Partying like 1999: Get ready for a Royals-Pirates World Series

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David Schoenfield of ESPN.com just tweeted this note and I had to share it:

First time both the Pirates and Royals have been over .500 on the same day 30 games into a season since May 16, 1999.

How long ago was that?

Well, that day the Pirates were playing the Expos and Vladimir Guerrero was Montreal’s cleanup hitter, Javier Vazquez was the starting pitcher, and Ted Lilly relieved him. Oh, and Jason Kendall was hitting fifth for Pittsburgh, which probably sounds impossible to anyone who only remembers the current version.

Also, the Royals’ cleanup hitter was Jeff King, who retired that season, and their outfield was Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, and Jermaine Dye. They were playing a Mariners team that had Alex Rodriguez batting second with Ken Griffey Jr. hitting third and Seattle’s starting pitcher that day was a 36-year-old Jamie Moyer.

Oh, and I was a sophomore in high school who’d just passed his driver’s license test and had big plans for a 1988 Chevy Corsica.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.