Justin Verlander to make fourth straight Opening Day start for Tigers

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Jim Leyland has joined the early Opening Day starter announcement fun, saying that he’ll go with Justin Verlander in Game 1 for the fourth consecutive year.

Leyland added that Max Scherzer will start Game 3 in order to line him up for the Tigers’ home opener, but didn’t say who’ll be getting the nod in Game 2. Rick Porcello, Phil Coke, and Brad Penny are expected to fill out the rest of the rotation.

Verlander, who’ll kick things off against the Yankees in New York on March 31, got a no-decision against the Royals on Opening Day last season while allowing four runs in five innings.

The Dodgers do not have a general manager, but they have an assistant general manager

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LAS VEGAS — Farhan Zaidi left his job as the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers to become the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants. While Dodgers president Andrew Friedman remains at the top of the baseball operations department, Zaidi’s departure has left the Dodgers without a general manager. It happens. It also happens that the Dodgers do not plan to replace Zaidi with a new general manager any time soon. They just said so last week.

They do, however, have an assistant general manager now. It’s Jeff Kingston, late of the Seattle Mariners, where he served as Jerry Dipoto’s assistant. Now he is an assistant with no one, nominally, to assist. Seems like some sort of dividing by zero error, philosophically speaking, but we’ll just assume it’ll sort itself out.

Two less cosmic takeaways from this: 1. Kingston is an analytics guy who has typically advised the wheeler-dealer — Dipoto — so it’s fairly safe to assume he’ll do that in Los Angeles too; and 2. that a team is happy to proceed without a general manager should tell you where general managers, well, in general, stand in this age of title inflation in baseball front offices.

I imagine that, after some time in the organization, Kingston will be named the actual general manager with no real change in his duties, further underscoring that, in this day and age, the title of GM is like the value of a Zimbabwean dollar.