Play of the Day: Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy catches Freddie Freeman’s home run in the center field seats

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Phillies broadcasters Tom McCarthy, Jamie Moyer, and Matt Stairs are broadcasting Friday night’s game between the Phillies and Braves from center field. Only a few minutes after McCarthy had finished the introduction to the game, he was involved in the game. Keep in mind that this is the first time in the history of Citizens Bank Park that the broadcast has been done anywhere but the booth behind the plate.

Starter Kyle Kendrick allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, as B.J. Upton singled and Andrelton Simmons walked. Freddie Freeman promptly blasted a three-run home run to the left of center field, directly at the trio of broadcasters. McCarthy, with glove on hand, reached up and caught the home run. After some encouragement from the fans around him, McCarthy fired the ball back onto the field.

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Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.