Ear-biting catcher Miguel Olivo has signed with a new team

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Released by the Dodgers last month after biting Triple-A teammate Alex Guerrero’s ear off, veteran catcher Miguel Olivo has found a new team. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 35-year-old journeyman/maniac has signed with the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League.

Olivo was hitting .368 with a 1.013 OPS at Triple-A for the Dodgers when they released him and, if not for BITING A TEAMMATE’S EAR OFF, he probably would have been called up to the majors at some point already.

Now it’s pretty safe to assume that Olivo’s big-league career is over, because in addition to using his teeth to tear parts of people’s body off he hasn’t cracked a .225 batting average or .700 OPS since 2010.

Meanwhile, five weeks after having part of his ear bitten off Guerrero is finally ready to resume baseball activities and begin his comeback. So, to recap: Olivo will be playing baseball professionally again before Guerrero, which doesn’t seem quite right.

Straight-away center field will be 385 feet at London Stadium

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Marley Rivera of ESPN has a story about some of the on-field and in-game entertainment, as well as some aspects of the field conditions, for this weekend’s London Series.

The fun stuff: a mascot race, not unlike the Sausage Race at Miller Park or the President’s race at Nationals Park. The mascots for London: Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. I suppose that’s OK but, frankly, I’d go with Roger Bannister, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin and Guy Fawkes. Of course no one asks me these things.

There will also be a “Beat the Streak”-style race which had better use the theme to “Chariots of Fire” or else what the heck are we even doing here.

They’ve also taught ushers and various volunteers who will be on-site to sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” which is a pretty good idea given how important that is to baseball. As a cultural exchange, I think some major league team should start using “Vindaloo” by Fat Les during the seventh inning stretch here. It’s a banger. It also seems to capture England a bit more accurately than, say, “Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”

That’s all good fun I suppose. But here’s some stuff that actually affects the game:

The end result will have some interesting dimensions. The field will be 330 feet down each foul line, and it will have a distance of 385 feet to center field, which will feature a 16-foot wall. Cook also said it would have an expanded, “Oakland-like” foul territory, referencing the Athletics’ Oakland Coliseum expanse.

Those dimensions are unavoidable given that the square peg that is a baseball field is being shoved into the round hole that is a soccer stadium. As Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator tells Rivera, that sort of thing, while perhaps less than ideal, is at least in keeping with baseball’s strong tradition of irregular field conditions. It will, however, be one of the shortest dead center distances in baseball history.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Protective netting was also an important issue addressed when building the ballpark, with Cook stressing that his team has implemented netting that “is the largest you’ll ever see in any major league ballpark.”

[Craig makes a mental note to bookmark this for the next time MLB says it won’t mandate extended netting in the U.S. because doing so is too difficult]