Peter Gammons has a good take on Jhonny Peralta’s presence on the Tigers’ playoff roster. The easy part, which others have observed: he served his time and is eligible, so what’s the problem? The part fewer people acknowledge: There are jobs and careers on the line based on how a team that is expected to win does, so there is a huge incentive for the Tigers to play Peralta no matter what people think about it.
But this nugget — passed off casually in the way that only someone with Gammons’ access can pull off — just makes me shake my head:
There are several Red Sox players who have complained privately that Peralta is allowed to play. They wonder what remains in his body.
Call me crazy, but I question whether they’d be complaining privately if it was their teammate who had come off a suspension.
People talked a bit after the Biogenesis suspensions — and the agreement of most players to not appeal — about how it might weaken the union. I doubt that. It made a lot of sense for most of those guys not to appeal. But one thing that can weaken the union is players themselves questioning the legitimacy of the drug testing and punishment system. And when you complain about a player who has done his time coming back, you are questioning the system’s legitimacy.
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 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.