Tickets for Dodgers-Dbacks games in Australia are pricey

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Loyal reader and other-side-of-the-world-dweller Kiwicricket has been shooting me interesting factoids and news articles about the Dodgers-Dbacks series in Australia. One interesting factoid? The Dodgers are using special fancy lights in order to beat jet lag. Another one? Tickets to the games at Sydney Cricket Ground are not cheap. Prices from Ticketek.com:

Platinum         $499.00
Gold Grandstand  $369.00
Gold Concourse   $369.00
Silver   $259.00
Bronze   $189.00
Outfield         $99.00
Grandstand Outfield      $69.00
Concourse Outfield       $129.00
Trumper Concourse        $89.00
Miller Bullpen Bar       $149.00

Those are in Australian dollars and the current exchange rate is $1 U.S. to $1.10 Australian. So fine, lop of 10%. Still seems like an awful lot, especially given how far away from the action many of the seats down the lines appear to be:

source:

I guess this is a big special event. But I have to wonder if it’s as big for most Australians as it is for people directly involved with the promotion or for baseball fans in the U.S. I mean, ask yourself: how much would you be willing to pay to see world class cricket if it were put on in Yankee Stadium?

Maybe some folks would pay top dollar. Maybe it would sell out as I assume SCG will sell out for this two-game series. But it does seem kinda high for a March baseball game.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.