Joakim Soria has strained pectoral muscle, not expected to pitch for Rangers until July

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When the Rangers signed reliever Joakim Soria to a two-year, $8 million contract during the offseason, they were hoping that he would make it back from Tommy John surgery in late May or early June. It turns out that they’ll be waiting a bit longer.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Soria recently suffered a strained pectoral muscle and will be shut down for the next 2-3 weeks. While the good news is that the setback has nothing to do with his surgically-repaired elbow, his Rangers’ debut is now being targeted for around July 1.

Soria, who turns 29 next month, owns a owns a 2.40 career ERA over five seasons in the majors. He’ll serve as a set-up man to Joe Nathan once he’s back to full health.

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.