Vin Scully returns to Dodgers broadcast booth after illness

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Vin Scully was back in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth yesterday after missing the home opener and a total of five games with a strong cold.

It was good timing for the 84-year-old legend’s return, as he was able to regale listeners with first-hand stories on Jackie Robinson Day.

Scully revealed that he first felt sick and “couldn’t stop coughing” during the April 7 game against the Padres and finally decided he had to miss some time when doctors told he was “one click away from pneumonia”:

I was so angry at myself for being sick. But then I thought, I didn’t do anything to make myself sick, so I could just be angry at the fates. There was disappointment and, of course, a little self-pity. Finally, I decided that was enough of the emotion, let’s see if I can get myself well. …  It was heartbreaking not being here. I had all kinds of emotions, many of which were humility, because I am just a regular guy. I am the most ordinary guy you could ever meet in your life, and I was given a gift, that gift being to call the games. And so I cherish every day on this earth

The best.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.