Would-be Mets, Dodgers or Padres owner Steven Cohen implicated in insider trading scheme

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Remember Steven Cohen?  He’s the billionaire hedge fund guy who (a) bought a minority interest in the Mets; then (b) tried to buy the Dodgers; and (c) turned south to San Diego and the Padres when that didn’t work?

Unlucky for him that he couldn’t become a baseball owner no matter how hard he tried.  Not so unlucky for Major League Baseball:

U.S. officials for the first time Tuesday implicated Steven A. Cohen, the founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP, in an alleged insider-trading scheme they said was the most lucrative ever to be charged.

Traders in his firm had been tied up with this for a while, but he had been said not to have had any part in it.  Cohen is not a defendant in the case, but he’s now mentioned in the criminal complaint as “Investor A” and will likely be a big part of the criminal prosecution coming out of this mess.

Can you imagine if he had got the Dodgers and couldn’t make it to some owners meeting because of a criminal subpoena? Yeah, that woulda been awesome.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.