Phillies left fielder Ben Revere has turned himself into quite the power hitter. After ending a streak of 1,466 homerless at-bats to begin his major league career, Revere homered at the end of May last year against Boone Logan. He added a second towards the end of the season against Rafael Soriano, which was the final straw that motivated the Nationals to take him out of the closer’s role.
The Phillies played their first home game of the season on Friday night, an exhibition game against the Pirates. The Phillies entered the bottom of the ninth inning behind 5-4, but a Cesar Hernandez lead-off double and a throwing error by catcher Tony Sanchez on an Andres Blanco sacrifice bunt caused the game to knot up at 5-5. After Grady Sizemore flied out and Odubel Herrera struck out, the Phillies appeared to be squandering a great opportunity. Then Revere stepped to the plate.
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The game, of course, doesn’t count for anything so Revere will enter the 2015 season still sitting on two career home runs. Pity.
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.