MLB Network is going to mic-up players for a spring training game

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I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but one of my favorite 1990s baseball things is watching Braves games on TBS and hearing a constant flow of Greg Maddux F-bombs through that networks’ seemingly over-sensitive field mics.  That doesn’t seem to happen very much these days. Maybe because players are more refined than Greg Maddux — hard not to be! — or maybe because of mic placement or what have you.

But those days may be back soon!

MLB Network today announced its 2012 Spring Training game schedule, featuring a groundbreaking presentation of live in-game audio. For the first time in an MLB game telecast, live audio content will air on a brief delay throughout the Spring Training game telecast of the Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET. In cooperation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, up to as many as six players on each team will wear live microphones during the game. Coaching staff will also wear live microphones throughout the game and live microphones will be positioned at each base, down the first- and third-base lines and along the outfield wall, producing in-game audio content on a scale that has not previously been done.

That “brief delay” is a bit of a drag if, like me, you just want to hear gratuitous profanity.  But those of you who want to hear what ballplayers say to one another and stuff, this should be cool.

But never fear: I will be in Arizona on March 7th, and I’ll try to be at that Indians-Diamondbacks game.  I’ll position myself near the field so I can hear the profanity and make a point to tweet it to all of you.  That way you can get the entire experience.

Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg to make his next scheduled start

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”

Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.

Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

John Lackey hit four White Sox batters today

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Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.

So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.