New home for Padres games, FOX Sports San Diego, to launch early next month

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Reports vary about the exact details of the Padres’ new television contract, but everyone seems to agree that it’ll be a massive deal and Jay Posner of the San Diego Union Tribune says the team’s new home, FOX Sports San Diego, will launch in early March.

Nothing is official yet, in part because MLB must approve the contract and FOX Sports San Diego is still working on getting clearance with the various cable and satellite providers, but Posner notes that the Padres are scheduled to broadcast a spring training game on March 17.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported recently the Padres’ contract with FOX Sports San Diego could be worth as much as $1.5 billion over 20 seasons, which is pretty impressive for a team in the 26th-largest market. However, because the deal is expected to start out with a relatively low annual figure and ramp up significantly in later years the immediate impact on the Padres’ payroll is unclear.

Kendrys Morales pitched a scoreless inning Sunday

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Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.

Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.

Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.

On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.