Angel Pagan on the Giants: “This is the team to beat”

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After spending the first six years of his career with the Cubs and the Mets, sure, Angel Pagan is entitled to a little optimism. But I tend to think that this is too much optimism. From John Shea’s story about him in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Angel Pagan prides himself as the Giants‘ new leadoff hitter. The No. 1 man. So allow him to be the first to make a bold statement about the 2012 Giants in the National League West:

“I’m very, very confident that this is the team to beat,” Pagan said.

They only finished eight games behind the Diamondbacks and four back of the wild card-winning Cardinals. And the Diamondbacks had so many things go right last year, so it’s totally possible that the teams are closer. And thus, no, it would not be shocking if the Giants’ pitching made them contenders all year.

But “the team to beat?”  Man, I dunno. I’m having trouble going that far with it.

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.