The rat that changed baseball coverage on TV

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I want to say I knew this once. Or maybe posted on it once. But when you post several thousand things a year they all kind of blend together. Oh well.

Anyway, there’s a great story over at Sporting News which tells the tale of the famous shot of Carlton Fisk’s homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.  It was a shot that wasn’t supposed to happen because back then camermen were instructed to follow the ball, not the player’s reaction.  But in this case, something weird happened:

NBC cameraman Lou Gerard, stationed in the Fenway scoreboard and assigned to track the ball wherever Fisk hit it, had a problem.

A big, hairy, ugly, nasty problem.

“There were some rats running around,” he says. “With Fisk coming up, Harry Coyle, who was the director at the time, he told me, ‘Lou, you have to follow the ball if he hits it.’ I said, ‘Harry, I can’t, I’ve got a rat on my leg that’s as big as a cat. It’s staring me in the face. I’m blocked by a piece of metal on my right.’ So he said, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘How about if we stay with Fisk, see what happens?’

Meanwhile, we all get mad at Luke Scott for calling Fenway Park a dump.  Oh well.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.