Yasmani Grandal completes suspension, to rejoin Padres on Tuesday

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Yasmani Grandal showed plenty of promise as a rookie last season, but he was handed a 50-game suspension last fall after he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. However, now that Grandal has completed his punishment and a brief rehab assignment, Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the 24-year-old backstop will rejoin the Padres tomorrow night.

Acquired from the Reds in the Mat Latos deal in December of 2011, Grandal batted .297/.394/.469 with eight home runs, 36 RBI and an .863 OPS in 60 games with the Padres last season. Teammate Nick Hundley took a swipe at Grandal and his testosterone use earlier this month, but they’ll have to coexist behind the plate for now. However, it shouldn’t be long before Grandal gets the opportunity to run away with the starting job.

The Padres plan to send John Baker to Triple-A Tucson in order to make room for Grandal on the active roster.

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.