The Singing Hot Dog Man at Comerica Park has been fired

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Anyone who has been to Comerica Park for a Tigers game in the past decade or so is likely acquainted with Charley Marcuse, better known as The Singing Hot Dog Man. Well, he is singing at Comerica Park no more: he’s been fired by Sportservice, the company which manages the vending for Tigers games.

Marcuse was a polarizing figure at Tigers games. Some folks loved him. Some folks hated him. That latter group included the Tigers, who have wanted him gone for years and who complained to Sportservice on multiple occasions about his singing and eventually got him to agree to only sing between innings so as to lessen the distraction.

Which, fine. But it’s pretty friggin’ hilarious that in an age where ballparks blast music constantly at ballparks some guy doing some fake opera about hot dogs is considered a distraction. Personally, I would have put an end to the Nickelback and crap like that before going after the hot dog guy, but that’s just me.

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.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.