One of my favorite recent discoveries is that people in other countries throw “America parties” in which they dress up, act and consume food and beverages in ways that they think Americans do. Or, more likely, in an effort to parody what Americans do. Either way, it’s pretty hilarious seeing people form Finland or wherever holding red Solo cups (they REALLY love the Solo cups), eating popcorn and cheeseburgers, wearing NBA jerseys and generally acting like hilarious U.S. cliches.
I feel like that same impulse is at work at the baseball games in Australia. Behold: the All-American Super Dog, being sold at the Dbacks-Dodgers games in Sydney:
How dare they mock and stereotype U.S. tastes like that!
[starts sending emails to all of the ballparks here in a desperate effort to get them to start selling them here]
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.