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MLB Network to launch a game show that sounds kinda neat

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I once tried out for “Jeopardy!”  Passed the test and went on to the practice game.  They said I was “in the contestant pool” but they never called me.  Since then I’ve had one boss and four coworkers who have gone on “Jeopardy!”, all of whom won at least once and two of whom were five-time champions.  Meanwhile, I roam the Earth as a Trivial Pursuit hustler.  Coulda been somebody. Coulda been a contender. Alas.

But I won’t let my life’s biggest disappointment put a damper on this, which actually sounds pretty cool:

MLB Network today announced the launch of Baseball IQ, its first-ever game show, premiering Tuesday, January 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Hosted by MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian, Baseball IQ is a recall-based trivia show featuring two participants, 30 minutes and a chance to win up to $45,000 for charity. Questions will cover all things baseball, from current players and managers to World Series champions, MVPs, Cy Young Award winners, Hall of Famers, milestones and more.

There should be rooting interests too, because they’re doing it as a bracket-style thing, with a representative from each club, one from MLB.com and one from the Hall of Fame.  But don’t think you’re going to have Adam Dunn facing off against Ozzie Guillen here. It’s way more likely that you’ll have the Tigers’ bright young media relations guy matching wits with the Mariners’ assistant to the travelling secretary. UPDATE: here’s a list with all of the participants and more details.

Which I think is way more fun, actually, because people will fall in love with these guys like they do reality show contestants. Some will be endearing, some will be off-putting. It should be kinda neat.

At least if we don’t get overload.  According to the press release, tthere will be two new episodes every Tuesday through Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET from January 24 through February 23, leading up to the start of Spring Training.

That’s a lot of those shows, but it’s not like we have anything else to do.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.