Baseball on TV is 75 years old today

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Cut4 at MLB.com reminds us today that it’s the 75th anniversary of Major League Baseball on television. Not that it was a grand affair:

75 years ago today, an experimental station in New York City (which would ultimately become WNBC-4), aired the very first contest — a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field . . . Just 3,000 people were able to enjoy the Reds-Dodgers game in 1939 from their homes . . .

And the next day some columnist wrote about those ratings and then ranted about how baseball was dying.

Although it’s worth noting that thanks to carriage disputes and Major League Baseball’s ridiculous blackout rules, more people were able to watch that 1939 Dodgers game than non-Time Warner subscribers in L.A. and Dodgers fans in places like Las Vegas will be able to watch tonight’s Dodgers game, and we live in the gorram 21st Century.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.