Martin claims he will be ready by Opening Day

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martin is swinging.JPGDodgers catcher Russell Martin, sidelined since early march with a groin injury, said Wednesday that there’s “no doubt” he will be ready for the start of the regular season.

We’ve been operating under the impression that Martin would not be fully healed by April 5 and that A.J. Ellis and Brad Ausmus would split catching duties for the Dodgers over the 2010 season’s first few weeks.  But, alas, Martin is scheduled to catch four innings of a minor league game Thursday and, according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, could return to Cactus League action by early next week. 

The 27-year-old backstop turned in a disappointing .250/.352/.329 batting line last season with just seven home runs and 53 RBI in 505 at-bats.  He credits a platelet-rich plasma injection for helping him heal so quickly.  As far as we know those are perfectly legal.

Tigers, Royals to play a regular season game in Omaha next year

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Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.

The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.

This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.