years-old. Just sayin’.

10:00: Gozer was very big in Sumeria. Big time.

9:52: People at the ballpark tweeting that it is pouring even worse now. After they took the tarp on and treated the field. This is awesomeness. They may bang this game. Which kind of throws a wrench into this liveblog, but hell, I’ll stick with “Ghostbusters” until it’s over if that’s what it takes.

9:48: Also, even if Ecklersley is saying something that is 100% truthful, his manner is of the man you meet at a semi-seedy bar who has all kinds of theories about how the government is out to get you and stuff.

9:46: David Wells talking about how long you can go after a rain delay. He has always been a conundrum for me. Obviously didn’t take care of himself. Like, at all.  But he was a durable mofo.  If Kruk didn’t say that line about “I ain’t no athlete, I’m a ballplayer,” Wells would have eventually said it himself.

9:42: Tarp is off. They’re treating the field. But the radar is icky. We may be with “Ghostbusters” for a while. “That must be some cockroach.”  “Bite your head off, man.”

9:37: Commercial for the “Footloose” remake. We needed that like we need a “Ghostbusters” remake. Oh, wait

9:28: “Type something, will you? We’re paying for this stuff.”

9:24: “Ghostbusters” is on VH-1 right now. So, like, someone tell me when this ballgame starts again. Until then, there is no baseball. There is only Zuul.

9:16: I wish this was a Braves game on TBS in the late 1980s so they’d show “Two Mules for Sister Sarah” during the rain delay.

9:09: And the tarp is out.

9:04: They gotta get the tarp out there.

9:02: Ugh, really coming down now. Just what everyone wants from the Sabathia-Verlander matchup: a long rain delay that puts A.J. Burnett in the game.

9:00: Verlander threw 25 pitches in that first inning. That’s definitely a pattern the Yankees would like to see repeated for a few innings.

8:58: End of 1. Tigers 1, Tigers’ defensive indecisiveness 1.

8:57: And it’s pouring rain. The rich people behind the plate pretty much sprinted back to whatever luxury digs they have back in rich person land.

8:55: And we’re tied. Looked like they could have gotten Jeter at home. I’ve got this notion that defensive miscues will cost the Tigers a game in this series. These aren’t egregious or anything, but they’re giving me the willies.

8:53: Eeek. Looked like Cabrera had the easy out at second base. Oh well.

8:52: Anderson called Avila “a good catch and throw guy.” Which he is, but it’s worth noting that Jeter’s on base because Avila could neither catch nor throw strike three.

8:48: Jeter probably stuck out on purpose in order to reach. Totally professional move on his part.

8:43: Top of the first over: Right field porch 1, Yankees 0.

8:41: Delmon Young homer. Caught by a guy from Geneseo — on the sweatshirt — who looked a little too happy to be catching an opponent’s homer.

8:39: Also: Anderson likes to call lineup slots the “___-hole.”  Often. That will not get old.

8:36: I like Brian Anderson as an announcer, but someone should tell him that Alex Avila is not a rookie.

8:34: I like the Nissan truck commercial. I don’t like Deion Sanders commercials. That is all.

8:30: TBS promo: “Legends are born in October.”  Which I suppose means that nothing legendary will happen in this game. Night folks!

8:23:  Hey, Halladaysbiceps is back!  Welcome back, sir.  Comments just got more … interesting.

8:22: Cal Ripken and David Wells in the studio show have me sayin’ “man, that’s some BALD.”  Eckersley, however, has his hair feathered like the wings of a majestic bird.

8:20: A reader asks on Twitter: “Don’t bosses typically hire people to do things like liveblogging for them?”  Hurm.  Good point. And I’m guessing all the other HBT bloggers are off getting their Friday night drink on.  As always, I’m a sucker.

8:13: Come on in. Sit right down.  Get your refresh button good and loose, because I’m going to be live-blogging this game. LIKE A BOSS.

Joe Mauer reveals he’s had blurred vision since 2013 concussion

Joe Mauer
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After a decade as the best all-around catcher in baseball Joe Mauer suffered a concussion in August of 2013 that forced him to change positions and marked the end of his time as a great hitter.

Mauer was doing his usual thing at the time of the concussion, hitting .324 with a .404 on-base percentage and .880 OPS. Since returning from the brain injury he’s hit .270 with a .348 on-base percentage and .725 OPS while seeing his numbers decline across the board.

Mauer revealed today to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that “lingering symptoms occasionally blurred his vision at the plate the past two seasons” and “he will experiment hitting with sunglasses for the first time to improve his pitch tracking” this season.

Here’s more from Murphy:

Bright sunshine sometimes triggered blurred vision that Mauer links to the concussion with which he was diagnosed in August 2013 after absorbing at least “two significant blows” from foul tips while he was still catching.

“I don’t want that to be kind of an excuse. If I’m out there, I’m out there. That’s just the way I am,” Mauer said. “There are times I’ve gone up to the plate and I just couldn’t pick up the ball. That’s part of the frustration because I’m trying to do everything I can to get back. It just takes time.”

There are more quotes along those same lines and Mauer’s numbers in night games were much better than his numbers in day games last season.

I live in Minnesota and it has been incredibly frustrating to see such a large (or at least vocal) segment of the Twins fan base treat Mauer’s steep decline as if it has nothing to do with the significant brain trauma he suffered. I’m hopeful that Mauer going public about literally struggling to see the baseball while at the plate will convince fans to treat him more humanely, but that’s probably wishful thinking at this point.

What a shame, on every level.

Masahiro Tanaka can’t say for sure if he’ll be ready by Opening Day

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka said today that he “can’t say for sure” whether he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

Tanaka underwent arthroscopic surgery in late November to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. Tanaka threw off a bullpen mound Tuesday for the first time since undergoing a cleanup procedure on his right elbow last October and, while healthy, may be behind other pitchers.

Tanaka posted a 3.51 ERA and a 139/27 K/BB ratio across 154 innings last season. He also has a partially torn UCL he’s been pitching through for some time which is always something the Yankees have on their mind when it comes to schedules and workouts for their ace.

Denard Span, not Angel Pagan, will be Giants’ center fielder and leadoff hitter

Denard Span
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Making official what was assumed when the Giants signed Denard Span to a three-year, $31 million contract last month, manager Bruce Bochy announced that Span will start in center field and bat leadoff.

That means 34-year-old Angel Pagan, who’s been the Giants’ starting center fielder and primary leadoff hitter for the past four seasons, will slide to left field and bat further down in the lineup. About a month before the Span signing Bochy said Pagan would remain in the center fielder/leadoff role, but the situation obviously changed.

It’s a move that makes sense, because Span–if healthy following hip surgery–is a superior defensive center fielder with better on-base skills. And if Pagan doesn’t bounce back following a rough 2015 season then having him in left field will make it easier for the Giants to platoon him or bench him in favor of, say, Gregor Blanco or a bigger bat.

Pitchers to receive new visor-like protective headgear

Headgear
MLB/MLBPA
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For the past few years MLB, the MLBPA and cap and helmet manufacturers have been working on various models of protective headgear for pitchers. Some of the models have been unworkable, some of them have not met the satisfaction of pitchers and others have, well, looked a little odd. At present the only pitcher who routinely wears any headgear is Alex Torres, who wears the bulky isoBLOX helmet.

Now, however, there is a new option. And, as you can see above it’s a bit different than what we’ve seen before. It’s more or less like a visor, which will have a nylon top on them to give a full cap-like appearance. The ear flaps will be lefty and righty-specific, given that righties are more likely to be hit on the right and lefties on the left given their follow-throughs.

The new caps will be given out to players this spring and, like the old ones, will be used or not used at the choice of the players. You can read more about the new helmet at ESPN’s Outside the Lines report.