While it’s always good fall sport to mock the national baseball broadcasters, Ernie Johnson is almost always excluded from that. The reason: he’s actually pretty good and knows his stuff. I know he’s more notable for his basketball work, but he’s a good baseball broadcaster.
And he’s an even better man, as this profile by Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch makes clear.
Back in 2011 Johnson missed his playoff assignments due to his son’s illness. Caesar tells the story behind all of that. Johnson’s son — who he and his wife adopted from a Romanian orphanage in 1991 — is on a ventilator and requires around-the-clock medical care. Care which Johnson and his family provide themselves at home. The story talks about their son and the challenges and rewards of the entire situation. Listening to Johnson talk you conclude that, in his mind, the rewards outweigh the challenges by orders of magnitude.
Hats off to Ernie Johnson and his family. They sound amazing.
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.
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.