If they don’t get Andres Galarraga to throw out the first pitch they had best not even bother. But apart from that, I am behind this 100%:
After winning six million viewers with its Super Bowl Sunday “Kitten Bowl,” Hallmark told advertisers Thursday it is creating a similar event, “Kitten Paw Star Game,” to air opposite baseball’s All-Star game in July 2015.
The MLB-focused event will feature kittens in baseball outfits batting balls — plus celebrities and baseball stars to cheer the kitties on.
I just pray to God that the ratings don’t eclipse the actual All-Star Game or else I’m going to have to go into the “no, baseball isn’t dying” business full time.
I am curious about the 2015 start date for this, though. What’s the holdup? Selecting a host city? Figuring out the fan balloting to select the players? Vast logistical issues which make throwing a bunch of cats into a room with high walls problematic? Inquiring minds want to know.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.